Measurable Goals the “M” in SMART Goals

Goals are the destination points which determine our journey’s pathway.

Going through life without a defined set of goals is like taking a road trip to nowhere. You may have a fun and productive journey, but you will never quite know where you are going to end up.

Setting goals and defining the end points to where we are going is one of the first steps to taking hold of your future.

Set Measurable Goals
Your goals should be measurable. Measurability is the key to determining your progress in your journey.

This step in goal setting is important. It is the point to which we are able to judge just how far we are within our journey to accomplish the goal. Many people tend to leave this step out . I am not quite sure why measurement is left out. One reason could be due to the lack fully understanding exactly what we seek to accomplish.

You may want more money, to be recognized, and to succeed at what you set out to do. But have you stopped to really consider at what point you will be able to know when you have finally achieved these things?

Below is the sample goal that I am using as an example of the type of goal formats you should be using.

Sample Goal

Become a recognized authority in internet marketing for small to mid-size companies
by May 2013, defined by my ability to generate at least $10k/month in receivables.


What are the components of this goal that are measurable?

  • recognized authority
  • small to mid-size companies
  • May 2013
  • $10k/month in receivables

As you read through these articles on SMART goals you will see that different components of each goal will overlap within the SMART segments. Already you will see that the four components listed above were also listed in the Specific segment as well. Why is this? Components can be both specific and measurable, or specific and time bound, etc. Overlap is ok.

The four components above are measurable.

recognized authority- Determining success on this can be subjective, but doable. Authority can come in several ways here.

  • Do groups seek you out to speak on panels?
  • Are your writings referenced by trade journalists or by others seeking validation of a point through reference to you?
  • Are you sharing your knowledge through teaching or mentoring others?
  • The rate that you are able to charge for your services or talks can also be a measurement of achievement in this area.

small to mid-size companies- Here the goal is set up to not just cover one segment of an industry, but actually two segments- both small and medium size companies. Each segment probably has its own unique challenges and requirements. Becoming an authority for one will not necessarily make you an authority for the other.

May 2013- By May of 2013 the goal will have been achieved or not. There is no fudging on this one. By including a date or time period within every goal, you add another layer of measurement along your journey.

This component plays a key role as you set out to achieve your goals. Most big goals require multiple steps and even relationships along the way to in order to complete them. Formally inserting a date into the goal, sets the foundation to which now you can begin to construct a milestone timeline as you accomplish steps to achieve the goal.

$10k/month in receivables- Clearly any amount of revenue that is less than or more than $10k/month by May 2013 will tell you if you fell short of your goal or surpassed it- and by how much.

Setting a revenue component is not necessary for every goal. What is necessary is trying to insert something within the goal that allows you to measure the delta of success or failure.

Other examples might include-

  • # of publications that quote/reference you
  • # of clients producing X$ per month
  • # of job offers
  • amount of savings

By now hopefully the structure and components of a good goal are becoming more clear.

In the next article we will look at making sure the goal is attainable.

© 2011 Rex Humphries

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