02 S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Set yourself up for success by developing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based goals and be proud of what you have accomplished.
Following up from last week, we now have a central focus. A word that will help keep us grounded, centered, and on path for how and why we will achieve our goals.
Hopefully, you have taken some time to think through your why, your focus for the year, and what you’d like to achieve, Better yet, hopefully, you’ve written it or them down. While I am all about being ambitious, I hope that you have no more than 3-4 key goals for this year. The reason being that I want you to be able to put in the necessary energy to each. There is only so much time in a day, and we need to divide that time accordingly in order to be successful and reach these goals we are setting.
So, S.M.A.R.T. goals. What are they? Why are they effective? Why do we need to spend so much time on them. Well, I will tell you, that the more time you spend on the plan, the less time you will spend worrying about how you will achieve it. The less time you will wonder what you should be doing with your time. The less time you will have to question what you are moving towards.
Think about any miscommunication that has happened in any relationship that you have. At the bottom of it, the reason there was a miscommunication is that what was said between the two was unclear. It wasn’t clear where to meet, or when to meet, or why to meet at that time, or how you would both get there, or what you would be discussing. It wasn’t clear what expectations of each other were, or how those expectations would affect other areas of the relationship.
Just like those relationships with other people, I want you to be clear with yourself. Be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the less room there is for questions, miscommunication, or unclarity if you have actually achieved what you are looking to do. More importantly, tell someone. Telling someone will help hold you accountable. You don’t want to let them down, and they can help check in on you.
Take a look at the goals you already have written down. If your goals sound anything like ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to make more money’ or ‘I want a new job’, tear them up.
A goal without specificity, focus, impact, and most importantly a plan is just a wish. And we aren’t here to wish, we are here to do. So let’s get started and let’s get S.M.A.R.T.
These are the details of your goal. As much as you can, list out exactly what you want. You don’t want to just lose weight. You want to lose 5inches on your waist by July 5th because you have your daughter’s wedding and want to fit in a dress you have loved and been looking at for the last few years. You don’t want to just make more money. You want to make $5k more this year by building out your Etsy brand awareness through social media, word of mouth and email marketing because this truly brings you great joy and you want to bring your passion to others while filling your pocket a bit.
Think about it. No detail is too small. If you need help around what to ask yourself, check the below.
Ask yourself: Who is involved in this goal? What do I want to accomplish? Where will I achieve this? When do I want to achieve this by? How will I chive this? Why do I want to achieve this
This is where we remove the word more or less. That is not measurable. By saying I want to make more money, all you technically ended to do is make $1 more and you have achieved your goal. Will that make you happy? I don’t think so. If you say I want to lose weight and you step on the scale one morning that you are dehydrated and weigh 1lb less, you have technically reached your goal. Is that what you intended? I didn’t think so. This is where you quantify your goal. Ask yourself the following questions.
Ask yourself: How many? How much? How often? How will I measure the success of this? How often do I need to have checkpoints to make sure I’m on track? What is my indicator of success?
Take a look within you and around you. Do you have what it takes to achieve your goal? Do you have the right mindset, the right tools, the right level of commitment, and the resources to achieve what you’re trying to achieve.
Ask yourself: Do I have the tool, the resources, and everything else I need to achieve this goal? Have others like me accomplished this before? Am I willing to commit the time that is needed to achieve this?
This goes hand-in-hand with achievable. Think about this like applying for college. We are told to have safety schools and reach schools. If you are getting Ds in history, I don’t think it’s going to be realistic that you get accepting into Harvard as a history major. Don’t make it too easy, but also make sure it is within your control and realistic to achieve.
Ask yourself: Is the goal within reach given the time and resources?
In order for a goal to be a real goal, there has to be a time associated with it. I can say I want to make $5k more dollars, but if I don’t say by when, I can technically make $5k 25 years from now and have achieved that. Putting the time behind a goal is what makes it real. It adds pressure. It creates deadlines that drive us forward and ensure we aren’t slacking off. This is where we can see if we are on track or off as we look at our 12, 6, 3, and 1-month plans. If we didn’t achieve what needed to be done in the first 6 months, we need to readjust the goal for the next 6 months as it might likely not be possible. Give a specific time to each level of your goal and ask yourself the following questions.
Ask yourself: What is the deadline for this goal? When do I want to achieve this by? When are my pitstops?
I believe you have what it takes. I believe that if you truly want something, and put the necessary time and effort upfront to leave no room for questions, and ifs or buts upfront, you will succeed. Give your goals and dress the energy, time, and love that they and you deserve. Check-in with yourself early and often throughout the journey to shift gears or readjust where necessary. No surprises here. You are in the driver’s seat of your life. You are in control.