Setting SMART Goals

Setting SMART Goals

You’ve probably seen some variation of a S.M.A.R.T. goal already, but I believe there’s a law mandating that any blog remotely related to marketing HAS to have a post about S.M.A.R.T. goals. That means this is going to be direct and to-the-point.

Once you have a good idea of what goes into defining a S.M.A.R.T. goal, I recommend you read about ‘The number one reason you’re not achieving your goals,’ which puts your S.M.A.R.T. goal to work in a larger context. This also introduces two new elements to make a more effective S.M.A.R.T.E.A. goal.

For now, at the very least, write down a first person statement of your goal – a powerful action statement that defines important details:

Who (typically you, but it could be a specific business or department), What, Where, When, and How of your Goal. Think of it as making a powerful action statement. The example goal mentioned above to ‘make more money’ becomes, “By the end of 2015 (the when), my business (the who) is grossing an additional 70,000 dollars a year (the what) from new service clients (the how) within a 20 mile radius of my place of business (the where)”.

Specific: Getting specific means you define as many of these as possible about your goal: Who (typically you, but it could be a specific business or department), What, Where, When, and How of your Goal. Think of it as making a powerful action statement. The example goal mentioned above to ‘make more money’ becomes:

  • “By the end of 2015 (the when), my business (the who) is grossing an additional 70,000 dollars a year (the what) from new service clients (the how) within a 20 mile radius of my place of business (the where)”.

Some of these details, especially the when and what, may change as you go through the process of setting your SMART goal. That’s fine – the aim is to have a statement that succinctly covers all details.

Measurable: This is where you define how you know whether you are reaching your goal. I also think of these as objectives – they are the milestones you have to reach to know you are going to achieve your over-all goal.

  • I am bringing in an additional $5,850/ mo in new client based revenues
  • I am adding 8 new clients a month

Actionable: Are there any specific actions you can take to reach your goal? Do you have additional resources that you can use to help achieve them?

Ask yourself: Do I have the resources and capability to achieve this goal?

If the answer is yes, list out 5 actions you can take that will bring you closer to reaching your goal.

Realistic: I might have a goal to go on a space flight. But unless already have (or can raise) the $250,000 set aside to ride with Virgin Galactic, the goal isn’t quite attainable. This is where you give your goal a reality check to determine if it needs adjusting. Additionally, if a goal is truly too much of a reach, you risk burning out and giving up.

Ask yourself: Can I complete the actions I’ve listed, which are necessary to reach my goal?

If your goal is unattainable, it might be time to scale it back to something more manageable – like an airplane trip to Sheboygan, WI.

Time-frame: Robert Herjavec said it best: “A goal without a timeline is just a dream.” A goal must have a deadline, or you won’t have any sense of urgency to take action. Your timeline will depend on the goal, the actions you need to take, and the resources available. While I am a big fan of setting 5 year goals, 10 year goals, etc – in most cases you will want a goal time-frame of no more than 6 months to one year.

 

 

Image Credits:

Project 366 #239: 260812 Stay On Target! by Pete
http://www.flickr.com/photos/68502717@N08/7155138495

 

 

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