SMT Objectives – The New Simplified SMART

SMT Objectives – The New Simplified SMART

The problem – SMART is fine in theory but too complicated. Who actually applies 5 separate criteria (S-M-A-R-T) to each of their objectives?

The solution – Simplified SMT objectives. This provides 3 simple steps (Specifc-Main-Timebound) for each objective, although the criteria are actually applied in reverse order as TMS. (See both business and personal examples below).

Note that if you are setting objectives in a business situation its also important for you (or your Direct Report) to make sure that your objectives are aligned with the higher level business objectives. But we’re going to leave that as a separate exercise.

1. Timebound. Begin each objective with the word ‘By’. When would you like to see yourself as having achieved your objective?

Examples:

By 25 March
By 15 Jan
By end November
By end each Quarter
By 31 Dec each year
By end this week
By end each night

Why – (1) time means money, so there is no point having an objective without having a timeframe; (2) setting a time encourages the mind to start thinking about exactly what it is that you want to achieve at that point in time.

2. Main. Add a main or general outcome you want to achieve. You don’t need to add the actual measure at this stage or be 100% clear on how you will measure it. Your just jotting down the ‘Main’ focus. As part of this, you should make sure that your objective is aligned to your broader business or team objectives (or your personal values and life mission in the case of personal objectives)

Examples:

By 31 March, Increase sales
By 15 Jan, hire a great Virtual Assistant
By end November, Reduce business costs
By end this week, completed Performance Review
By end Quarter 2, Lose weigh
By end this month, Increase energy levels based on putting a figure out of 10
By end each night, cook nutritious meal that only takes X minutes

Why – its often easier to start with a general (non measurable) objective, than to make it measurable at the same time. Splitting these 2 steps means you only need to think of one thing at a time.

3. Specific. Add actual specific measurement. (Note that occasionally you will have already done this in Step 2 – as is the case with the Performance Review example. But most times not)

Examples:

By 31 March, Increase sales by 10k per month
By 15 Jan, hire Level 5 Virtual Assistant (based on our 5 Performance Levels)
By end November, Reduce business costs by 5%
By end Quarter 2, Lose weight of 5kg
By end this month, Increase energy levels to 8/10
By end this week, completed Performance Review
By end each night, cook meal that includes protein, 2 veg and wholemeal carbs and takes less than 20 minutes preparation

Why – unless you set an actual measurement, you have no way of knowing whether you have actually achieved the objective. Note at this stage that it is not uncommon to go back to Step 2 and rethink the actual unit of measurement until you get it right.

In summary, instead of applying 5 criteria to each objective, what Simplified SMT provides is a simple, quick process of:

1. starting with word By (Timebound)
2. adding the main or general outcome you want (Main)
3. making the outcome specific or measurable (Specific)

I hope this helps.