What are SMART objectives and how do I apply them?

Written by Debbie Herridge - Apprentice for Professional Academy

It’s fundamental to set yourself objectives and goals, even resolutions, but we tend to generalize our goals. For example, an objective could be to ‘increase sales’. But increase them by how much? And by when? A much more achievable goal could be to ‘Increase sales by 10% by the end of this month’. Then you have just set yourself a much more achievable goal, this is the purpose of an SMART goal.

As an apprentice for Professional Academy, part of my coursework was to set myself SMART goals to complete during the time I am here. After learning what they were and how to apply them I realised they are much more efficient than your conventional objective.

SMART objectives infographic

So what does it stand for?

S specific

Be specific! There’s no use in setting a generic goal because it won’t suit you personally, however if you adapt the goal to apply to what you need, then it will be much more valuable to you. Of course you want to prosper in your field of work, but isn’t everyone in the office thinking the same? 

M measureable

Is it quantifiable? For instance going back to the example objective of selling more, you can measure this by the amount of units sold. Being a measurable goal allows you to identify when exactly it has been reached, i.e. what you desire as the end result.

A achievable

The point of a target is to challenge and motivate yourself to complete a piece of work, if you was to set your target too high it can cause stress and so decreasing the chance of your target actually being within reach. Likewise if a target was too easy will inhibit you from pushing yourself and doing more. Setting yourself a reasonable target is crucial!

R realistic

‘I’m going to own a multimillion pound enterprise by the end of the month’ Might be a tad too ambitious, don’t get me wrong ambition is a leading trait, but maybe start off with something more realistic, remember all successful business people don’t just become successful overnight.

T time bound

Deadlines. Not something we like, but something most of us need. Especially if you’re someone like me, who tends to procrastinate. For example, if you’re sat at your desk knowing you have work to do, it’s easy to get lost in the world of the internet looking at cute animal photos or funny videos, but what if you were to say ‘Right, by 2 o’clock I want to have completed…’ then you’ve just motivated yourself to complete a job by an allotted time.

So why should you apply SMART goals to your working and even personal life?

Not only because it’s such a satisfying feeling to tick something off your To-do list but they can help you become more organized and sort out your priorities. They’re highly motivating and can give a sense of focus and purpose.

Find out more about SMART and how it can be applied to progressing in your marketing career in the short video below!

SMART is used across all courses and all levels in Professional Academy Qualifications so whether you are looking to study a qualification in Management & Leadership, Marketing, Sales or Digital Marketing you will always hear the term referred to. If you would like to find out more about Professional Qualifications why not download a prospectus or get in touch with an adviser today