Chances are at the beginning of the year, you declared a resolution at the beginning of the year. Many of our clients do and it is highly recommended so that you can keep moving forward. Be it personal or career-oriented, the end of June marks the mid-year point, which is the perfect time to evaluate and re-commit. So how are you doing? Are you well on your way? Did you get a little sidetracked? If you did, you are not alone.

Statistic Brain found that 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions; while a mere 8% are successful in achieving that resolution. We have to wonder…of all of the people that declared their goal, did any actually put some thought into how to achieve it?

Many business professionals are familiar with using the acronym SMART to create goals. After all, business authors and speakers have described this as a key element for effective goal making for years. In case you need a reminder on the topic, SMART stands for:

  • Specific (Goals must be clear and unambiguous)
  • Measurable (Results must be able to be measured in some way, for example, the number of products sold each week, or the percent completion)
  • Attainable (Goals must be realistic and attainable by the average employee)
  • Relevant (Goals must relate to your organization’s vision and mission)
  • Time-bound (Goals must have definite starting and ending points, and a fixed duration)

Inc. Magazine published an article suggesting that perhaps these elements are dated and “haven’t kept up with the faster, more-agile environment that most businesses find themselves in today.”

The article suggests that it may be time for a new way of setting goals and describes a method used by Adam Kreek, a 2008 gold medalist from the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games turned motivational speaker and author.

According to Adam, we need CLEAR goals in today’s business environments. What does that mean? Let us explain.

  • Collaborative (Goals should encourage employees to work together collaboratively and in teams)
  • Limited (Goals should be limited in both scope and duration)
  • Emotional (Goals should make an emotional connection to employees, tapping into their energy and passion)
  • Appreciable (Large goals should be broken down into smaller goals so they can be accomplished more quickly and easily for long-term gain)
  • Refinable (Set goals with a headstrong and steadfast objective, but as new situations or information arise, give yourself permission to refine and modify your goals)

What do we think? Is the best goal setting action plan SMART or CLEAR or perhaps some varied combination of both? Regardless of which method you choose, you can’t arbitrarily set business goals and expect to achieve it without some forethought, planning and ultimately measurement. Goals and resolutions are important. They keep us moving toward a greater good.

My take on it: For best results, don’t throw out one principle for the other. Make your goals SMART and CLEAR.

For now, there is no better time than the present to evaluate where you are, where you want to be, and design your course of action. Hey, you’ve got six months until the end of the year…