Goal Setting Guidelines

SMART goal setting guidelines are a very easy-straightforward process – unfortunately a lot of managers don’t use them.

SMART is a simple five-step guideline to avoid vague goals that lead no-where.

SMART goal setting guidelines help you to keep your priorities straight, they help you focus on results rather than on the process, and they help you to stay on track with the overall business’ alignment.

SMART stands for:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Time bound

Each one of the goals you give to each one of your employees – and to yourself – must have all these five characteristics:


What do you need to accomplish? What is the outcome you need to achieve? Is it clear to others what you are trying to achieve?


What are the performance targets that you are aiming for? How will you know that the goal has been met? What are your quantitative or qualitative measures that you can use to help you know when you will have reached expected results?


Do you have all the necessary resources to attain this goal, despite all the foreseeable obstacles?


Are the goals directly related to the business goals? Do they address key customers (internal and/or external) requirements?

Time bound:

Do you have regular dates set up to review your progress? How long will it take you to achieve this goal?

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Grab all the goals that each one of your employees currently has, filter each one of them through these criteria, and see if they pass the test. If they do not, correct each one of them until they do.

Lack of clear guidelines is a primary cause of low performance.

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To keep on learning about leadership skills, go back to the previous page (or click here ), and continue reading in a sequential order.

If you would like your executives to learn about SMART goal setting guidelines through our speaking or consulting services, please click on this link.

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