SMART Goals 2020 – Setting ‘Specific’ Goals

SMART Goals 2020 – Setting ‘Specific’ Goals

One of the most frequent questions we get this time of year is about goal setting. People ask us how to set goals they’ll actually achieve, how to set goals that don’t make them feel embarrassed if they don’t meet them. Our reply is simple, and one talked about in many other places: make sure your goals are SMART. 

Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relatable, and Timely. 

Throughout the month of December, we’ll be sharing some tricks and tips for each of those letters and why we think each is so important. For most every goal you set in your life, personal or professional, asking yourself if it’s SMART can provide an excellent checklist to achievability. 

So, what do we mean by “specific”? Well… we mean that if your goal sounds really bland or wishy washy, you won’t get it done. Even bigger, audacious, wonderful goals need to be broken down into specific steps. 

An example of a poor goal, for instance, would be to hire more staff. Cool. How many staff? Why? When? What are they going to do? Do you have the budget? When’s the deadline? A stronger goal would be, “hire three more PR assistants by the end of Q2.” This is specific. (It also measurable, achievable, relatable, and timely – but we’ll get to those soon.)

In your personal life, a goal may be to read more books. Again, this is too big an idea to be immediately achievable. Even if that is a goal – and shouldn’t reading more always be a goal? – having the first step specifically outlined is important. So, we’d suggest to pick a specific number, or genre, or author. “I want to read 4 biographies of non-American leaders this year.” 

Other quick specific goals: 

  • Walk 20 minutes 3x week
  • Take Fridays off from social media apps
  • Plan four one-on-ones with key employees per quarter
  • Complete biennial review of SOP manual by end of Q1

That covers “specific” for now. Check back next week when we’ll have suggestions for “measurable.”


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