Get SMART in 2011


So I’ve started to hear people mutter those wonderful seasonal words, “My New Year’s resolution for this year is going to be...”. If you’re anything like me, you can’t even remember what you said your resolution for this year was.

That’s because change doesn’t tend to happen just like that. It has to be something you really want, that you’ve taken the time to think about and that you want for yourself not because you think you ‘should’ in line with the expectations of others.

If you are keen to change something in 2011, the goals you set yourself need to be SMART. Lots of people have heard this word in the workplace (usually in a horrible appraisal!) but few apply it to their everyday lives where it can be just as useful.

So if you’re considering a change in 2011, have a look through the below and see if it helps break down your goals into manageable chunks for the New Year.

S (specific) - Your main goal needs to be broken down into specific chunks/actions.

M (measurable) - Give yourself a goal/action that can be measured on a scale or by numbers.

A (achievable) - Your goal needs to be something that you know you can achieve in the time period you desire. Try not to load yourself up with things you want to achieve otherwise you might get disheartened or stressed.

R (realistic) - Following on from being achievable, your goal needs to be realistic. Taking into account all your other commitments (social, financial, work etc) what is going to be a realistic goal for you?

T (time-bounded) - Give yourself a deadline to achieve the goal you’ve set yourself. Again, this needs to be a realistic and achievable one. It can of course be re-visited and revised and don’t be too hard on yourself if that happens. Life can throw the unexpected at you and sometimes priorities change and that is OK.

So, a SMART example might be:

“I want a new job” could become “By the end of January I want to have re-written my CV. By the end of February I want to have sent it off to five recruitment agencies”.

Happy New Year! Have fun.

Based on the work of Doran (1981).

Alice Stapleton

About Alice

Alice coaches those who want to change career but don’t know what they want to do instead. She offers Career Coaching designed to help graduates, early to mid-level career-changers, and parents returning to work gain a clear vision of what career is right for them, and how to achieve it. She is also an accredited Coach Supervisor, and host of The Career Change Diaries podcast.