Get S.M.A.R.T.

Much like peanut butter and jelly, goals and lists are the perfect pairing. Separately, they’re good, but together, they’re great. Many organizations use one or the other (I’m not talking PB&J; anymore) and settle for being good, but by following these guidelines, you and your organization can become great.

As the most recent addition to the Bellmont Partners team, I’m juggling multiple projects and am getting a real-world lesson on the importance of goals. Goals foster success, both in organizations and in life. Without them, it’s easy to lose focus and hard to reach your potential. It’s essential that everyone on your team is on the same page from this point forward, so first, identify what’s important to you and your organization. Create a list of what’s valued (time, revenue, outreach, ets.), and then, rank the list to determine your priorities.

Once that’s accomplished, it’s time to set goals and see results. To begin, brainstorm a list of broad, general goals. Then choose an idea that focuses on one of your top values, and develop it into what Dr. Edwin A. Locke calls a S.M.A.R.T. goal:
1. Specific
2. Measurable
3. Attainable
4. Relevant
5. Timed

1. Specific: What exactly do you want to accomplish?
When I say exactly, I mean exactly. In order to succeed, you need to focus on something specific. If the goal is too broad or complicated, it will be difficult to accomplish and can end up costing you valuable time and resources.

2. Measurable: How will you know once you’ve accomplished the goal?
Set a tangible goal so you know when you’ve reached it. Create qualitative and/or quantitative points that you will be able to evaluate.

3. Attainable: Can you achieve it, or are you setting yourself up to fail?
Reality check – goals should be ambitious, but they should not be unrealistic. Setting unattainable goals will only cause frustration and can often be counterproductive.

4. Relevant: Does it mean something to you and your organization?
If you set a goal that you don’t care about, it will be difficult to stick to the plan and accomplish your goal. You’ll get the best results when you’re passionate about the goal.

5. Timed: Have you created a timeline?
Making a plan ensures that a goal will be met efficiently. Without a structured timeline, it’s hard to stay on task and accomplish the specific steps needed to reach your goal.

After you’ve made your goal S.M.A.R.T., write it down. Make sure to record all aspects of the goal to provide accountability and motivation. Next, produce a list that follows the timeline and documents who will be responsible for each component.

As you implement the steps toward the goal, keep lists with notes for future reference to maximize your efforts and make your organization go from good to great.

I’m putting these ideas into action and am already seeing results. So, now it’s on to the next task so I can keep reaching my goals and crossing things off my lists.

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