How to set SMART goals

smart goal setting conceptAt the end of last week I wrote about the CARE plan which we’ve successfully used with our teams here at Grace. Part of the CARE plan involves agreeing on goals for you team. Setting goals is key to effectively carrying out your CARE plan, but agreeing sensible ones requires a bit of thought. We use the SMART acronym (yes, another acronym) to help us think about whether a particular goal is helpful. It goes as follows:

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Relevant
T – Timed

Let me give you one example of goal which is not SMART, and one example of a goal which is SMART. An un-SMART (yet noble) goal would be “encourage people in evangelism.” Work through the acronym . . . It’s not particularly specific – which people? what evangelism? It’s difficult to measure. How would you know when you’ve achieved it? In fairness it is relevant to church leadership, but there’s no time on it. It’s a good intent but so difficult to measure it’s almost a platitude. Here’s a different example which we’re using here at Grace for 2013 – “to see 100 people come through our Explore Christianity course this year.” It’s specific (100 people); it’s measurable; it’s achievable (it’d be twice as many as any previous year so it’s bold but not unrealistic); it’s relevant to our existence as a church, and it has a time set on it – the end of the year. Giving people SMART goals helps to motivate and direct action – give it a try with one of your teams and see what happens.

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