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Aligning SMART Goals for a Well Rounded Life

Earlier I wrote a post Aligning SMART Goals with Core Values that talked about the importance of aligning goals with core values. I used the Acronym ALIGN to describe the process of aligning the goals. I defined ALIGN using the words Assess, List, Internalize, Grade and Number.

That post included information from Shirley Fine Lee’s post  Setting Smart Goals for New Year.  Shirley defines SMART using the words Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based.

In my experience, those two acronyms define two out of three components in the goal setting process. The goals must be:

  • Smart
  • Aligned
  • Well rounded

It does little good to focus totally on one key life area, or business area, and neglect the others. Imagine a body builder that focused only on upper body and neglected building the legs. That would be ridiculous.

When developing the SMART goals and going through the ALIGN process, ensure that you include all relevant areas of your life or business. You may not be able to work on all areas at once, but diversify your efforts and work on a couple at a time. That will help avoid burnout, alleviate boredom and improve chances of success.

Categories: Leadership, Objectives, Values

Aligning SMART Goals with Core Values

March 7, 2010 1 comment

Shirley Fine Lee wrote Setting Smart Goals for New Year at the beginning of the New Year. The post describes an effective way of designing goals, utilizing the acronym SMART. She defines SMART using the words Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time based.

As I look back on my adult life, I can see that my most successful times, personally and professionally, were usually times which were following SMART goals. My greatest accomplishments were always when my SMART goals were both aligned with my core values, and focused on all key life areas, prioritized by the same values.

Whether working on personal goals or goals as part of business planning, it is important that they are congruent with core values. Shirley says that the goals should mean something to the goal setter and help to motivate them to attain it. This falls in the Relevant step. I break this step down using the acronym ALIGN. Those steps are:

  • Assess – Take an inventory of your status in each key life area for personal goals. As a business leader, you should apply the same process and assess the different areas of business in which you will be planning. Write down the current status of each area.
  • List – Write everything, tangible and intangible, that you want to accomplish in each area.
  • Internalize – Where does each key life area — or area of business — align with your core values. This is the step where the hard look at what is really important is taken.
  • Grade – Once you have a good idea where you are in each area, assign a value of 1-10, with 10 being highest. Next decide the importance for each area. (For example, you may be a five in one area, but a 7 is acceptable.) List each area and the value of the difference of the “ideal” minus the value of your current status.
  • Number – Prioritize the list with the most important areas first. These will be the areas that need the most work and have the most significance to your life or business.

Determine and apply these steps as you develop your SMART goals and you will ensure congruency with your core values.

Categories: Leadership, Objectives, Values