It is scientifically proven that setting goals will make you more effective and achieve positive outcomes. Even within those who set goals, you will find those who are more likely to succeed as they take extra steps. They write down their goals, communicate the importance of their goals to their team and follow up with them regularly. There are even those who use the SMART goal-setting method. Today, we are encouraging you to up your chances for continued success in goal setting by adding two more steps to make them SMARTER goals.

Original SMART Goals

If you’re not familiar with the original SMART goals terminology, ensure to review these before moving ahead:

  • Specific – Precisely define subjective terms such as “improve.” Break large company/department goals down into several other goals.
  • Measureable – Goals should have a specific level of improvement or completion. You should be able to define when you are half way finished, three quarters finished, etc.
  • Attainable – Keep goals realistic. Unattainable goals can have the opposite effect on success and team motivation.
  • Relevant – Ensure your goals are valuable to either the customer, team members, company, environment, etc. Goals without real impact only waste company and team member time.
  • Time-Bound – Goals should have an expected completion time or assigned time to be measured.

How To Make SMARTER Goals

All it takes to turn your SMART goals into SMARTER goals is to add two more steps.

Evaluate – The E in SMARTER Goals

Our first added step to turn SMART goals into SMARTER goals is to add the important step of evaluation. There is a direct correlation between something’s health and the level of evaluation it receives. There are many methods of evaluation available:

  • SWAT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)
  • RWMC (Right, Wrong, Missing, Confusing)
  • Process Evaluation
  • Outcome Evaluation
  • Economic Evaluation

Choose the best method for your situation and reach out to other staff as appropriate to ensure you have a clear picture of the situation. As you reach the time period assigned to each goal, come back to that goal and review your progress. Celebrate with your team if the goal has been completed! Then consider if a follow up goal would be valuable. Long term or particularly important goals might need added points of evaluation in the middle of the assigned time. When evaluating, keep the primary purpose of the goal in mind, as often times it becomes apparent that there is a more important or more specific goal after receiving new information.

Readjust – The R in SMARTER Goals

The final step is to make readjustments, when necessary. Let’s say that you set a goal to raise customer acquisition. If numbers are coming in short, it may be necessary to move budgets or restructure to achieve the desired results. It may even be necessary to change the goal altogether to ensure it remains attainable and stays a positive motivator to the team. 

Staying ahead of problems and responding to them in advance rather than reacting to situations is what separates a leader from a manager. That’s why it is so important for you, as a leader, to evaluate and readjust goals regularly. Be sure to check out A Better Leader if you need help with any of your leadership issues.

About the Author Jennifer Orechwa

With over 25 years in the industry, and now as IRI's Director of Business Development, Jennifer has gained a unique perspective on what it takes to build a culture of engagement. By blending a deep understanding of labor and employee relations with powerful digital marketing knowledge, Jennifer has helped thousands of companies achieve behavioral change at a cultural level.

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