Looking at your goals from the past, what do you see? Goals you have achieved and have seen the results? Do you see goals that were accomplished, some abandoned, and some that changed? Or do you not see any goals? Maybe your business didn’t exist yet… or maybe you didn’t achieve the goals you thought you would.
It’s the same every year: January 1 approaches abruptly and suddenly, we’re throwing together goals for the next 365 days… But what really happens is we bring up the same goals year to year and rarely do we reach and exceed those goals.
What if something changed?
Set yourself up for success using S.M.A.R.T goals now and create consistency in your everyday. It’s going to take some planning, work, and maintenance, so let’s get started!
When you think of the first goal you want to set, don’t just think of the action but really think of the REASON. What’s the benefit of updating your website? What do you want for your business when you call five leads? What would it mean for your business to hit $10,000 revenue? Sure, you can put all your effort into achieving that task, but WHY is that worth your time and energy?
If you’ve set goals before or read a book related to goal-setting, there’s a chance you’ve heard of S.M.A.R.T goals. This is a widely-used acronym from 1981 credited to a group of gentlemen; George Doran, Arthur Miller, and James Cunningham. This framework has been the foundation of many goal-setting strategies, and it can help you create goals that will do more than just sit on your desk or collect virtual dust.
The first step in building a S.M.A.R.T goal is to make is Specific. This is where you go from “using social media” to “creating ads for our target market of adults ages 30-55 within 60 miles of our location who want to start ballroom dancing classes”. By telling yourself what you’re sharing on social media and for whom, you get a better sense of the “what” in your goal.
Next, we look at the “M”, the Measurable. This is how we tell ourselves what “done” looks like. When we say “create six ads”, we set a minimum number of ads for our goal. And if we only create five or less, we know we did not hit that goal. By adding in the “measurable” feature, we can quickly determine if we accomplished the goal.
Jumping ahead to the Results-Oriented, the “R”, we look at the reason this is a goal. In our example of social media ads, we will say this is an effort to increase website traffic by 35%. This tells us what we intend the social media to do for our business.
Our second to last step is “T”, Timely. One of the most important parts of a goal is giving yourself a due date. Setting a date makes it happen. For our example, if we want to increase website traffic by 35%, are there certain times of year that would benefit the business for an increase in traffic? When setting a time in your goal, don’t just think about when it would be nice to hit the goal, but think of the significance. Perhaps fall class enrollment closes at the start of August. Therefore, driving our traffic up before the close date would not only benefit the business, but our customers as well. Getting more people to the website after enrollment closes only creates frustration. So, for our goal, we are going to add “by July 31st of this year”.
Finally, we jump back to the “A”. Is this goal Achievable? When we put it all together, we have “create six ads for our target market of adults ages 30-55 within 60 miles of our location who want to start ballroom dance classes by July 31st of this year to increase website traffic by 35%.” Once we have our goal written out and we can see that it is specific, measurable, results-oriented, and timely, we ask ourselves “is this achievable?” When we consider the full workload of ourselves, and a team if we have one, do we know we can fit this goal in our schedule? If the answer is yes and we have set ourselves up for success, then we have a fully-written S.M.A.R.T goal.
If the answer is no, it’s a matter of going back to the drawing board for each section of your S.M.A.R.T goal until we’re confident in the goal.
Set yourself up for success every time by working with your ActionCOACH and by using the S.M.A.R.T goals framework!
Author: Kyleigh Mazer, Business Coach in Southern Indiana