SMART method: 5 tips for defining your objectives

How to set objectives? Where do you start? Focus on the SMART method, a simple and effective way to successfully determine your goals. 
Setting goals is an essential step towards professional success at any time of the year. In addition to helping you move in the right direction and giving you a long-term vision, they allow you to measure your progress and evolution within your structure. Defined in agreement with your manager during your annual interview or by yourself alone, these objectives must be thought out through an action plan defined beforehand. Roadmap, new challenges, development of your skills: whatever they are, don't forget to monitor them regularly so that you know where you stand and what you still need to do to achieve them.   
How to set objectives? Where do you start? Focus on the SMART method, a simple and effective way to successfully determine your goals. 
How to adopt it? Summarise each of your objectives in a few sentences so that they meet the following 5 criteria: specific, measurable, ambitious, achievable and time-bound. Here are our tips! 

Objectifs SMART Spécifique Mesurable Ambitieux Réaliste Temporel

S for Specific

In order to be achieved, an objective must be specific. The more clearly defined it is, the easier it will be to achieve. Be precise and concise and forget about approximation. A vague objective will lead to confusion, misallocation of tasks and waste of time.  
If an objective seems too generic, consider breaking it down into several detailed steps that all lead to that main goal. This will allow you to build a clearer action plan as you go along. 

Example of a non-specific objective: I want to be more organised at work.
Example of a specific objective: Every morning, I will organise my planning for the day with a to-do list.

M for Measurable

In order to be able to examine and measure an objective, it must be quantifiable. Therefore, consider introducing a KPI (Key Performance Indicator). This performance indicator will help you to track your progress, monitor your objective and finally assess whether it has been achieved. This very useful measurement tool will allow you to study what works and what does not generate the expected results. Define a concrete threshold, a factual figure, in order to make your objective more tangible for you and your staff. 

Example of a non-measurable objective: I want to increase my t-shirt sales.
Example of a measurable objective: I want to increase my sales of kid t-shirts by 15% compared to 2020.

A for Ambitious

To move forward with determination and audacity, be ambitious! Setting a goal that will be too easily or quickly achieved will not develop your skills as much as you would have liked. But keep in mind that in order to avoid a feeling of discouragement or failure, this objective must nevertheless remain attainable and within your capabilities. If you want to achieve what you have set yourself, challenge yourself and think of an ambitious goal that will generate passion and motivation. Your success will be all the more rewarding and deserved. 

Example of a non-ambitious goal: I would like to take up sport.
Example of an ambitious goal: I want to do 5 hours of sport per week.

R for Realistic

Your means must match your ambitions. When defining your objective, make sure it is realistic so that you can reach it. Then ask yourself the right questions. Do I have enough financial, human and technical resources? Are my skills sufficient? Is the time available adequate? In this way, your inspiration will remain intact from beginning to end, as long as you know that the objective is achievable and concrete. 
Also, your goal must remain relevant to your personal development, or that of the company in which you work. Find out more about it, use concrete studies. In other words, confront yourself with reality. 

Example of a non-realistic goal: I want to open 30 new shops.
Example of a realistic objective: I want to open 3 new shops in the region by the end of the year.

T for Time-bound

Each objective must be time-bound and accompanied by a deadline. To be able to reach this deadline, you need to plan your actions and organise a strategic timetable to keep you motivated from start to finish. Ideally, keep the deadlines close to each other to avoid procrastination and not to lose sight of the objective and the will to achieve it. You can then operate in stages and increments with several small intermediate goals that will meet an overall long-term objective. If you have been too ambitious and do not think you will reach your goal on time, adjust your deadline as soon as you think it is necessary.

Example of a non-temporal goal: I would like to have more followers on Instagram.
Example of a temporal goal: By September 30th, I would like to have 300 new followers on Instagram.


You now have all the keys in hand to apply this method. Write several SMART objectives that will address your issues for the coming months. Write them down so that you can consult them regularly and make an assessment once the deadline has passed. All that remains is to implement the action plan that will enable you to achieve these objectives.

Here are a few examples of SMART objectives that you can use as inspiration:
Within a month, I want to go from 10 cigarettes to 2 cigarettes a day.
By the end of the month, I will eat vegetarian meals 5 days a week.
Starting next week, every Monday at 9.00 am, I will organise a team meeting with my 5 colleagues to discuss the problems and successes of the previous week.
By 31 May, I want to reach 200,000 unique visitors to my website.
Starting tomorrow, I will post every Thursday afternoon 1 publication about my business expertise on my LinkedIn account. 
From Monday and for the next 3 months, I wish to limit my time spent on Facebook to 30 minutes per day.
• I give myself 3 days to write and send 10 unsolicited applications to targeted companies.
• By 15 May, I would like to have 200 more contacts in my list of 500 contacts.
• During the whole summer holiday period, I will be taking 3 hours of English training per week.
• Between 15 January and 31 March, we will increase sales of our first-price products by 30% without lowering our margin beyond 5%. 


Related Articles

All you need to know about the cover letter
How important is the cover letter when applying for a job? Is it really necessary? What are the rules to respect? Find all the answers to the questions you may have when looking for a job and applying for a position. 
Read more
Job searching in the digital age
Digital and new technologies have become, over the years and through digital transformations, real resources in the world of recruitment. Since the beginning of the health crisis in 2020, digitalization has developed, taking a predominant place in today's hiring processes. Habits have changed, both for recruiters and job seekers, who must adapt. Here are our top tips on how to search for a job effectively using digital technology. 
Read more