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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.

Thoughts? Hope this helps.

Sources: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.html, http://suite101.com/article/smart-goal-setting-a9911

Thanks for those tips golden eagle.

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