How does one measure goals? This is a great question in the work place and for personal goals. Projects need organization. Individuals can certainly use milestones. Goals should be SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
A goal might be to hold a weekly project meeting with the key members of your team or to organize and run a continuous test program throughout the project.
The acronym SMART has a number of slightly different variations, which can be used to provide a more comprehensive definition for goal setting:
S - specific, significant, stretching
M - measurable, meaningful, motivational
A - achievable, agreed upon, attainable, acceptable, action-oriented
R - realistic, relevant, reasonable, rewarding, results-oriented
T - timely, time-based, tangible, trackable
This provides a broader definition that will help you to be successful in both your business and personal life. When you next run a project take a moment to consider whether your goals are SMART goals.
Specific: The goal should be described as specifically as possible. A goal of losing weight is not specific. A goal of losing twenty pounds from a current weight of one-ninety is specific. Even better is to set a specific target weight of one-seventy pounds.
Measurable: To be effective, the goal must be measurable. Obviously, weight is measurable, whereas being more generous, being a better parent, and working harder at your job are not measurable as stated. If your goal is in an area like the latter, such as being a better parent, identify some aspects of better parenting that are measurable. Perhaps spending 20 minutes each day in an activity that your child selects would be appropriate.
Achievable: There's an art to goal setting that revolves around the goal's difficulty. A goal too easy is not energizing. A goal too difficult seems hopeless. Both too easy and too difficult are goal setting no-no's. Set the level of challenge somewhere in between. A good way to decide that a goal is achievable but challenging is to visualize yourself reaching the goal. Can you see yourself there? Are you energized by seeing the vision? If both of these are not present, revisit your goal.
Realistic: Do you have the knowledge, skill set, and competency to reach your goal? If your goal involves weight loss, do you know all you should know about nutrition, calorie content, and metabolism to achieve your goal? If not, perhaps your first goal should be to gather this information.
Timely: Setting a deadline provides necessary positive tension to give you the energy to get on with it. The time frame you select should be realistic. Losing twenty pounds in twenty weeks is realistic, whereas losing it in five weeks is not only unrealistic but unhealthy.
The SMART technique of goal setting is especially in favor in business because it is a measurable process for performance appraisal, but SMART isn't so smart for everyone. SMART is essentially a left-brain tool, being easily analyzed, logical and linear.
You'll recognize the logical structure of SMART goal setting for its dependence on left-brain logical and analytical processes. But what if you're more right-brain, creatively oriented? That's where SAFE comes in. SAFE is an acronym (my left brain is still in play here) for a creative goal setting process especially useful for right-brain-oriented people. But left-brain, analytical and logical thinkers will also benefit from using SAFE.
The right side of our brains furnish our big-picture processes, helping us grasp total situations, reach overall insights, and see creative, alternative solutions. The right side also houses our faith-based spiritual thinking. These strengths are very powerful, so it makes sense that we can use them to our goal achievement advantage.
SAFE stands for
•See the end result
•Accept the end result
•Feel the end result
•Express the end result
See it, Accept it, Feel it, and Express it!
See it: Picture the future as it will be when your goal is achieved. See it in great detail and full color. If your goal is weight loss, see yourself standing in front of a mirror at your new weight. And looking good! See yourself being admired by others for your new appearance. Put yourself in clothing you might never wear now, but looks good on the new you.
Accept it: Accept means that you open yourself to attaining the goal AND you are 100% certain that it will occur. This is critical to goal attainment because it ensures that you have no doubts. You may not know exactly how you'll achieve your goal, but you have no doubt about achieving it; it will happen and you know it. There's some faith and magic at work here, so open yourself to the power of the Universe to bring you what you want.
Feel it: Goal attainment is more about attracting what we want than chasing what we want. Attraction is strengthened by combining the mental power of thinking about the goal (seeing and accepting) with the emotional power of the feelings you'll have when the goal is achieved. As you visualize yourself having achieved the goal, allow yourself to feel the accompanying emotions. The stronger the emotion the stronger the attraction to the goal.
Express it: Use your full powers of expression to cement your end result in place. Describe it verbally, telling yourself all about it. Write about it. Describe in vivid detail every aspect of how your life looks after the goal is achieved. Capture your feelings in words, too. Draw it, paint it, create a collage that describes and depicts it. Place your writing and pictures where you'll see them every day.
Using SAFE brings into play the full power of your brain, primarily building on right-brain strengths, but using left-brain functions too. Using SAFE in goal setting harnesses your full creative powers.
If you're naturally right-brain dominant, using SAFE will build on your strengths.
Thoughts? Hope this helps.
Sources: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.html, suite101.com/article/smart-goal-setting-a9911, and suite101.com/article/creative-goal-setting-a10194
Last edited by Eagle on Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.