Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Related. These five words have stood the test of time to represent goal setting. I am not certain exactly who or when SMART was introduced. I remember using the acronym to set goals in high school back in the 1980's. In twenty five years of lecturing, the SMART system has not changed much, even in the face of new techniques and strategies that have emerged. SMART is effective because it is simple. It is easy to use, and if used correctly it will produce the results desired.
So, let's briefly look at SMART. The first letter represents the word Specific. This implies that goals set should be specific, with a clear, well described result that has all of the details in the final outcome of achieving the goals. A clearly visible target is easier to hit than a blurred confusion.
The letter M in SMART represents the word Measureable. There should be a clear, easy way in which one can measure the progress to the achievement of the goal. Tracking progress promotes motivation and focus. Measuring the effort also helps one determine if the reward was worth the effort once the goal has been achieved.
Attainable is represented by the letter A in SMART. I am always amazed when people set goals that are impossible to achieve and unrealistic in their nature. This is testament to the creative nature of humans. As much as I love creativity in the goal setting process, it is of no value when the dream is so big that our internal system deems it impossible to achieve. You don’t want the goal to be so simple to achieve it generates a sense of boredom, and you don’t want the goal so massive it evokes panic. The ideal goal is a goal of value that has worth, and will just stretch your capacity ever so slightly (enough to challenge you without scaring you).
Imagine setting goals and targets that are not relevant to what you want in life, not related to your personal identity or to your business growth. What would be the point of that? And so R in SMART represents Relevance in the goal setting process. You will be surprised how many people sidetrack their growth with goals that are not relevant to where they want to go in life. This D-tour approach to goal setting wastes resources, time and energy. It's simple; Pick goals that will move you in the right direction.
Deadlines and cut-off dates are important to the internal motivation process. The closer the deadline date gets the more emphasis your own internal system will place on achieving the goal. Time is represented by the last letter in SMART. People work better with deadlines. Oh, I know you may disagree, but let me ask you this: Have you picked out your tombstone yet? The older one gets the more relevant becomes the grave, the burial and what inscription is on the tombstone.
These five points are simple and to the point. They are clear rules that help neaten up and refine goal statements and objectives. The simplicity of SMART is beautiful and classic in its format. Just right for a revamp! Hahaha!
The SMART revamp was not intentional. The aim was not to rethink the five points. It is in my nature to examine, tweak and refine processes to increase efficiency and effectiveness. My nature is to ask one question - What if? This powerful question affords me the opportunity to apply creativity and innovation to different areas of my life. I applied "what if?" to SMART to give people an alternative.
It seems that different personality styles think about goals in different ways. SMART is simple and effective to me, but it may not be so bright for someone else. People that think in the bigger picture for example, may not enjoy the specific nature of SMART.
So, what are the changes? SMARTY is representation of the words: Special Destination, Measureable Steps; Attainable; Role Related; Time Bound and Yahoo.