Everyone sets goals, whether they are measurable goals like completing a project, personal aspirations like traveling the world, or even workplace targets. Unfortunately, setting a goal isn’t enough to get you over the line. This is why only eight percent of people achieve their goals.

So, how do the high achievers do it?

By setting measurable goals, keeping track of them, and progressing towards these goals each day.

To help you out, I’ve put together a simple guide on measuring goals. I’ll show you a SMART framework you can use to create measurable goals, and how you can track your goals’ progress.

What Are SMART Goals?

In order to easily measure a goal, you should start with SMART goal setting. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. They help set clear intentions, so you can continue staying on course with long term goals.

When you’re writing measurable goals, you need to work through each of the terms in the acronym to ensure it’s realistic and achievable.

It’ll help you set specific and challenging goals that eliminate vagueness and guesswork. It’ll also have a clear deadline so you know when you need to complete it by.

SMART Goals: Definition and Examples | Indeed.com

Here’s what SMART stand for:

Specific

Your goals need to be specific. Without specificity, your goal will feel much harder to complete and stick to.

It should also have a specific outcome. Without the outcome, it will be hard to focus and stay on task with your goals.

Two researchers, Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, found that when people set specific yet challenging goals, it led to increased performance 90 percent of the time.

Here’s an example of a specific goal: Increase sales by 10% in 90 days. 

Measurable

You need to be able to measure these goals.

Examining a key metric and quantifying your goals will help track your progress. It will also identify the mark at which you’ve completed your task.

Measurable can mean many different things, but generally speaking, you want to be able to objectively measure success with a goal.

Whether it’s via analytical data, performance measures, or direct revenue, ensure your goal is quantifiable.

Achievable

Given the time and resources at your disposal, is it realistically possible to achieve the overall goal you’ve laid out?

For example, if your goal is to increase your company’s Facebook followers from 10,000 to 20,000, putting a limit of one month will make this goal difficult to achieve. However, with a time-frame of six months, the goal becomes much more realistic.

You’ll also need to look into if you have staff members who are able to devote time to social media management. If not, this could be a limiting factor that makes the goal less achievable.

Relevant

Why do you want to reach this goal? Is it important for you or your organization?

Once you identify the key benefit, add that into your goal so it helps your team members understand the importance of the goal and how it contributes to the bigger picture.

Timely

Measurable goals should include a deadline so that there is an understanding of when and how things need to progress. Without a target date, the goal may suffer from poor time management and never come to fruition.

The time frame will also create a sense of urgency. It functions as a healthy tension that will springboard you and your team to action.

If you want to set yourself a smart goal and achieve it effectively, get the free guide The Dreamers’ Guide for Taking Action and Making Goals Happen. In the guide, you will learn how to reach your gaol by planning your actions. Grab your free guide here.

Examples of Measurable Goals

Now that we know what a SMART goal is, it’s time to help you make your own measurable goals and objectives.

Specific

A specific goal should identify:

  • What’s the project or task at hand?
  • Who’s responsible for the task? If you’re breaking the task down, who is responsible for each section?
  • What steps do you need to complete to reach your goal?

Here’s a bad example:

I want to have a better job.

This example is poor because it’s not specific enough. Sure, it’s specific to your work, but it doesn’t explain whether you want a promotion, a raise, a career change, etc.

What about your current job do you want to improve? Do you want to change companies, or are you striving for more work-life balance?

Let’s transform this into a good example.

I want to find a new role at a Fortune 500 company that improves my current salary and work-life balance.

If you’re not too sure what the specific outcome should be, you can use mind maps to brainstorm all the possible options.

Measurable

Goals need to be measurable in a way where you can present tangible, concrete evidence. You should be able to identify what you will experience when you reach that goal.

Ideally, you should go for a metric or quantity, as quantifying goals makes it easier to track.

Here’s a bad example:

I will improve the quality of my work.

Here’s a good example:

I will improve the number of projects I complete on a month basis by a factor of 2. 

This goal is now easily measured. If you’ve completed 2 more projects this month than last month, you have officially improved the quality of your work, as well as your productivity.

If you’re having difficulty measuring your goals, you can use a goal tracking app. They’re a great way to measure your progress, especially if they are time-based.

Here are five methods you can use to measure your progress towards the goal:

  1. Keep a record: Have you recorded all your actions in a journal or Excel sheet?
  2. Assess your numbers/evidence: Are you breaking your commitments?
  3. Create a checklist: Can you simplify your tasks?
  4. Stay on course: Are you moving forward with your plan smoothly?
  5. Rate your progress: Where can you improve?

Achievable

When it comes to being able to achieve your measurable goals, you should stick to Pareto’s principle. This is the famous 80/20 rule.

Using all of your energy on each piece of the puzzle may not be the best tactic. Pick things that give you the most results. Then, work on the next objective or goal once you’ve completed your first ones.

Here’s a bad example:

To improve my work-life balance, I will reduce the time I spend at work.

This may be possible, but since you haven’t specified which parts of your work you will spend less time on, this may not ultimately be achievable.

Here’s a good example:

To improve my work-life balance, I will delegate parts of projects to other team members. 

If you know you have team members willing to step in and help, this is definitely achievable and should win you some more time at home.

Relevant

It’s always important to examine your goal to ensure it’s relevant and realistic to what you’re doing in your life or business.

Here’s a bad example:

I want to be promoted to CMO because I need more responsibility.

In this case, it’ll be unlikely for you to receive a promotion if the purpose and reason behind your goals are not strong.

Here’s a good example:

I want to be promoted to CMO because I enjoy digital marketing. I’m currently excelling in X, Y, and Z digital marketing practices, and I believe that via a promotion I can further grow the business via X, Y and Z.

The why will help you push through in moments when you just want to throw in the towel, and also provide more motivation for your goals.

Timely

Having a due date helps your team set micro goals and milestones towards measurable goals. That way, you can plan the workload throughout your days, weeks, and months to ensure that your team won’t be racing against the clock.

Let’s start with a bad example:

I will grow our marketing team in order to expand our digital presence.

This is a great idea, but when will all of this happen?

Let’s turn this into a great example, instead:

Within the next month I will increase marketing revenue by XX%. Then, within three months I will expand the digital team, hire two new employees, and scale it. 

The Bottom Line

If you want to create measurable goals, be SMART about it. Start with a specific outcome in mind; make sure it’s measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely to your existing schedule.

While 92 percent of people fail to reach their goals, you can be the exception. Reach your goals by setting targets and objectives alongside your team and discover just how successful you can be.

Need extra help? The Make It Happen Handbook is an effective tool to guide you through the challenging journey towards reaching your goal. Check out the handbook now!

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Featured photo credit: Green Chameleon via unsplash.com


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