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Abstract plans without concrete deadlines can hardly be called goals and unlikely will help you to stay accomplished. But make those plans Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound, and you'll increase your odds for prosperity. With our SMART Goals presentation, you can verify that all your professional and personal goals are achievable, identify the metrics that define success and draw a roadmap to get to those metrics.

Slide highlights

Open your presentation with the list of causes for project failure to emphasize the importance of setting SMART goals. These causes include ill-defined project scope, bad management of expectations and, of course, poorly defined goals.

Use this slide to set project objectives. Naturally, you'd want the objectives to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound, but keep in mind that they should be set before the project starts and can't be written in isolation.

With this slide, build your SMART goals tree diagram by defining your broad and specific goals, indicators, measures, and targets. Teams that use tree diagrams to create SMART goals describe their collaboration as more focused and solid.

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A Harvard Business School study found that 10 years after graduation, the 3% of graduates who wrote down their goals earned 10 times more than the other 97%. That is why it is crucial to set and record goals, especially at the beginning and the end of a new year. In his article for Forbes, Anthony Tropea, Co-Founder of Ellicott Realty Group, explains how setting SMART goals can be beneficial in different aspects of your life.

Professional life

Use SMART goals to evaluate your career or venture from various angles. Reflect on the previous year results to see how you can do better in the year ahead, then ask yourself: What can be improved? What measures can be taken to advance in these areas? Then set your SMART goals. "Eliminate to-do items that you tested and proved to be unprofitable or useless. Also, look at new advances and technologies that you expect to improve your business approach. Strive to implement items that will allow you to overcome existing challenges deemed unattainable in the past; this is a concrete path for sustained growth," Tropea says.

Personal life

When reviewing your personal goals, look at your relationships with clients, family, friends, colleagues and staff, and consider your everyday life experiences. Find where you need to make adjustments to become the best version of yourself for them. Focus on setting SMART goals for the main components of your life: health and wellness, personal finances and growth.

Charity and community

Another Harvard Business School study found that respondents who spent more money on others were much happier in life. To achieve greater happiness in the year ahead, set an annual SMART goal to benefit charities and causes in your community. You might start by considering charitable opportunities that mean something to your [work or business], Tropea says.

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HubSpot put together the following guidelines for setting SMART goals:

  • Use specific wording – when writing SMART goals, keep in mind that they are "specific." "Get better at my job," isn't a SMART goal, the HubSpot team says, because it isn't specific. More effective questions to ask yourself would be: What am I getting better at? How much better do I want to get?
  • Include measurable goals – you should be able to "measure" your SMART goals, meaning you should be able to track and quantify the progress. "Increase the blog's traffic from email," isn't a SMART goal because the increase can't be measured. Ask instead: How much email marketing traffic should I strive for?
  • Aim for realistically attainable goals – make sure that the X-percentage metric is not divorced from reality. "If your blog traffic increased by 5% last month, try to increase it by 8-10% this month, rather than a lofty 25%. It's crucial to base your goals off of your own analytics, not industry benchmarks," the experts say.
  • Pick relevant goals that relate to your business – "relevant" SMART goals must be tied to your venture's overall business goals and the industry's current trends. Ask yourself: Will growing traffic from email lead to more revenue? Is it really possible to significantly boost our blog's email traffic with the current campaigns?
  • Make goals time-bound – "time-bound" SMART goals keep you on schedule. The HubSpot team says: "Attaching deadlines to your goals puts a healthy dose of pressure on your team to accomplish them. This helps you make consistent and significant progress in the long term."

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