It is not enough to set SMART Goals.   Even when the goals and strategies are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results focused and Timely, the odds are that you won’t achieve them unless they are accompanied by a clear documented action plan containing the specific things you need to DO.

The reasons most goals remain dreams is because they are not accompanied by SMART action plans.

“SMART Goals don’t achieve results… SMART Action Plans do”

• Goals are OUTCOMES
• Action Steps are the THINGS YOU DO to implement the strategy

Your ACTION PLAN is a list of the things you are actually going to DO (or have someone else do) in order to be on target to complete the implementation of each strategy by the due date.

Effective goal setting is a four step process

  1. Set the goal
  2. Decide on the most effective strategies to achieve the goal
  3. Write an action plan – a clear step by step list of activities which need to be completed in order to achieve the goal
  4. Set up a review process – regularly check to ensure that the activities you are taking are moving you closer to achieving your goal.

Breaking each strategy down into SMART Action Steps will ensure that you have as realistic an idea as possible of what will be involved in completing the implementation process for the strategy. It will tell you what you or your team need to DO!

Make sure that each action step follows the following formula:
• SPECIFIC: What will you DO?
• MEASURABLE: How will you know when you have done it? What will be the deliverable?
• ACHIEVABLE: Do you currently have the skills, knowledge and/or resources to complete the action step? If NOT you will need to include an action step(s) to overcome the deficit.
• RESULTS FOCUSED: Is this the most efficient and effective way to go about implementing the associated strategy? (Is there a better way?)
• TIMELY: Is there a clear time frame for when the action will be completed? ALL Action Steps must have a due date.

Til next time…


Brenda Thomson: Business Connections & Relationship Specialist
Helping Small Business Owners Create Powerful Networks & Communities

SMART Connect and SMART Small Business Alliance
LIN: Brenda Thomson
F: SMART-Connect Alliance - SSBA