Goals and Accountability

create-a-goal1They go hand in hand – Goals describe the desired outcome or achievement – accountability makes it measurable, verifiable, and public. Why should one be accountable after setting a goal? Isn’t it enough to say to yourself “I’m going to … by the end of the week/month/year? No – it’s not enough.

You know the reason already – we’ve called them “New Year’s Resolutions”. How long did they last – a few days, a week, a month?

Make your goals S.M.A.R.T –

· S for Specific: Describe specifically the result or outcome Instead of “get to the gym more often,” the objective should be “get to the gym three times per week for an hour or more.”

· M for Measurable: The second example is much more specific and also addresses the second factor—measurable.

· A for Achievable: Your goal should be achievable. For instance, an objective which states “100 percent customer satisfaction” isn’t realistically achievable. It’s not possible to expect that everyone will be 100 percent satisfied with their service.

· R for Realistic: This leads into the next factor—realistic. Realistic objectives are objectives that recognize factors which can not be controlled.

· T for Time-based: The final factor for a good objective is that it is time-based. In other words, it’s not simply, “improve customer service by 12 percent,” it’s “improve customer service by 12 percent within the next 12 months.”

A very few people can set “private” goals and follow through – the majority of us need some motivation such as not wanting to disappoint someone, or be embarrassed, or appearing to be weak-willed – so when we ask someone to hold us accountable, we’re creating a structure to enable our success.

What are your “New Year’s Resolutions”

Michael Shapiro – Dynamic Management Solutions, Inc.

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