Remember SMART goals?
They are goals you set – in your work or your personal life – that are:
Making sure your goals are SMART is an effective and systematic way to plan for success, or progress to the next level you want to reach.
If you employ or manage others, you’ll see far better results if you set – or help them set – smart goals, rather than giving them vague directions or tasks.
There is another very important aspect of the goal-setting process.
The Human Factor
When you construct SMART goals, it’s easy to fall into a common trap. A sharp focus on the goal and the SMART steps needed to achieve it can sometimes divert attention from another very important component in the process: the human being at the centre of it.
I’ve devised a way to keep some important person-centred concepts ‘front-of-mind’ as you set smart goals: I call it MOVE.
What is MOVE?
It’s an easy-to-remember way of reminding yourself of the essential skills, qualities and practices you need as you work to achieve the goals that are important to you.
MOVE stands for:
MOVE encourages you to:
- think about yourself, your situation, and your experiences
- ask important questions about yourself and about what you want
- explore your ideas (thinking) and habits (doing)
- adapt your ideas and habits to your goals
- take purposeful action to achieve the goals
MOVE is all about you.
In other words, it tends to ‘move’ you right into the picture.
MOVE is closely connected with the SMART aspects of your goal.
Make a SMART MOVE
M is for MOTIVATION
- Why do I want to reach this goal?
- Why is it important?
- How will I keep myself on track?
Motivation is what keeps you going. Success motivates you even more. So do incentives. You might give yourself a small reward when each Measurable step towards your goals is achieved.
One of the best motivators is the next quality …
O is for ORGANISATION
- How can I organise my time and my efforts most efficiently?
It’s easy to be put off when a task seems huge or really difficult. The secret is to divide it into Attainable segments, just as you would break up a long journey into small, Specific steps. Along the way you have Timely checkpoints. It’s like having a detailed map to follow when you take an unfamiliar trip.
V is for VISION
- What will success look like?
- Can I see myself achieving it?
- How will I feel when I achieve it?
Some people visualise the difficulties along the road to achieving a goal. That can create negative thoughts. Successful people visualise the biggest obstacle they are likely to face and then ‘watch’ themselves overcoming it. That’s positive.
Visualisation also makes a goal seem more Relevant and is another source of motivation.
It doesn’t work by itself, though. You need the final quality.
E is for EFFORT
Just thinking about, or visualising success won’t make it happen, of course. That’s definitely not realistic. You need to make a genuine effort that is purposeful and consistent.
Practising these skills and qualities is a SMART MOVE – and one that will take you closer to achieving your work, and personal, goals.
Could be the smartest move you ever make.