S-M-A-R-T goals just got S-M-A-R-T-E-R!
By now I’m sure you’ve heard that you must set smart goals, or S-M-A-R-T goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-Oriented, and within a Time-frame. I’m here to tell you that the old smart goals approach, while effective for some, isn’t a sure-fire way to reach your goals. Smarter goals, or S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals, on the other hand, make a connection that’s sure to keep you driving, reaching, and attaining your goals!
Here’s why and how your smart goals just got smarter!
Specific AND Success Oriented.
Many business owners set a goal to make more money than the year before. I often ask them “so if you made $100,000.00 last year and you make $100,000.01 next year you’ve reached your goal?” Goals need to be specific. If you have a monetary goal set a specific dollar amount.
Ask yourself if this goal is related to your overall success.
You may have a goal to get up at 5:00 am every day. However, you may be more productive if you slept until 6:00 am every day. Goals should be the steps to achieve your bigger picture. If it doesn’t help paint the picture don’t set the goal. That’s a smarter smart goal.
Measurable AND Meaningful.
Again, just to make more money isn’t measurable over certain periods of time. You’ll need a method to track your success. If your goal is to make $100,000.00 this year break it down into smaller amounts, such as $247.00 per day or $1,923.00 per week or $8,333.00 per month. Use something as basic as an excel spreadsheet to track and measure your progress. Just tracking will immediately begin to give you greater results.
Make your goals meaningful.
Do you really want to make $100,000.00 by December 31st or is there a meaning to the additional income? Maybe what you really want is to take a family vacation. Is it possible that you truly want to purchase a larger home? Would you like to pay cash for your child’s college education? Dig deep into what achieving the goal provides to you, your family, your business, your employees, your community.
Achievable AND Accomplished.
Be realistic. If you made $5,000.00 last year is it possible to make $100,000.00 this year? It may be. I’ve often been told, “that sounds impossible”. Everything is impossible until someone does it, right? Break it down into small bites and you may just find that it is, in fact, possible. If it’s truly not possible don’t set yourself up to fail. Adjust your goal to ensure that it is achievable.
Ask yourself if achieving this goal will give you a sense of accomplishment, and why it will provide a sense of accomplishment.
I set a goal several years ago to purchase a larger home. Yes, I did achieve that goal. It provided me with a great sense of accomplishment, not because I was able to work hard, save money, negotiate with the agents and banks, but because I was able to provide a place where my children could invite their friends, (the house had a great family room and pool), where we could have large family gatherings, where the grandchildren could have sleepovers, and build memories.
When you attach a sense of accomplishment, and this tied meaning to my goal as well, it creates a whole new sense of urgency and drive to achieve your goal!
Results Oriented AND Relevant.
Too often business owner focuses on the goal rather than the results the goal will provide for them and their business. If your goal is to hire a new employee focus on what you want the outcome or results to be of gaining a new team member, how it will help your business, your other team members, and your customers.
Ask yourself if this goal is relevant to your success.
Setting a goal of getting a promotion may sound great but is it really a promotion that you want or is it that you truly want to be empowered with more authority to make decisions.
Time-frame AND Thankfulness.
Like planning a vacation, you must schedule a date to arrive. Setting a goal is first determining a destination and then assigning an arrival date. If you haven’t set a date in which to accomplish your goal you won’t be able to plan accordingly. Just imagine if your realtor gave you the exciting news that your house sold. However, when you asked her when you could expect to go to closing and get your check for the proceeds she responded with “soon, I’m sure”.
First of all, how could you plan to move? Would you know when to start packing, cleaning, or even looking for a new home? You wouldn’t. On the other hand, if she said 30 days from today that’s a different story. You could plan and act accordingly. Your goals must have a date that you want to achieve them by. Otherwise, it’s just a wish.
Be thankful for the result of achieving your goal.
Too often business owners see setting goals and working to achieve them as a daunting task. If your goal is to weigh to 150 pounds by March 1st be thankful that you have the ability to walk and run. Be thankful that you have an income that allows you to buy healthier food. Be thankful that you have the mindset that allows you to make healthier choices. What if you can’t afford to join a gym today? Be thankful that you can exercise right in your own home. Attitude is everything when it comes to achieving your goals!
Evaluate and get Excited.
If the thought of reaching your goal doesn’t excite you don’t set that goal. You should hardly be able to contain yourself at the thought of weighing 150 pounds or making $100,000.00. Evaluate and reevaluate. If your goal was to weigh 150 pounds evaluate your health at 175 pounds. You may be at a healthy weight and may have more energy. You’re possibly be sleeping better. There may not be a need to lose 25 more pounds. What if you just needed to tone your muscles? Toning may require a different exercise regimen and diet than losing weight. Sure, income and weight goals are smart goals. However, set goals that excite you and you’re setting much smarter goals.
Reevaluate and be Ready.
After you have (or have not) reached certain benchmarks reevaluating is key. My client had a goal of 2,000,000.00 in gross annual revenue. The gross annual revenue was climbing at a very fast rate. However, they were not profitable. The missing link was their margins. They had priced their product too low. Thus, they were losing money on every product sold. They reevaluated. I’m happy to say they are very profitable today.
Finally, you must be ready for the reaching your goal.
If the goal was to make $100,000,000.00 do you have the level of expertise to handle that amount of money properly? Do you know how to invest your money and get a solid return? How will you prepare from a tax standpoint? Do you have checks and balances in your business to safeguard you from fraud or embezzlement? Preparing in advance will play an enormous part in reaching and maintaining your smart goals….your smarter goals.
Therefore, if you’re ready to make a change, devote the time and effort, and reap the rewards, set S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals that are Specific AND Success Oriented, Measurable AND Meaningful, Achievable AND provide a sense of Accomplishment, Results Oriented AND Relevant, have a Time-frame AND allow you to be Thankful! Evaluate and get Excited! Reevaluate and be Ready for SUCCESS! Yes, smart goals just got smarter….much smarter.
Now that you’ve set your smarter goals it’s time to achieve them. Here are 7 PROVEN STEPS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS!