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RAD IDEA: SMART Goals

By John Wallace

Believe it or not, 2020 is over and 2021 is here. And, what comes with every new year? That’s right … goals!

At MD Publishing we use SMART goals and I recommend that approach to anyone who is serious about meeting their goals.

The use of SMART goals is a popular approach. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. Each ingredient in the SMART recipe works with the other ingredients to create a goal that is carefully planned, clear and trackable.

The following is information from Indeed.com that explains more about the SMART goals approach and how to craft goals for 2021.

S = Specific

Be as clear and specific as possible with what you want to achieve. The more narrow your goal, the more you’ll understand the steps necessary to achieve it.

M = Measurable

What evidence will prove you’re making progress toward your goal? For example, if your goal is to earn a position managing a development team for a startup tech company, you might measure progress by the number of management positions you’ve applied for and the number of interviews you’ve completed. Setting milestones along the way will give you the opportunity to re-evaluate and course-correct as needed. When you achieve your milestones, remember to reward yourself in small but meaningful ways.

A = Achievable

Have you set an achievable goal? Setting goals you can reasonably accomplish within a certain timeframe will help keep you motivated and focused. Using the above example of earning a job managing a development team, you should know the credentials, experience and skills necessary to earn a leadership position. Before you begin working toward a goal, decide whether it’s something you can achieve now or whether there are additional preliminary steps you should take to become better prepared.

R = Relevant

When setting goals for yourself, consider whether or not they are relevant. Each of your goals should align with your values and larger, long-term goals. If a goal doesn’t contribute toward your broader objectives, you might rethink it. Ask yourself why the goal is important to you, how achieving it will help you and how it will contribute toward your long-term goals.

T = Time-based

What is your goal timeframe? An end-date can help provide motivation and help you prioritize. For example, if your goal is to earn a promotion to a more senior position, you might give yourself six months. If you haven’t achieved your goal in that timeframe, take time to consider why. Your timeframe might have been unrealistic, you might have run into unexpected roadblocks or your goal might have been unachievable.

John Wallace is the editor at MD Publishing.

Share your RAD IDEA via an email to editor@mdpublishing.com.

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