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Setting ‘SMARTER’ Objectives in 2009

As you head into the new year, it’s time to take stock in where you are, what you have accomplished and where you are heading. In this process, you might find yourself asking…

  • Were your objectives clear this year?
  • Did they align with your goals?
  • Are you where you want to be today?
  • Where would you like to be next year? Or in the next few years?

Setting objectives helps individuals and teams focus, get on the same page and define what ‘done’ looks like.  I’ve put together a ‘Goals and Objectives template that highlights an effective way to align your goals with meaningful and measurable objectives using Mindjet MindManager.

Mapping Your Goals and Objectives

One of the benefits of mapping your objectives is to make sure that they support your goals. Let’s start by taking a look at the difference between goals and objectives and how they are related.

Open up the template, and start adding goals for 2009 into your map. These goals can be personal or professional, it’s up to you. If you’re new to MindManager, here are some tips and tricks to help you get started (Windows, Mac, Web).

Setting ‘SMARTER’ objectives

Start adding ideas into the template about how to reach each of your goals. These will ultimately be your objectives. For now, free yourself from constraint and start adding ideas without any judgment.

Once you’re satisfied with your list of ideas (or approaches), it’s time to refine and prioritize them by using the template’s guidelines to create ‘SMARTER’ objectives. For each idea, use the guidelines to prompt you with a series of questions that validate and help refine objectives until they are all Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound, Extending (reaching), and Rewarding set of objectives. If your ideas do not satisfy the criteria, then remove them from your map.

Test each of your objectives to make sure they are clear, concise and challenging yet achievable. Keep refining your objectives until they all meet the SMARTER criteria and repeat this step until you feel confident that you have enough SMARTER objectives identified to reach your goals. When setting objectives for teams, it is important to engage the team in the process. Make sure your collective goals and objectives are thoroughly defined, roles are assigned, expectations communicated, accountability established and deadlines set.

Using Your Goals and Objectives Map

It’s a powerful practice to record your goals and objectives. It’s the first key step in achieving them! Check them frequently. Use your map as your compass throughout the year. Before embarking on a new task or assignment, check your map to help you decide what to do and more importantly, what not to do. Use your map to keep a record of your victories and track your progress throughout the year.

Make the most of your efforts in 2009 by mapping your SMARTER objectives to your goals!

What are your Goal and Objective setting tips? Share in the Comments!

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