Taking a lead from my earlier study on ‘Goal Setting’, let us now examine the fundamental role of targets. Many masters, in their good judgment, have emphasized on the S.M.A.R.T. analogy for attaining goals. Let us relate this theory to the preliminary stage where we placed indicators in search for the ‘Goal’.
It is my firm conviction that targets should offer flexibility while the uncompromised focus remains essential for attaining lofty goals. If you took longer to reach the initial mark, makeup in the following stage.
In the earlier section we dealt with the five Ws of ‘when, where, what, whom, why and the unforgettable how’ as first six levels on this mission. Let us now carry on to the dynamics of setting these means of assessment. They will support us on the road ahead as not only milestones and distance markers but more in the form of a motivational source. You have the flexibility to determine as many points as you need on your mission to the goal. These will keep you advised of how far ahead you have arrived in this journey. Let us assume you arranged four such marks, each one is 20%. The decisive charge will be the rest 20%.
Each time you arrive at one of these indicators, you have cause to celebrate because you can test your course with accuracy. So, let us move over to S.M.A.R.T. targets now:
S is for specifics: Such a task will make up the outline of your design process where the five Ws come into play. This action requires you establish the goal so rest stops become simpler to recognize:
What goal do you propose to accomplish and what particular resources you will need to get there?
When do you propose to carry it out?
Where can you get the means?
Why is this goal so valuable to you?
Whom can you count on, for sustained loyalty and/or leadership when confronted with difficulties?
The remaining specific subject is how much flexibility can you put up with in the entire timeframe given to this plan? It could be anywhere from several months to a few years depending upon the magnitude of your goal
M means measurable: You must establish consistent measurement standards to maintain a record of your journey towards and/or accidental departure from the target. The corresponding five Ws will further help you make this table:
What is the condition of your preparation? Have you taken stock of available resources and confirmed arrangement for the ones you need?
When do you see yourself moving towards the following aim?
Where are your steps leading? Are you on the proper course?
Why do you keep getting away from your closest associates? Remember: “It is forever quiet at the top!”
Who would be the last person standing by your side even after all others deserted?
A signifies achievability: I have no motive to impede your creativity in any shape or fashion. I applaud you to establish a very lofty goal that serves as a dream. It is the attainable objectives that bring the target within easier grasp. You know how to eat an elephant: piece-by-piece, right? Here is the subsequent solution for you:
What challenges do you expect on this mission? Have you drawn up an emergency program to conquer the same? Name the principal obstacles.
When confronted with a hopeless hurdle, how could you stay motivated for continued progress?
Where do you foresee difficulties that present a significant risk? Name the provisions you have in store to deal with the same.
Why do you think you can reach the utmost, ambitious goal? Do you have what it demands?
Who will be the pilot guiding you through the passage? You will require somebody who has been there and done that, to be on your team to apprise of potential hazards or sharp spirals.
How do you propose to move ahead, upon tackling various obstacles? Give an outline of your proposed measures and abilities. This review will be your motivational model and support on the course. It will keep telling you of the difficulties lying ahead while providing you hope for the options you have dealt with.
R is about to the relevance of the whole operation: You must establish the significance of attaining this goal. If not, you will engage in a half-hearted approach. Such a condition will cause more damage than good. Only after you evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (the SWOT analysis), will your focus align with your intellectual faculties. Other faculties will begin to fall in line in due course. You need to identify solutions to the succeeding problems:
- What reason do you have to strive for this goal from here onwards? Can it not wait a few days, weeks, months, or even years, perhaps? Always remember: “One of These Days is None of These days.”
- When others question your intelligence in striving for this aim, would you have the strength to stand up and not allow them to discourage you?
- Where do you envision yourself upon attaining the valued aim: out of the frying pan into the fryer OR out of the community of dwarfs into that of the giants?
- Why any delay in taking this important decision can damage your interests more than providing any advantages? Identify as many legitimate reasons as you can. This will further support both, the desire and the obligation at the same time.
- Who will gain or lose the most by your move? Will the change be adverse or useful: if negative, for how long and if positive, in what capacity? The response to this challenge will strengthen your choice and help make the appropriate change with analytical pros and cons laid bare.
T helps us resolve the timeframe: An ambition not defined by time is a wishful exercise. How can you plan the journey without timetable? Time enables us to work out the start and finish metrics. It guides us in planning speed of travel, refueling arrangements, and duration of needed rest stops on the route, etc. Let us look into the five Ws related to this crucial step:
What is the timeframe for reaching the goal?
When should you start after carrying out all the preparations or continue doing them as you carry on?
Where blockages hinder your progress, can you take detours? Will it change the goal? The response will let you observe your focus on the absolute. Setting targets helps you concentrate on the goal. This study allows the opportunity to regulate the timeframe per constraint, without losing sight of the goal.
Why is a precise timetable the precondition? “Failure to Plan is a Sure Plan to Fail.” Until and unless you drew these lines on a calendar and placed markers to follow, your goal remains a pipedream. To engage in a meaningful change, you must learn to appreciate the time.
Who will decide when you have arrived at the goal? Your own performances upon reaching each point will present the ability for you to decide your progress. You will the first one to recognize when you come to the summit!
To Your Triumph!