S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Resolution: a decision or determination (from Dictionary.com)

The New Year is usually a time for resolutions. Eat healthier, meditate, exercise more, etc. Personally, I prefer to review my goals each year, determine which I am still committed to and revise them, rather than creating a list of resolutions.

Goal: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end. (from Dictionary.com)

A few years ago I worked for lululemon and part of our training process was to create a 10 year vision and write 1, 5, and 10 years goals that are SMART. At first, I found this process difficult, however my finally product was very enlightening and these goals are something I reference often and review/update at least once a year.

SMART goals are:

  • S – Specific – Goals should be simply written, clearly define what you are going to do and the desired outcome. lululemon also encourages goals to be written in present tense.
  • M – Measurable – Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal.
  • A – Achievable – Goals should be achievable; they should stretch you slightly so you feel challenged, but defined well enough so that you can achieve them. You must possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, resources, and abilities needed to achieve the goal.
  • R – Results-Focused – Goals should measure outcomes, not activities. *Relevant is sometimes used here but I prefer Results-Focused. You could do both. Relevant goals need to be relevant to performance expectations or development (relevant to your desired outcome!).
  • T – Timely – Goals should be linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency, or results in tension between the current reality and the vision of the goal. Without such tension, the goal is unlikely to produce a relevant outcome.

For me, considering and writing a 10 year vision helped me move forward with determining my goals. What short-term goals would I need to achieve in order to reach my larger, long-term goals? Am I passionate about these goals? Actually, I believe that writing a 10 year vision is crucial to the process because you may focus more on activities rather than the outcome. Creating a long-term vision (outcome) helps you write goals that are outcome focused in addition to SMART!

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