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Categories: Entrepreneur

Making Goals SMART and Time Bound

Thrilling Thursday – it is thrilling to know your goals are SMART because they are time bound.

For the past several weeks, the Thursday blog posts have been about having SMART goals, that means we have goals that are:

Time Bound

This week’s post is about making our goals time bound. It is important for us to set time limits and schedule our goals because no matter how specific, measurable, attainable and realistic our goals are, we will never achieve them satisfactorily unless we set a time limit for success.

The Winans “It’s Time”

Let’s look at 2 goals

1.     I want to prepare to run the Philadelphia Marathon, so I will train

2.     I want to successfully run in the Philadelphia Marathon in November of 2012 so I have dedicated the next 20 weeks to a training program that gradually increases my strength and endurance

Look at goal number one. True, it is a plan, but it is not a SMART goal. It is missing several elements that make a goal SMART. We do not know when the race is that this person wants to train for, so we are missing the specifics. We do not know the person’s current level of fitness so we are unable to determine if this goal is attainable or how realistic it is. The final thing that keeps this goal from being SMART is the fact that we do not know when this person wants to accomplish this goal. There are no time limits so there is no way of knowing when the goal will be finished.

Now, let’s look at goal number two. It is specific, this person has listed a specific date and place for the race to be run. The goal is measurable in many ways, a marathon is 26 miles, this marathon is taking place in November of 2012 and a specified training period has been listed. It  is attainable, a properly trained human being is able to run a marathon after completing  training program of increasing intensity. The goal is realistic because if the plan described is followed, a person would be able to run the Philadelphia Marathon in November of 2012. Finally, the goal is time bound. A clear date for completion has been listed so failure or success by a date certain is assured. Goal number two is a SMART goal.

It is not easy to create SMART goals, it is hard work. In the end it is very much worth the effort it took to go from dream to plan to accomplishment. So the question for you this Thrilling Thursday is are you putting time boundaries on your goals to make them SMART?