1- Specific: A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six “W” questions: *Who: Who is involved?
*What: What do I want to accomplish?
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame.
*Which: Identify requirements and constraints.
*Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
2- Measurable: Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure the progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach the goal. To determine if the goal is measurable, ask questions such as…… How much? How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?
3- Attainable: When goals that are most important to the organization are identified, ways to make them come true can be figured out. Develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. Begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring the organization closer to the achievement of its goals. The organization can attain almost any goal it sets when strategy and steps are drawn wisely and a suitable time frame that allows the carrying out of those steps is established. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because the goals shrink, but because the organization grows and expands to match them.
4- Realistic: To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which the employees and the organization are both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic. But be sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low motivational force.
5- Timely: A goal should be grounded within a time frame. With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. The goal is probably realistic if you, the employees, and the management truly believe that it can be accomplished. Additional ways to know if the goal is realistic is to determine if the organization has accomplished anything similar in the past or define what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.