The first study on the power of setting goals and organizational performance originated in the 1960s when Dr. Edwin Locke published a paper entitled “Toward a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives.” In 1981, George Doran published a work in the November issue of Management Review that expounded upon Locke’s findings called “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management Goals and Objectives.” He recognized that companies need to achieve goals and objectives but often established goals that were too broad to have any meaningful impact.
He explained in detail that goals are not vague, inarticulate things. Rather, they are measurable things that need to be achieved to move an organization forward. He was the first to express a way to define, measure, and ultimately achieve goals. His formulation seems simple now, but at the time, it was completely novel. Goals should have the following characteristics:
- Specific; when writing your goals, make sure they answer these five questions: who, what, where, why, and how?
- Measurable; establish a metric to determine if a goal is met, and provide tangible evidence to show the goal was accomplished.
- Attainable; stretch yourself so that you feel challenged, but you also need to possess the appropriate knowledge and skills to achieve your goals. Be realistic.
- Relevant; is reaching your goal relevant to you? Does it align with your family’s goals or your other personal goals?
- Time-bound; your goal needs to have a time frame in which it should be accomplished.
We also believe that writing your goals down is critical to meeting them. You can read more about that in the Forbes article “Neuroscience Explains Why You Need To Write Down Your Goals If You Actually Want To Achieve Them.” Additionally, you can use a vision board as a tool to help clarify, concentrate, and maintain focus on a specific goal. If you do, be sure to put it somewhere you can see it so you can’t just forget about it later.
If you’d like to learn more about the systems, strategies, tools, and support that we provide our agents to help them perform at their highest level, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.