Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Goal Setting

It is a cute idea to associate an acronym such as SMART to goal setting. But every iteration I've seen of that idea intrinsically has built-in redundancies. Besides that downfall, in researching the meaning of SMART, I found a number of conflicting suggestions:

S: Specific, Significant, Stretch, Sustainable
M: Measureable, Manageable, Meaningful
A: Achievable, Attainable, Actionable, Ambitious, Adjustable, Aligned (with corp. goals)
R: Relevant, Realistic, Reasonable, Result-based, Resonant
T: Time-bound, Time-Related, Tangible, Trackable

As I continued my research, I found an extension of SMART, called SMAARTER. (Yes, with two A’s.) The latter has some interesting features not mentioned in the former. Especially notable was the last “R,” which stood for “reward.” Still, even this had redundancies and generalizations. Like nature abhors a vacuum, I abhor doing things twice when once is sufficient. If goal-setting is intended to provide a concise and tangible framework, then a system that helps define that should be clear, concise, and complete.

So I began examining this from different perspectives. The questions who, what, where, when, why, how and how much are great for ensuring your capture details, but they are no so great when developing a template like this because you inevitably end up with multiple “what” questions. With those reflections, I created the Zoom Focus Goal Setting form. It uses every element found in the SMART forms but it puts it in a logical, top-down sequence, like zooming into a far-away scene to look at the details of an element in the scene.

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