SMART Goal Setting

SMART Goal Setting

When a company sets goals, it makes its priorities clear for everyone involved in the organization. The purpose of goal setting is to show employees what they need to focus on the most during the upcoming quarter, which then helps them to be able to prioritize their tasks. SMART goals are meant to address all of your major job responsibilities. Goals are intended to focus attention and resources on what is most important so that you can be successful in achieving your priorities. 

In this article

  • How to set SMART goals
  • Factors to consider when setting goals
  • Income and delegation of resources
  • Workforce Characteristics
  • Lifestyle Characteristics
  • Ownership of the Business

How to set SMART goals

SMART goal setting brings structure into your goals and objectives. SMART goals are established using a specific set of criteria that ensures your goals are attainable. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.


When setting a goal, be specific about what you want to accomplish. Think about this as the mission statement for your goal.


What metrics are you going to use to determine if you meet the goal? This makes a goal more tangible because it provides a way to measure progress. If it’s a project that’s going to take a few months to complete, then set some milestones by considering specific tasks to accomplish. Milestones are a series of steps along the way that when added up will result in the completion of your main goal.


This focuses on how important a goal is to you and what you can do to make it attainable and may require developing new skills and changing attitudes. The goal is meant to inspire motivation. 


Relevance refers focusing on something that makes sense with the broader business goals. For example, if the goal is to launch a new program or service, it should be something that’s in alignment with the overall business/department objectives. Your team may be able to launch a new program, but if your division is not prioritizing launching that type of new programs, then the goal would not be relevant.


Anyone can set goals, but if it lacks realistic timing, chances are you’re not going to succeed. Providing a target date for deliverables is imperative. Ask specific questions about the goal deadline and what can be accomplished within that time period. If the goal will take three months to complete, it’s useful to define what should be achieved half-way through the process. Providing time constraints also creates a sense of urgency.

Factors to Consider When Setting Goals

Income and Delegation of Resources

Your finances play a huge part in the growth and delegation of resources within your business. Where would you like your business to be in three to five years? Will you measure your financial position in earnings, revenue, or internal rate of return? 

Workforce Characteristics

What types of skills and abilities will your workforce have? Will they have special talents that help differentiate them from your competitor’s workforce? 

Lifestyle Characteristics

Are you willing to travel extensively or to move? How many hours are you willing to work? Which assets are you willing to risk?

Ownership of the Business

How do you plan on facilitating ownership within your business? Will your company be public, private, or have an employee stock plan?