How to set SMART goals for 2022

The start of a new year often brings a sense of renewal and a desire to make changes both personally and professionally. 

And whether you’re setting personal professional goals or goals for your organization, it is important to include a plan for achieving those goals. It is easier to succeed when goals include clearly defined and realistic objectives.

One popular method is SMART, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound. Using the SMART method provides a way to measure progress and allows you to evaluate what you are trying to achieve by assessing what it will take to attain a specific goal.

It is a well-respected approach to goal setting that many believe helps bring a focus that is often neglected when embarking on a goal-setting exercise.

Let’s take a look at the five elements of setting SMART goals.

1. Specific – Make goals specific and narrow, allowing for more effective planning.

Specific goals are effective goals. When setting specific goals, ask (and answer) questions like what needs to be accomplished? What steps need to be taken to achieve it? Who is responsible for each step?

Specific goals include quantifiable terms and determine what actions are needed to achieve them.

2. Measurable – Define how you will measure your progress, re-evaluating when necessary.

Once you have a specific goal, the next step is to evaluate how you will measure your progress in achieving it and the actions you plan on implementing to help further you reach your goal. This could mean assigning deadlines for each action and tracking completions dates.

Assessing progress can also serve as a strong motivator. It can help you and your team stay focused, meet deadlines and can also build excitement as you get closer to achieving your goal.

3. Attainable – Ensure goals can be reasonably accomplished within a specific timeframe.

The more realistic and achievable your goals are, the more likely you are to keep working to achieve them. 

When assessing how attainable your goals are, you’ll want to consider how long it will take, any potential obstacles and measurement methods.

However, if you’ve set a specific and measurable goal, it’s more likely to be attainable because it allows you to see exactly how you will progress in achieving your end goal. Taking the time to assess if your goal can be reasonably accomplished within a specific timeframe allows you an opportunity to revise or further define your goal and make any changes to make it more attainable.

While there is nothing wrong with setting ambitious goals, you also want to make sure you are setting yourself, and your team, up for success.

4. Relevant – Goals should align with long-term objectives and overall values.

Setting relevant goals means you are looking at them in the context of the bigger picture. It ensures that the goals matter to you and your team and they align with any other goals and relate directly to your overall goals and values.

In determining the relevancy of a goal, you’ll want to assess the timing, how it fits with other efforts and needs, and if it is applicable in the current socio-economic environment. Is now the right time to start pursuing this specific goal?

5. Time-based – Set a realistic end date.

Every goal needs a deadline. Setting a time-based goal means that you have a schedule for achieving your goal that includes dates for meeting each milestone and an end date achieving the end goal.

Start by determining if this is a short or long-term goal. Next, determine a schedule, setting a timeline for meeting all associated deadlines. Building time-related parameters into your goal will help keep everyone on track.

When setting a timeline, keep in mind that it should be realistic and allow for opportunities to adjust both your goal and the timeline along the way.

Using the SMART method when it comes to goal setting in 2022 will help keep you and your team motivated, on track and achieving your goals.

Share our post