Origins of the SMART Goals

In a previous post I talked about setting SMART goals to help you achieve better efficiency in your life. Today I’m going to talk about where your SMART goals should come from and a framework for the rest of this blog. SMART Goals stem from an organization or person’s mission, vision, or values.

Mission statements, vision statements, and values are typically used by organizations to establish where the company is heading and to determine why the organization exists in the first place. Missions, visions, and values are established for the organization to use as a guidepost. If you aren’t familiar with the difference between mission statements, vision statements, and values here is a quick summary:

Mission Statement: Describes what the organization or you do.

Vision Statement: Describes how the organization or you see the future.

Values: A judgement of what is important.

Mission statements, vision statements, and values establish a purpose and provide a foundation through which an organization or you function.  Once a mission statement, vision statement, or a value is established one can determine how to proceed.

You can think of mission statements, vision statements, and value statements as forming the base of a pyramid.  From the base of the pyramid goals, strategy, and then tactics emerge. Pyramid

 

Goals are your desired result. Strategy is a plan designed to achieve one of your established goals.  Tactics are a specific action you are taking as part of your larger strategy

You must “climb” the pyramid in the hopes of obtaining a successful result.  Although there is only one mission statement, vision statement, and set of values that form the basis for what you do, there can be an unlimited amount of goals, strategies and tactics that are derived from your base. Here is an example of how the pyramid can be used:

Mission, Vision, or Value: One of my values is efficiency.

Goal: My SMART Goal is to efficiently save X dollars for retirement by a certain date

Strategy: One of my strategies for saving X dollars for retirement will be to reduce my overall tax liability.

Tactics: One of my tactics to reduce my overall tax liability will be to use my company 401(k).

In my future posts I’ll be getting into the trenches and discussing strategies and tactics you can use to improve your efficiency.

Do you have a personal mission statement, vision statement, or set of values? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Origins of the SMART Goals”

  1. Great Post this week, Matt.
    Mission, Vision, or Value: One of my values is Family.
    Goal: My SMART Goal is to raise and teach my four boys to become good men with integrity.
    Strategy: One of my strategies for teaching my children diversity is exposing them to different cultures.
    Tactics: A couple of my tactics to expose my children to different cultures is through their direct involvement in sports, Boy Scouts of America, and traveling (in no particular order).

    1. Hi Erik, it sounds like your boys are in good hands if you are thinking about these kinds of things. I hope you had a great father’s day. How are you measuring whether you are reaching your goal with your boys?

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