How S.M.A.R.T. Are Your Goals?

  • By Shawn Sommerkamp
  • 27 Apr, 2017

Setting goals is something all successful professionals do. And as Christians, we have an example of goal setting the world doesn’t recognize. Jesus had a divine goal with us in mind:

Luke 13:32  He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’"

Targeted goal-setting is powerful and effective. It helps us keep clarity of outcome. Breaking big desires down into smaller, achievable goals makes success achievable. The biggest challenges are overcome as we make a series of small goals that, collectively, lead to big outcomes.

And yet, just setting a bunch of goals can often be discouraging when we don’t reach them. Ever wonder why we often fall short? It’s because the goals weren’t smart! I’m not talking about whether the goals are stupid or intelligent either. I’m talking about a simple way of thinking about an activity designed to help us achieve results. It’s called S.M.A.R.T., and it stands for the following:

Specific                

Measurable

                Achievable

                Relevant

                Time Oriented


We want our goals to hold to this new standard. That simply means we set a goal by asking how specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time oriented it is. If the goal doesn't meet these criteria, alter it. For every missing element in S.M.A.R.T. we increase the risk of the goal not getting accomplished.

Here’s an example of a goal that is not S.M.A.R.T. – “I’m going to work longer hours at least three times a week.”

Can you see why? It’s not really that specific. It doesn't say how many extra hours or on which days of the week. It also doesn't identify when this will start and how long it will occur. And since the term “work longer hours” is non-specific, there’s no way to tell whether it's even achievable.

To make this a S.M.A.R.T. goal it would look like this:  “I’m going to work two extra evening hours Mon, Wed and Fri starting next week, for at least three months, to increase my output prior to quarter-end.”

This goal is now very specific, easily measurable, certainly achievable, relevant to a high-volume work period and time oriented. Using this goal setting system is essential for growth. It’s far too easy to set goals that are never achieved.  

This can be applied to anything you want to achieve. Want to reach a new sales target? Want to negotiate a higher salary? Want to build a larger engineering department? Want to expand operations into a new region? Want to improve your own output?  

Master this process, and it will completely transform the way you see tasks and outcomes. It will remove obstacles before they even arise. It proactively sets your mind on reaching the target. I If you ever want any advice about whether a goal is S.M.A.R.T., just send me an email ( shawn@motivationeer.com ) with the goal written out and I’ll provide feedback.

Shawn Sommerkamp is a motivational speaker and Executive Coach with 20+ years of Fortune 100 leadership experience.  He founded Motivationeer™ to coach Christian professionals how to use their career to glorify God and support local church growth.

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By Shawn Sommerkamp 10 Jan, 2018
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By Shawn Sommerkamp 10 Jan, 2018

Shawn Sommerkamp, speaking to the Charleston Church of Christ at the New Year's Eve church service Dec 31, 2017.

By Shawn Sommerkamp 10 Jan, 2018

Targeted goal-setting is powerful and effective. It helps us keep clarity of outcome. Breaking big desires down into smaller, achievable goals makes success achievable. The biggest challenges are overcome as we make a series of small goals that, collectively, lead to big outcomes. 

And yet, just setting a bunch of goals can often be discouraging when we don’t reach them. Ever wonder why we often fall short? It’s because the goals weren’t smart! I’m not talking about whether the goals are stupid or intelligent either. I’m talking about a simple way of thinking about an activity designed to help us achieve results. It’s called S.M.A.R.T. and it stands for the following:

By David Mitchell 09 Jan, 2018

It’s early January. 

The Holidays are over. 

It can feel like we go from the ‘The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’ to the most challenging time of the year. 

A more appropriate lyric, now that it is time to make resolutions & get back to work, could be one of the following… 

‘It’s The Most: 

  - Stressful
  - Sad
  - Crazy busy
  - Cash poor
  - Lonely
  - Weight Gaining
  - Overrated

 …Time Of The Year.’`

It’s not that you are ‘Bah Humbug’…

You want to enjoy it, but it can feel more like “I just want to get through it.”

Although your MIND knows that God’s will for you (according to 1 Th 5:16-18) is to:

“Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…”  

...your HEART can lag behind & this simple command can seem overwhelming.

Sometimes you can put your finger on what’s dragging you down & other times it’s more elusive ~ not really sure what’s keeping things from being ‘Wonderful’.

By Shawn Sommerkamp 20 Nov, 2017

1 Thessalonians 5:18   Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus

Give thanks, no matter what is happening in your life.  This is easy…right? 

A national polling firm named Penn, Schoen, & Berland conducted a survey, mid-2012, evaluating American attitude toward thankfulness. They conducted more than 2,000 interviews across the US general population. I’m only going to share a few pieces of the overall report:    

  • 90% of people said they would describe themselves as people who are generally grateful for their family and friends
  • However, only 52% of women and 44% of men express any thankfulness regularly
  • 60% say when they do express thankfulness, they do it to make themselves feel good

Where is the one place people are least likely to express gratitude? WORK 

  • 74% of the 2000 respondents never or rarely show gratitude at work (for anything)
  • 70% want their boss to be thankful for them (even though they don’t express thanks)
  • 81% would work harder if they were thanked by their boss or company 

Based on this survey, that hardest circumstance to give thanks exists in and around the workplace. Isn’t that amazing? The place we spend the most waking hours (about 2,200 hours per year, about 110,000 hours in working lifespan) we aren’t thankful for.  Wow! 

The truth is our career is not just a way to make a living - it’s a way to transform the world. It’s the place God placed us so that we could make the biggest difference in our service to him.

By Dave Mitchell 17 Nov, 2017

Do you remember when these 3D-Hidden Object posters came out? They were quite the RAVE…

They were not what they appeared to be at first glance… If you wanted to understand what the poster was really about, you had to stop what you were doing, get real close to it – focus on it, and back away very slowly… and then – like magic – 3D images would appear / seemingly emerge right off of the paper (3D effect). The embedded 3D images were disguised and hidden to the untrained/unfocused eyes.

Some people (me included sometimes) would get frustrated if we could not see the 3D images fast enough – some were easier than others… and missed the ‘magic’ of the poster.

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