A Beginner’s Guide to Setting SMART Goals

How to set smart goals

Goals.

We all have them, yet only some of us will see them realized.  Do you know why?

While goal setting is a must for any successful business or endeavor, there is a distinct difference between plain old goals and developing SMART goals.

This is a very popular acronym widely used, and for good reason!  SMART goals meet five criteria:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable

R– Relevant

T– Timely

1. Specific

Goals need to be clear and should answer the 4 W’s and an H:

What do I want to accomplish and why?  Who is involved?  Where will this goal be accomplished?  Then there’s the How… specifically identify requirements and constraints to achieving your goal.

Not a SMART Goal:  I will make more money in 2016.

SMART Goal:  I will increase my revenue by X percent by the end of 2016.

2. Measurable

Frame your goals so that you can easily measure progress.  This not only helps you to stay on track, it also helps to keep you motivated.

Going back to our example, you can analyze your monthly or quarterly earnings against the previous year’s figures to see how your moving along with your goal.  The more you’re able to quantify your goal, the easier it is to track.

3. Achievable

Goals need to be realistic, period.  Yes, a good goal should push you and stretch you, however it also needs to be one that is realistic and within your reach.

Not a SMART Goal:  I want to be in the NBA.

SMART Goal:  Improve my free throw shooting by X percent.

4. Relevant

Choose goals that matter.  They should fit into your overall philosophy and be in line with other goals you have.  They should be worthwhile to your future and have a positive impact on it.

5. Timely

Give yourself a deadline.  This commitment helps prevent your goals from being forgotten or put on the back burner due to unexpected events.  It also attaches a sense of urgency to your goal and helps you to avoid procrastination.

Here are few additional tips to smart goal setting:

  • Write your goals down!  “Ink it don’t just think it”, and be sure to read them everyday to remind yourself of where you want to be.
  • Don’t confuse your goals with your outcomes.  A goal is something you set out to achieve, and the outcome may differ from that goal.
  • Start your goals with actionable words (write, finish, eliminate, create, etc.)
  • Share your goals and make it known.  The more people who know your goal(s) the more encouragement and accountability you will have.
  • Revaluate on a regular basis.  Sometimes your goals change, and that’s ok.  Just go with it and tweak as needed.

Do you have any tips for setting smart goals?  If so leave them in the comments below.  If not, then let me know what you’re struggling with!

To Your Continued and Ever-Growing Success,

Dana

Need a little boost when it comes to setting smart goals?  Then join me on the phone for a complimentary Strategy Call today!