I explain what a SMART goal is, how it can benefit you, and I walk you through the process of creating a SMART goal step by step with examples.
If there’s one thing I regret not learning about as soon as I started high school,it would easily be how to write a SMART goal like a pro.
Unlike simply developing an ambitious mindset or even daydreaming, a SMART goal is set on paper and you are bound to see through its completion.
Before I learned about this systematic goal-setting technique, I used to simply visualize my goals and aspirations from memory.
Thus, 90% of those I wished to work on just vanished into thin air, never to be heard of again.
Since I want you to effectively achieve your goals at the soonest possible time, I’m going to discuss the nuts and bolts of a SMART goal and why it guarantees 100% success in your undertakings.
A SMART goal is a set of criteria that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It ensures that your goal is carefully laid-out, focused and significant, all while remaining within the realms of possibility and is motivated by a looming deadline.
The 5 elements of SMART can be broken down below:
Your goal needs to be clear and focused.
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Being specific about your goals cannot simply be overemphasized.
It is through identifying your goal that you can have the motivation and focus to aim at it.
Basically, specific goals are those that answer questions such as the following:
What is it that I want to achieve?
Why is it important to me?
Who will be involved in this?
Where should it begin/ Where it should take place?
Which things/skills do I need to have?
Once you have figured out what exactly it is that you wanted, you can move on to the next step, which is quantifying your goals.
Even if you have a specific goal, you’re still likely to have a hard time hitting it if it fails to address the amount of anything that your goal requires you to invest in, as well as the amount of anything that will be gained from it.
Therefore, it is necessary that your goal can answer questions like, “How much?” and “How many?” so you can easily manage your time, efforts, and resources that are needed to achieve it.
For instance, quantify the amount of revenue you are aiming to get so you can visualize how much effort and time you’ll need to achieve it.
Who doesn’t want to achieve their goals? No one, that’s for sure.
This is why instead of aiming for the near-impossible goals, you can tackle the attainable ones first.
And by “achievable”, I mean the goals that will make you stretch but not too far that you would eventually break.
It doesn’t hurt to dream big, but every little goal achieved will bring you closer to the summit.
When testing the achievable quality of your goal, take note of the realistic situations and expectations so that your enthusiasm doesn’t waver or make you lose your focus.
For example, instead of aiming at becoming a billionaire, focus first on achieving your six-figure income mark.
Sometimes, we get swayed by ambitions that are not aligned with our business objectives and life vision.
No wonder we often end up failing at the goals we thought would be worthwhile.
Hence, keeping goals that are relevant to your business and future endeavors should be prioritized over those that lure you to temporary fulfillment.
A relevant goal is one that asks questions like, “Does it seem necessary?”, “What will I gain from it?”, or “Does it suit my current needs?”
What makes a goal highly effective is when you set it within a prescribed timeframe.
Because if there’s no specific date on which it should be accomplished, you’re likely to lose focus and eventually give up right before its completion.
By setting a deadline, you’ll be inclined to follow the timeframe with as much enthusiasm as when you first started.
A time-bound goal is one that answers the question of “When?”
There are a number of things that can benefit you from drafting your own SMART goals. Among them are as follows:
A well-crafted goal that is based on the SMART criteria can motivate you to wake up every day feeling energized to lay down the stepping stones towards your success.
You normally can’t do that if your dreams remain in your head. They have to be written down so you are compelled to fulfill them.
Because your goals are bound to a specific timeframe, you become more obligated to work hard before the deadline catches up on you.
This way, you don’t feel the need to slack off and instead become more determined to engage only in worthwhile tasks.
SMART goals have the ability to cultivate skills due to the challenge they impose on the goal-getter.
People like being challenged, and when you’re faced with one, it’s either you chicken out or you say ‘yes’ to the dare.
By using the SMART criteria, you’re likely to develop skills that are relevant to the goal’s accomplishment such as critical thinking, time management, and negotiating skills, among many others.
It’s not enough that you have set a goal. You also need to heed its call to action.
Unlike when simply thinking about your aspirations, a SMART goal nags you in a good wayーit forces you to act out the plan until its completion and avoid procrastination.
Unless you put your goals on paper, they are nothing but dreams waiting to happen.
SMART goals, on the other hand, allow you to see how far you need to go to achieve success.
They are definite. They only reveal what you’re actually going to work on, which in turn helps in keeping you motivated.
To tackle the “Specific” aspects of SMART, make sure to answer first the 5W’s of your goal: What, Why, Who, Which, and Where.
The “Measurable” aspect must then address the amount of anything that will be used in the fulfillment of your goal and the amount that will be gained from it. Try answering the questions of “How much?” and “How Many?”
Check if your goal is “Achievable” by factoring in your available resources, skills, and current situation.
Make sure that your goal is “Relevant” by considering its alignment with your vision, your skills, and knowledge. It should answer “Yes” to the question, “Is it worthwhile?”
Finally, make it “Time-Bound” by setting a target date of completion. Create a timeframe that you must stick to until you achieve the goal.
Start by identifying the “Specific” goal you’re aiming for. If you’re aiming to boost sales, identify the exact technique you’re planning to use.
Give a “Measure” to your goal by naming the amount you’re planning to hit. For example, you’re aiming to hit your first six-figure sales or $100,000 as a result of the desired marketing technique.
Next step is to have a reality-check by gauging its “Achievability”. Basically, you can achieve that said amount by focusing on a specific marketing technique that increase sales.
Assess the “Relevance” of the goal to your overall business plan. If it gives the business an edge over its competitors, then it is a worthwhile goal.
Set the “Timeframe” for your goal completion. The six-figure income must materialize in the next six months, or you can stretch it further to a year until you hit the mark.
Still unsure how to write a SMART goal that works? Here are a few examples to get you started.
I aim to learn the industry’s best practices by participating in the business convention in August and investing my free time during weekends towards reading case studies.
I aim to do a collaborative project with a third-party service provider by next quarter, with a budget of $100,000 to help boost mutual sales for the rest of the year.
I aim to save $50,000 from getting rid of unnecessary equipment and manpower by the end of the second quarter.
I aim to increase website traffic by 20% in the next three months through optimizing content and increasing my profile, which will eventually lead to more sales for the business.
I aim to increase my revenue to up to $50,000 a month through marketing that will take up to six months, using Instagram stories for making viral video clips.
I want to improve our client retention at the end of the year by offering a loyalty program that collects $50 a month and allows customers to buy products at half the original price.
I want to modernize our business operations by next year by gradually introducing new equipment to the production department, with a budget of $150,000 and offering equipment training to employees.
I want my business debts amounting to $20,000 to be paid off by the end of the 30th month through a debt consolidation program from my Bank and setting aside 30% of monthly revenues as payment.
Now that you’ve got everything you need to get your mind in the right place for success with your goals, you might be looking for the right tools to set your goals and actually achieve them? I have a free gift for you that you’re going to love. For a limited time, I am giving away the planner that I use to set goals for my six-figure blog.
Once you’re ready to take your business to the next level, you should start learning how to write a SMART goal so you can track your progress.
Not only will it serve as your compass in this crazy world of entrepreneurship, but it will also inspire you to live life with a purpose and maintain a hunger for accomplishing things.
I hope that through this post, you’ll soon be hitting your goal targets one after the other, at your most desired pace.
Goal setting is a massive passion of mine, and I have many more posts and videos to help you reach your goals so stick around and see what else I can help you with by checking out the links below.
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