Last time, we looked at SMART goals, what they are, and how to make your goals specific. Now, to the ‘M‘ part of SMART, how to make your goals MEASURABLE.
What it comes down to is this: What quantifiable benchmark will you use in order to tell whether you have, or have not, achieved your goal. Or, if your goal is a little less black-and-white, how will you measure to what degree you have achieved your goal?
To re-visit an idea we used in the last post, we started out with the notion of “I’d like to be richer”. But, as we said, finding yourself ten pence richer than you were this morning is hardly a cause for celebration for most people.
How much richer do you want to be? By when do you want to achieve this goal? And at what cost? (Have you truly achieved your goal if you die, go broke, or otherwise ruin your life in the effort?)
When we adjusted our goal to “I want my business to generate one million pounds in profit”, that’s when we made the goal measurable. If the business does generate £1M in profit, then we know that that we have achieved that goal. If it generates less than £1M, the goal has been missed.
The above is still not a great SMART goal, as it gives no notion as to when this goal should be achieved, nor how it might be achieved. But at least we’re moving in the right direction.
A goal that is measurable will answer these sorts of questions:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is achieved?
- How can I quantify to what degree the goal has been achieved?
- What things will indicate that the goal is being achieved?
It is worth bearing in mind that a goal can still be specific and measurable without necessarily having a rigid ‘black and white’ outcome. In some cases it may be deemed preferable to specify an acceptable range for the outcome of the goal. An example of this would be along the lines of “Departmental energy usage must be reduced by 15% to 25% within the next financial year.”
Now that is starting to sound like a SMART goal, but a number of factors would have to be considered before we can be certain that this goal ticks the next box for making SMART goals. Is it achievable?
And that’s a tale for the next post.
To your success.