As a small business and blog owner, I need to get focused on the goals for the coming year. Every quarter I re-evaluate my previous goals and go about setting powerful and SMART goals.
I’ve always been a goal kinda gal! But until I ran my own business, I didn’t realise how deeply you needed to delve into those goals. Especially how important they were and how to make them successful.
What Are SMART Goals?
When making goals, it’s important to learn about the acronym S.M.A.R.T. This will help you set better goals.
Each letter stands for a different area of the goal. If you create a SMART goal, you have created a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Reasonable, and Timely. Using SMART goals can set you up for success in your goal setting.
S– Stands for specific, which means that your goal needs to be spelt out very precisely. Using language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is. Why you want to achieve the goal, and how you will get there, is very important. If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.
M – Stands for measurable, which means that you should be able to use this as a metric for which to determine success. If your goal can’t be quantified, then it’s not a full goal. You won’t know how to tell when you’ve succeeded. An example of a measurable goal: “I want to add 100 dollars per week of income to our bank by writing five 500-word articles each week for a life coach.”
A – There are different things that “a” can stand for but it’s usually actionable, assignable or achievable. The preference to really get something good achieved is to make your goal actionable. Meaning do something for each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal.
Goals should also be achievable or you will only get frustrated. Be accurate about the time it takes to reach a goal, and what actions it takes to get there. Also, know who will be responsible for doing it. You may have to guestimate timings initially, but as you move forward, these will become more structured timings.
R – This can stand for realistic or relevant, and either or both are important and are true. If you want your goal to succeed, it should most certainly be something that is realistic or you will fail. It should also be relevant to your life’s vision and match with your values.
Get to the heart of ‘why’ you want this goal, will set you on the journey to making realistic and achievable goals.
T – Various authors refer to the “T” in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym as time-bound, timely or trackable. All of these t’s are important parts of the goal creating and setting process. If you don’t set a time limit and you can’t track what is happening. Your goal will be hard to quantify or show as achieved.
Whichever words you use to help you craft your goals, the important thing is that you need to have a process. Smart goals are goals that you follow through on achieving and know when you’ve met them, this will, in turn, give you a great sense of achievement.
How To Set Powerful Goals You Can Achieve
In order to set powerful goals that are achievable, take some time to research the dreams you have to find out if they’re even doable. You do want to challenge yourself some but you don’t want to make the goals so hard that you experience only failure. To ensure maximum success, make sure that your goals meet the following criteria.
Match Your Core Values
The more any goal fits into one of the four main areas of life – Family, Financial, Physical or Personal – the more likely you are to be able to set a realistic goal that you can achieve. If a goal for some reason doesn’t fit into one of your core values, it’s not likely you’ll experience much success.
Be 100 Percent In Control
While goals that rely on others aren’t wrong, they are harder to achieve. Any goal that you control 100 per cent is a goal that you can reach.
Make sure that you’re not letting fear get in your way or blaming fate for your failures, though. Self-limiting beliefs can get in your way on this one. Be realistic about whether you do have control or not and give yourself more credit. For example, if you think you do not have control over your financial future because “that’s just how it is,” you are mistaken and need to eliminate this line of thinking.
Be Able To Envision The Goal
If you can’t see the end result, it will be very difficult to move forward toward achieving the goal. If you need to draw a picture, make a vision board, or take a day out to fantasize about your big dreams and see how they all fit together in the big picture of your life, do so. You need to see the end to be able to truly achieve it.
Be Spelled Out Specifically
Every goal you make needs to be very specific in nature. If you really want to be sure to reach the goal, you have to know when you reached it. Instead of saying “I want to start a business,” state exactly what type of business you want to start, who you want to be your clients, and other information that makes the goal more concrete.
At which point have you achieved the goal? If you can’t give a number or something that is measurable, then you won’t have a real goal. If you want to use the business example, you might include that you want to earn x amount of dollars each week by a certain date and then how and why you are going to do it.
To achieve any goal there have to be steps that you can take to get there. Like using a map to reach a destination that you want to go to on vacation, you need to draw a map to your vision of success with the steps and paths you’ll take along the way. But not only what but when, and how you’ll accomplish the step.
You don’t want to write a goal that is too hard to achieve or worse, impossible. Be sure that it’s possible to do it by researching everything realistically. For example, you’re not likely going to start a business today and earn six figures by tomorrow or even the first year in business. Look at the research and determine what is doable and how you’ll do it.
Every goal has to have a time limit otherwise you may never achieve it. Start with the end and work your way back to today, creating the list of things to do each day to finally reach the end result. But, do set a time limit. You can adjust as you get into the project if it works to be more realistic but resist the urge to change the time because you’re not sticking to your task lists.
If you use this method to create powerful goals that you can achieve, you will not experience so many failures because you can always adjust your timeline and your goals as you learn more. The important thing is to give each goal a lot of thought, consideration, and study before setting it.
If you struggle to be efficient with your time, I have written a helpful post 16 Tips to Better Time Management, you might find helpful.
Do you have your SMART Goals written down? What will push you to achieve these goals?