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Why ‘R’ = Relevant

Posted by on March 7th, 2013 with 0 Comments

The SMART acronym has been around for over 30 years, but there’s little agreement on what it actually stands for.

Based on my studies of over 400 published works that reference the SMART acronym, my application of the SMART framework for more than 15 years, and my discussions with leading goals practitioners, I am proposing a standard definition of SMART:

S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Aggressively Attainable
R = Relevant
T = Time-bound

No single aspect of that definition is hugely debatable. It’s the combination that’s up for grabs. It seems like everyone wants to change ‘just one variable’ in the equation.

Sorry, but I think this is the best definition.

Each day this week, I will review other words that have been used in the SMART acronym and briefly explain why I think they are not the best choice.

Today, we’ll review the 26 definitions have been used with the letter ‘R’.

  • Rational: Yes. A goal should be rational. I’d say that falls under either ‘Relevant’ or ‘Attainable’.
  • Reach out: This doesn’t make much sense, does it? A goal should ‘reach out’?
  • Reachable: ‘Attainable’
  • Realizable: ‘Attainable’.
  • Realistic: ‘Attainable’.
  • Reality-based: ‘Attainable’.
  • Reasonable: ‘Attainable’.
  • Recorded: Yes, a goal should be written down. That helps make it ‘Attainable’.
  • Reinforce a Reason: ‘Relevant’.
  • Reliable: A goal should be ‘reliable’? I’m assuming this is about the goal being ‘Measurable’.
  • Representative: ‘Relevant’.
  • Research-based: ‘Relevant’.
  • Resource-committed: ‘Attainable’.
  • Resourced: ‘Attainable’.
  • Resources are adequate: ‘Attainable’.
  • Responsible person: Strange, but this probably falls under ‘Attainable’.
  • Responsive: A goal should be ‘responsive’. Or the goal-owner should be?
  • Results-based: ‘Relevant’.
  • Results-driven: ‘Relevant’.
  • Results-focused: ‘Relevant’.
  • Results-oriented: ‘Relevant’.
  • Reviewable: ‘Measurable’.
  • Reward: This falls under the goal being ‘Relevant’.
  • Rewarding: This also falls under the goal being ‘Relevant’.
  • Ritten: Holy crap. I don’t even know where to start when someone misspells a word to make it fit. Let’s just ignore this, shall we?
  • Robust: ‘Measurable’.
  • Role-related: ‘Relevant’.
  • Rousing: This falls under the goal being ‘Relevant’ to the person or people working on it.

Well, that’s it.
I think it’s clear that ‘Relevant’ is the best definition for the ‘R’ in SMART.

Feel free to post below if you disagree.

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