Setting Smarter Goals
23 January 2015
The year ahead holds so much promise and anticipation, another chance to fulfil the goals and resolutions we made last year which we want to improve on or those which weren’t quite reached. Either way, setting goals is the perfect way to strive for something and continue improving, whether it is in your business or personal life.
However, it is one thing to say, for example; this year I want to increase my number of clients or I want to make more money. Both are common and important goals, but neither dictate how this is to be done and through what means. Unfortunately, it is all too often that goals without clear constraints and courses of action will ultimately not be reached by the end of the year and end up at the top of your next resolution list.
What are SMARTER goals?
To make sure that you reach your goals this year, we’re going to make realistic and SMART goals with a clear set of constraints and a defined purpose.
S.M.A.R.T.E.R is an acronym outlining the steps to move beyond the realm of vague goal setting and turn this into an actionable plan. S.M.A.R.T.E.R. stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based goals which are then Evaluated and Re-evaluated respectively. Let’s break this down and get our goal setting going…
Make sure your goals are specific and clear in their intentions. They must outline exactly what is expected and will often answer the 5 ‘w’ questions:
• What: What do I want to accomplish?
• Why: The reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal
• Who: Who is involved?
• Where: Identify where the goal is to be accomplished if it is location specific.
• Which: Identify the requirements and limitations
By measuring a goal, this helps goal achievement to stay on track, reach target dates and helps to experience the anticipation and feeling of achievement on the way towards reaching the final goal.
This aspect of goal setting is often overlooked when setting a goal, a common example being ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to increase sales’, which then presents the questions of ‘How much weight do I want to lose?’ or ‘By how much do I want to increase my sales?’.
A measurable goal will answer questions such as:
• How much?
• How many?
• How will I know when it is accomplished?
Setting realistic goals is another important aspect which needs to be considered. Goals needs to be neither extreme nor below standard as they should require discipline and diligence to achieve, but not be completely out of reach or so easily achieved that they become meaningless.
An attainable goal often allows us to identify previously overlooked opportunities to achieving an end goal.
A goal should be relevant to yourself and/or your business and is often found to be relevant if it is aligned with other goals. A relevant goal will be worthwhile, match your needs and be targeted towards the right person at the right time.
In order to encourage motivation, focus and a sense of achievement, goals should be designated to be achieved within a certain time frame. This commitment to a specified deadline allows a sense of urgency to be established and will often present questions such as:
• When does the final goal need to be reached?
• What can I do today to reach this goal?
• What can I do in 6 weeks/6 months etc. from now?
An ongoing evaluation of the progress towards reaching the end goal is extremely important as it allows focus to be kept and also enables strategies to be improved upon.
You may find, for example, during your advancement to your goal that you have achieved less than you anticipated. In this case, you could either increase your efforts or extend the time frame, depending upon which is more attainable.
Now that you’ve achieved your goal, look back on your journey to getting here. This will help to see how you responded to environmental adaptations or any challenges that arose along the way. How can you improve this for future goal setting ventures?
Start your goal setting now!
Everything you need to get started with setting SMARTER Goals is right here! Whether for business or personal goals, follow our comprehensive guide to start setting SMARTER goals now!
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