Regardless of our profession we all have goals. As 2015 approaches this is a great time to review our progress towards goals we have set in the past. If we have not sat down before to state our goals now is a good time. A great template to follow is the SMART goals template. A few of us have used this but we don’t know where originated it, so unfortunately we can’t give credit. But trust us, it is a powerful tool.
SMART is an acronym that describes that five attributes of a goal that make it achievable and no longer just a dream.
A SMART goal is:
Specific: It identifies a departmental goal, and/or overall goals and strategic plans. This part of the goal identifies who is involved and what is involved.
Measurable: Peter Drucker, author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” said, “if you can measure it you can manage it.” There should be metrics so you can track your progress toward meeting your goal. You can track by dollars, time, wins, etc.
Attainable: Goals should be realistic, but at the same time they need to be challenging and force you out of your comfort zone.
Relevant (results oriented): The goals are aligned with current tasks and projects and focus in one defined area; include the expected result.
Time framed: All goals need a deadline. They cannot be open-ended or we will keep putting them off indefinitely. Don’t set the deadline to far in the future. Tim Ferriss, author of the “Four-Hour Work Week”is a big proponent of the setting extremely short deadlines to create a sense or urgency.
Not a SMART goal:
- Add to my company’s bottom line by reducing welding costs
Does not identify a measurement or time frame, nor identify why the improvement is needed or how it will be used.
- Improve my company’s profit margin by 5% by reducing welding costs related to over-welding and excessive gas usage by $45,000 annually. This will be accomplished by the end of the 2015 fiscal year.
Specific: Identifies the who (company) and the what (profit margin)
Measurable: Provides values (5% increase to net profit)
Attainable: The goal is realistic – a 5% increase to net profit and a reduction in cost by eliminating $45,000 in waste should be feasible.
Relevant (results oriented): This goal focuses on the overall goal which is to make a profit. It is assumed that welding operations are integral to this company and the measurable values are certainly result oriented.
Time framed: This goal has a set due date (end of current fiscal year 2015).
Also, although the end/beginning a of the year prompts us to write down our goals this should be an ongoing process. Goals need to be modified constantly. This is why it is important to be able to track and measure them.
Do you have any SMART goals for 2015?