In 1992 a study inside 2 of Scotland’s Orthopaedic hospitals provided overwhelming evidence that goal-setting works.

The study proved that having detailed, challenging goals clearly worked for pain-riddled hip and knee replacement patients.

The researchers who conducted this study gave the patients a booklet detailing the schedule for their planned rehabilitation – this booklet included 13 mostly blank pages with the following instructions:

‘My goals for the week are…?’

‘Write down exactly and in detail what you are going to do. For example, if you are going to go for a walk this week, write down where and when you are going to walk in detail’

The successful patients completed all 13 pages with very specific, written down goals and plans…

Why?... How?... When?

The goals were SMART goals…

The researchers in this study proved that SMART goals work. They can work in your firm too…

S – The goal must be Specific – going for a walk and writing down where and when

M – The goal must be Measurable – how long is the walk and where is it to and from

A – The goal must be Attainable – can the distance be achieved?

R – The goal must be Relevant to you – having just had a knee operation – walking is part of the recovery

T – The goal must be Time bound – the recovery booklet covered only 13 weeks – so the patients had 13 weeks to achieve their goals

The research strongly suggests however that A – Attainable isn’t enough – this suggests the goal can be achieved with some degree of ease…

To really push yourself change Attainable to Ambitious!

When was the last time you set challenging and ambitious goals for your team?

Read here how the use of SMART goals over 13 weeks worked for the patients in this study and how these​ basic principles can be applied successfully to your accounting firm.