Smart Goals and Productivity

Research suggests that individuals can achieve an improvement in work performance by as much as 20-25% simply by goal setting.

Does that statement make you want to read further? If this type of return on investment was the next big deal on Wall Street, I would have everyone’s attention.

Goal setting is not a new concept yet surprisingly, it is often ignored or forgotten. In this post, I’ll go over the concept of the S.M.A.R.T goal and how it can help you achieve a higher level of productivity.

Setting Goals and Resolutions

A few days ago I gave a presentation to a local association on goal setting. Most of the individuals who attended the presentation were well-educated, experienced working professionals who were considered very successful. After opening my presentation I asked the audience to raise their hands if they had set goals or resolutions for the New Year. About 60% raised their hands. My next question was “How many of you remember your goals and resolutions?” The hands came down to only a few.

Goal setting is basic in the overall realm of personal and organizational performance improvement. Anyone who wants to take the time can easily do it. With just a little information and a little time spent learning about the power of goal setting, you can significantly improve productivity and performance in your own personal and professional life.

During my presentation, I was so shocked to see people writing like crazy to capture everything I was saying as if I were offering them the secret to life. I’ve rarely seen an audience so enthralled with the information I was presenting, especially as I began to share with participants the concept of a SMART goal.

After seeing the value this audience received from learning about goal setting, I thought I would share this small piece of it with you – the SMART Goal.


S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting

This type of goal is a set of criteria that will help you define what specifically it is you want to achieve. It contains the following criteria:

Specific – Is the goal clear and well defined?

Measurable – Is the change or intended outcome measurable?

Action-oriented – Does the goal require actionable behavior?

Realistic – Can the goal be reasonably achieved?

Time-bound – Do you have a deadline for completion?

Having a goal is good, but having a “SMART” goal is even better. By using the SMART criteria and putting your goal setting objectives on paper, you will significantly improve your performance and productivity – maybe even by as much as 25%

Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if he is reaching out and striving for his goals.– Aristotle


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About the Author
Chris Stowell
Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.

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