Smart Goals – Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound Explained

We are looking at the balance of last post.

S pecific
M easurable
A ttainable
R ealistic
T ime bound
As mentioned in the earlier example you need to be able to measure/compute/gauge/describe what you want. If you are not able to measure this, then how will you know you have achieved your goal? Let’s say I want to become the best human being in this world. How do I gauge this? It is a universal statement, isn’t it?
Your goals have to be measurable like:
I will become a millionaire rather than I want to become very rich, I will become a Project Manager rather than I want to reach very big management roles; I will build a duplex house worth 2 crores in Chennai rather than I want a big house in Chennai
You need to know the measure which you want to achieve. For some achieving 100% of sales target is good, for some 150%, few need to touch 200% of target that is achievement according to them. You need to know what gives you more satisfaction. You might be happy with easy jobs and less money; some may need challenging jobs with huge money. Nothing is correct or wrong, just check within yourself which gives you satisfaction and accordingly set your measure. You can claim that let me work through the goal and automatically when I am happy I will know that I have achieved it. Sometimes your measure can be very high. Unless you plan your measure in advance you might not be able to reach your goal faster. So therefore it is better to set a measure before you start and you can always change it as you travel through it.
In simple terms: Specific is the details, Measure is the quantity.
I will run the 10 km marathon next year without stopping once.
In the above statement ‘running a 10 km marathon’ is the measure and ‘without stopping once’ is the specific.
Many times we take stretched targets and end up burning ourselves. Depending upon our aspiration we need to set the attainability. For some eating 5 chocolates at a stretch is tough for others a dozen is less. Similarly certain tasks/ goals are easy for some, for others it is a stretch. If you keep it too less there is no fun, if you stretch it too much you get burnt at the end.
It is like having a meal. You know when you are not full, exactly full and over loaded. As long as you eat to the extent you are exactly full and leave a restaurant, you will always want to come back to that place many times. But if you eat too much you will feel disgusted after eating and might not end up in that restaurant for a long time. Have you felt like this?
Similarly you can decide based on the goal what is attainable, what will be the stretch and what is too easy to achieve. As discussed earlier here also you can set standards in the beginning and change it as you progress towards the goal depending on the situation if needed.
There is a minor difference between attainable and realistic. “I want to become the youngest billionaire in the world”. This has been attained by somebody right? Mark Zuckerberg. And many more might break his record. It is attainable, but is it realistic for you? Is your age lesser than 23? If not, you can’t be the youngest billionaire…
“I want to finish my UG graduation in 6 months”. You might have the capacity to study all subjects within six months but in reality it is not possible. Our education system requires you to complete 3 years for the same. Choose realistic goals so that you don’t feel lost at the end. It might sound dramatic when I say people might not be realistic about their goals, but some are not.…
Time Bound: 
Any goal which doesn’t have a time attached to it is not interesting. What happens if the test match is not restricted to 5 days? What is the importance of milliseconds for BOLT (Olympic track runner)? What is the importance of seconds for Schumacher (Formula 1 driver)? If there is no time frame attached, then do we get the thrill of winning? So having a targeted time to achieve your goal is important.
Goals should always be split into Short Term Goals (STG) and Long Term Goals (LTG). Your LTG should be ideally around 5 years. They can be split into how many ever STGs you want. Usually the STGs vary from 6 months to 1 year; again these depend on the task.
So what are you waiting for? Set your SMART goal, not only in your professional but also in your personal and social life. Remember “If you do not have a time frame or the effort to achieve something you can’t call it a goal, it is just fate “. – Ganesh Kumar S

All the best!!!

Ganesh Kumar S

Entrepreneur, Author, Certified Success Coach, Master NLP Practioner


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *