set goals

A Smart Goals Template

A smart goals template is a means to scientifically layout and track your plan with precision.

There is a plethora of information pertaining to this topic, so I will try and make it specific and practical.

a smart goals template

To begin and well before the smart goals template is created one must be sure that the project or purpose for the goal is solid.
This means an examination or inventory of who you are, what you are, and why you are. Some insight to this here. [Ref Project Mayhem]

So let’s assume that part is behind you. Here’s a short story.

In 1979 I came to the US, by 1982 I had my first opportunity as a line manager.

a smart goals templateI was appointed manager of the Turning Department at Western Gear Corporation a manufacturer of precision transmissions for both commercial and military aircraft.

The era was that of the “One Minute Manager” [Ref One Minute Manager Video With Ken Blanchard] and “Thriving on Chaos”.

If you have an individual or a group of individuals and they are not well managed or supervised their attitude towards a task will be…..

….approached based upon:

• The work ethic of the individual.

• His/her morals, meaning what is it can I get away with today.[Based on the notion that people are basically lazy]

• The extent that he/she believes someone is watching their movements. [The cat is away, the mouse will play]

The One Minute Manager cites the example where the above occurred, but then also cites what occurred when the individual was challenged.

“So Bill, how long does it take to make one of these widgets?” Bill replies “oh about 10 minutes”.

Bill is half way through his shift, he has worked four hours. There are fifteen widgets completed. “So Bill, you have worked four hours and you have fifteen widgets completed, 15 x 10 = 150 minutes = 2-1/2 hours work, what did you do for the other 1-1/2 hours?”

Brief pause for silence.

Three issues here;

a smart goals template

1. Bill obviously thought he was doing well because no one told him otherwise. He obviously is not a self-starter otherwise he would have figured he was under performing.

2. The supervisor had only a limited idea what his role as a supervisor was. Part of that role is making sure the workforce is productive and being reasonably tasked. The most important task actually.

3. More to our issue, what happens when you are the supervisor of yourself? [We will deal with this later]

On with the story, and I may add I made no friends with this one.

The turning department was at the front end of the manufacturing cycle. Turned gear blanks were needed to produce “soft ground” blanks for “rough gear cut”, “heat treat”, on and on with all manner of processing in between.

If the starting manufacturing operations were late then all was late. Including delivery of the final assembly. Of course there were financial penalties for late delivery.

My move into the Turning Dept. was a test for me since the productivity there was at an all-time low. The previous manager had retired on the job. Strangely enough, but under different circumstances I ended up terminating his employment, weird.

I had read all  the books, [books provide knowledge, life provides experience] and I was brand new to the role. I set out on a Monday morning with clipboard in hand and a stern disposition.

a smart goals template

I did have hands on experience with the physical work being done. I could not be fooled.

Arriving at machine #1, “Good morning Devon, how are you blah, blah…how many hours are you working today?” reply “Ten”…”OK, good. How long does it take to make one of those blanks?”.. “Oh about 15 minutes”, “good, then you have nine hours to go less lunch and breaks so eight hours, I expect 32 pieces on the floor by the end of shift I will see you then.”

This seems straight forward enough, however.

All of a sudden the woodwork opens up. Out come all manner of rats, mice and bugs et al that manifest themselves in the form of unreported problems.

  • “This hoist does not work”
  • “My machine is not accurate anymore”, and
  • “I don’t have this tool or that tool”

Plus a million more!

This happens when people are challenged in terms of their productivity and then held accountable. That which is generally regarded as an excuse comes to the surface very quickly, particularly if negative consequences are inevitable?

The enlightened mind however will see this as an opportunity to improve the overall condition in an incremental manner. Some call this continuous improvement. Some call it if you cannot measure it you cannot manage it. [Ref Balanced Scorecard] The melodramatic call it that lazy….

To resolve these issues. some of the “tools” we employed managerially were multi disciplined/skilled/professional teams. This meant groups of employees from all of the associated disciplines, manufacturing, engineering, quality, HR, production planning, purchasing plus any other who could contribute in a constructive manner.


We used “brainstorming” and “fish-bone analysis”[Ref 12 Manage] and the like to expose and categorize problems. This helped determine the path to suitable solutions.
Subsequently a plan could be formatted with responsibilities assigned to effect the resolution.

Back to the story,

The outcome was a 40% improvement in raw production numbers. More importantly systemic and resource limitations were exposed.
Executive level management soon caught on, and the program was accelerated across the plant. Amongst many my name was mud.

It meant the good ol’ boys had to get off their asses and earn their paycheck.

Into the world of today. That style of management seems to have gone. The type that works with people, sets an expectation, and then measures it against a standard. {MEASURE} When the performance to standard is not met, then a solution is sought. {MANAGE}

“If you cannot {MEASURE} it, you cannot {MANAGE} it.”a smart goals template

A smart goals template will help measure your plan against you and your performance to the goals and expectations you set for yourself.

The fact that this kind of style has gone is a crying shame, because that was how respect was earned.

Children who have no parents, or have parents who do not hold them accountable generally are unhappy and can fall off the “rails”.

Why? Because there is no challenge, nothing to work for or head for. No reward such as,  “great job” girl or boy, son or daughter.

Adults working are no different than children, the same buttons work. The stimulus is different and that is all.

Leaders/managers who perform as described above gain respect, why? Because they do not sit idly by and watch their subordinates struggle. They scientifically identify problems and solve them. Then attribute the success of the solution to the “team” who resolved the issue[s].

How does all this relate to working from home, having your own little enterprise?

a smart goals templateMake no mistake, home based enterprises are difficult, whether it is your own product, as an affiliate or whatever.

Beware of the so called leaders [gurus] with few exceptions their purpose is self serving. Limited opportunity for help is available. It is pure greed that drives them, [no negatives here just facts]

I found a place where education and support is a part of the culture

Here is what I see. The tools and the where with all is all available. The lacking is in the gaining of accurate and specific knowledge and the subsequent execution of its use.

The front end of this process is purpose and planning, developed in conjunction with a smart goals template.

Purpose turns out to be that which you love to do, wake up in the morning thinking about. Go to sleep with the same.

The bottom line truth, life gets in the way too often. On the other hand if you if you really want to realize that dream, you need that much loved purpose.

It does not matter how old you are, or what you are doing currently. I heard Dave Sharpe say one time, “it’s never too late to start”, and “you can always start again”. [Dave Sharpe’s presence in Empower is something I miss, I thought he grounded the initiative. A young man but an old soul]

So if you want it, then do it. If you gave up and want to try again, then do it. Take action right where you stand. Be smart begin at the beginning.

Planning is built around purpose. To realize the purpose, multiple goals with a plethora of objectives [Ref Diffen] and learning is required. No free rides, only work.

The difference, you love it. So it does not feel like work.

You previously read of the happening after the challenge to make widgets above, “excuses”

The one man/woman business owner has his/her own set of excuses. They manifest themselves in statements of;

  • My computer is not powerful enough
  • I don’t know SEO    [Ref Lawrence Tam Tool-belt]
  • I don’t know how to write
  • I don’t know how to make a video
  • I don’t understand YouTube
  • I don’t know how to generate traffic

The list is extremely creative and endless. I know a place where all of this can be learned

If the above is typical, then they are named incorrectly. They are simply minor challenges that have a solution, based upon research and a little work. That's all.

Lack of discipline, and the lowering of educational standards did nothing to help this. Not that any of the challenges above would have changed.

The disposition however of the individual in terms of the approach to roadblocks [excuses] could have been different.

None the less, the situation is as is and must be dealt with.

My assumption here is that you want to succeed at something? [Ref Tracy Walker Network Diva] Only you know what that is. I will not tell what you should do nor coerce you in any way.

I am not here to sell you anything, I am here to help you move forward, and onward to your dream. This part of my purpose.

Whether you are an employee working the nine to five or a six to six workday, or are trying to develop something at home the doctrine is universal.

Here is my gift to you in the form of a smart goals template made up from over forty years of experience. It is not complicated. It just means some work, some persistence and some follow up. No giving up.

Step 1 Your Purpose, this will be incorporated in a smart goals template

Secure yourself a quiet place, preferably with subdued light. Clear your mind. Focus on your breathing. Stay like this for 45 minutes.

In the back of your mind somewhere are the words, memories, thoughts and the solution to this “purpose”.

You thought about it at times, maybe you talked about it, who knows? Answer: You do! It is in your sub conscious. [Ref Psychology Today]a smart gooals template

Remember you are going through this exercise to discover your “purpose”.

Since you are in process trying to figure this out consciously this wanting is in your mind.

Focus on your breathing.

This will help free up what is in your sub conscious, or the “memory bank”. The thoughts and words you are after are locked away in there, the exercise is all about bringing them to your conscious mind.

[Keep a notepad and pencil close by]

Thoughts and ideas are bubbling to the surface.

Take your notepad and start to write in any order any words that come into your mind.

After a couple or a few serious sessions of doing this you should have a random collection of words and phrases that surfaced. These came through to a clear mind that searched your sub conscious.

It is time now to make sense of all this. You have to do this work, and think about it terms of Congruency, Clarity, and Certainty.

What is meant by Congruency, Clarity, and Certainty?    [Ref Huffington Post]

a smart goals templateCongruency is rooted in your true desire. If the desire is “true “then you will have no problem in mirroring your words and your actions. When you present yourself to your “audience” your character and sincerity will be seen as one with your mission [desire]. You will not be seen as false. You and your purpose are “Congruent”.

The Clarity. Your vision must be crystal clear and focused. It is your outcome you are seeing. You are in the exact place. With the exact surroundings. In the exact circumstance. You can see this with your mind’s eye. You have already in a sense, lived it. The whole thing has “Clarity”.

The Certainty. You know in your heart that what you are doing for certain is your purpose. You are “Certain” of the outcome.

Spend the required time on this until it is abundantly clear to you that this is the purpose equal to your dream, or your why. Or whatever other colloquialism you may choose.

You will now have a simple or complex statement that is equal to your purpose.a smart goals template

If you did this work well then you can now develop the plan to meet the outcome.

Step 2. The Outcome, also incorporated in a smart goals template

a smart goals templateAs far as “outcome” is concerned and understanding it. Imagine you are determining the outcome, goals and objectives for someone who wants a degree in a business management. [Ref US Small Business Administration]

In other words you want to present the prospective student with a plan that tell him or her what is required.

“So Mr/Mrs?Ms Student this is what your outcome will be.

Outcome = Four Year Certificate/Degree in Business Management.

Your goal is …

Goals = to achieve the required grades years one through four in the specified subjects. The summed total will equal the outcome.

The objectives are partially listed, you will however have to figure the rest for yourself.

Objectives = Step by step, subject by subject, by specific dates with specific grade levels. Then, subsets which describe the books, resources, and lab work etc. needed to achieve this.

Attached to the same outcome might be goals and objectives to gain employment or some form of opportunity to finance this plan. It will not change the outcome, but the goal and the objectives to be met will be different.

This kind of rational and planning skill is universal.

So, let's say you want to start your own business, [Ref] it does not matter what the business is.

Without a smart goals template…the likely outcome is..

You decide to go into business, but you dismiss the steps needed with a broad brush statement of “I don’t need to do that, I know what I am doing”.

So, three weeks in here comes yet another wonderful no miss, perfect way to make money. However you had no clearly defined plan, [outcome, goals, and objectives] in front of you.

Clearly from the outside looking in…this what happened

  • You were pulled off track, distracted because there was nothing to measure this new scheme against.
  • Did it fit in with your goals and objectives?
  • Was there any use for it, would it help or hinder?
  • Was it congruent with you and your purpose?
  • Who knows, there was no plan, so no benchmark to compare.

This whole business thing is a journey.

  • The outcome is to arrive somewhere.
  • The goals are the major stepping stones along the way.
  • The objectives get you from stepping stone to stepping stone.
  • The idea is to be very specific and very much detail and deadline oriented.

Step 3. Put it all together and make it a smart goals template.

Let’s see if I can do this by example.

The outcome or major definite purpose is “I will teach others the skills of establishing themselves as individuals with abilities to encounter and deal with any situation in life. To make them independent researchers, and know where to find information. I will share with them the benefits of my own experiences.”

Notice there are some generic words in the statement. Words like “teach”, “skills”, “abilities”, “research”, and “information”. In other words while the outcome is specific, it also has the potential to be applied to several different goals.

Let’s say that one of my goals here is to make money such that I can stay at home full time in order to concentrate upon the outcome above. [It is reasonable and rational to expect there will be many goals needed on the journey to the eventual outcome]


a smart goals template1. Select and begin to develop a business from home. It must have the potential to make me $10,000.00 per month. It must be low maintenance with the ability to be leveraged. I want to be in business and operational by September 18th 2014.

I found a place where $10K a month is doable

Objectives for Goal Number 1. Each objective will need a completion date.

1. Research and select three potential candidates for the above goal.
2. Find out what skills are required to operate said business.
3. Find out what costs are involved, one time and recurring.
4. What will the daily activity be?
5. References, need five solid references from people who have been with the opportunity for an extended period of time.
6. How long before they were making money?

7. How consistent are their earnings?
8. Are the earnings one time or is there residual opportunity?
9. Paycheck or commission?
10. What is the commission level?

Adequate and thorough research must be conducted to establish the objectives required to meet the goal.

The idea is to break each goal down into steps [objectives]. The total of the objectives equals the fulfilling of the goal. If it is realized that something is missing, it can always be added.

However one should be thorough in the initial development of the objectives. There will be many goals, and a plethora of objectives. In most cases if a date or dates is/are pushed all the dates after that point will be pushed.

The whole idea of the smart goals template is to cause one to sit down and seriously think about the overall [outcome]. Then all of the major milestones [goals] and steps [objectives] to make that outcome become a reality.

Get this: If I learned on thing in the years I spent in industry, it was this.

NO DUE DATE OR COMPLETION DATE MEANS NEVER. It will never happen, your mind will be missing a critical element [the due date is missing]. Therefore it will wander onto something else, just like the absence of a purpose and plan caused above. Before it is realized the due date will arrive, and zero goals or objectives will have been met.

This is not a case of “I will just do this bit plan”, this process is “I will do the whole thing” kind of a plan.     [Ref the Center For Social Confidence]

Make sure you do not disqualify yourself walking through the door.

It is critical that a plan exists and that it covers everything A to Z. Anything external either fits or it does not. If it has no congruency with the outcome, then it does not belong. Throw it out and stay focused.

An added benefit of this smart goals template idea is that it provides one with a skills and knowledge checklist.

Irrespective of what the purpose/outcome and associated goals and objectives there is no progress without learning new skills and acquiring knowledge that was not owned prior.

Sprinkled throughout the plans will be “learn this skill”, research this “particular subject”. Personally I find this one of the best parts, I always like to be in the skills and acquisition of knowledge mode.

Now, in order to track this kind of activity a spreadsheet or Gantt [Ref] chart of some kind is a tremendous help.

a smart goals template
Simple Chart Excel Style

The above is ideal. Simple to learn. Excel based. Will go on forever, keeps all of the goals and objectives in order.

Beware however there is maintenance. A specific time daily, tri-weekly bi-weekly or whatever is appropriate is required to make sure progress is maintained.

Throughout my forty years in manufacturing I used this kind of mechanism to effect all manner of outcome. The outcome in those cases was a subset to an executive level outcome for the whole. So myself and others had a sub outcome, the principle is the same.

This is a tried and true methodology, I can personally attest to the effect that my life as a high level manager/director would have been short lived without it.

The issue with the home based business [Ref All Business] challenge is, you report to yourself. “Why do I need a plan?”

Well, you need a view of the whole. Once you have an outcome, you need an estimate for completion. The development of the plan if a good and thorough job is done will tell just about how long it will take. Whether you can work two hour days or ten hour days. What will need the most time? What you should buy vs do yourself? Etc.

Enough, I think I made my point. Get started, if you have not already, on a smart goals template.

P.S. I found this simple step by step system. Take a serious look, and I know you will like it

smart goals template

Pete Wilson

Ex operations director from the manufacturing industry, now developing an online business. Possess a comprehensive background in team management along with excellent skills in training. Looking forward to building my own team of like minded people.....PW

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4 thoughts on “A Smart Goals Template

  1. Pete, this is one outstanding list of instructions on how to set SMART goals! I love that you begin with helping folks determine their Purpose. This is the KEY area I find many people don’t pay much attention to and it’s one of the most important areas of our lives each of us can focus on. Our overall Life Purpose will DRIVE everything in our businesses and lives.

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