Goals come in all shapes and sizes. They can have any focus that you like. They don’t only need to focus on revenue. You could have a goal for professional development, to grow your online presence, or to utilise the relationships with existing customers. Whatever focus you choose for your goals, you have to give yourself the best chance of achieving them. You have to be SMART about it.
No, I am not yelling at you I promise. Good goals are SMART goals. They help you to break your vision down into achievable steps that will mean you are always working towards success. So how do you set these SMART goals? By being smart about the process of course. Let’s look at it now…
How Do I Set SMART Goals?
While is is clever to set SMART goals, that is not the word’s only meaning. It is actually an acronym for how you can set easily achievable goals.
You want to take the time to define your goal clearly, and give it as much detail as possible. Saying that you want to increase your social media presence is great. But how do you want to do that? Does that mean getting more followers, more engagement on your posts, or getting more traffic back to your website as a result? Delving into it even deeper, you should know what platform you are going to focus on, the type of numbers you are talking about, and what you are going to do with an increased presence.
Being as specific as possible allows you to break it down into actionable steps. By completing those steps you are constantly working towards achieving your goal, and you know how you are going to get there. So, a better goal would be, ‘I am going get 20% more engagement on my Facebook page within 3 months’. You know what you have to do, where you are going to do it and when you are going to do it by.
For a goal to be a good one, you need to be able to measure your progress. If you can’t measure it, then how will you know if you have achieved what you wanted to? Let’s go back to our social media example. Tracking the goal of ‘increasing your social media presence’ is too difficult because it really could mean anything. You could get one new follower to your page and technically you have achieved that goal. But I doubt you would be excited with those results!
You can easily measure the second goal as you can use Facebook’s own analytics to track your engagement for the last 3 months. You can then use the same tool to compare your results against the previous engagement. Straight away you will be able to tell if you achieved your goal.
There is a fine line to walk when you are setting a good goal. If you make it too easy then you can lose interest in pushing yourself as you know you will achieve it anyway. But if you make it too hard you will lose interest because there is no way you can possibly get it done.
So you do need to be sensible when setting your goals. But not too sensible. The goals that you choose should be a little bit scary to achieve. That will keep you pushing forward right to the end.
Choose a goal that you truly are passionate about, not a goal you think you should have. If you align your goal with your core purpose, then you will do almost anything to turn it into reality. But if it isn’t relevant to your business, or what you are trying to achieve this year then it is a pointless goal.
You have to ensure that the goal you chose will meet your needs. That it lights a fire under you. Something that you won’t forget about when the going gets tough and you are overwhelmed with stress and too much to do. If a goal is relevant then it won’t feel like hard work to complete it. It will feel natural and necessary.
You must include a time limit on your goal. If you don’t, then there is no sense of urgency. If the clock is constantly ticking down towards your end date then you are going to feel compelled to take action. There is no time to waste with procrastination. You need to stay on top of your goal milestones, otherwise you won’t have achieved success when you wanted to.
Choosing the right goal and framing it correctly means you have won half of the battle towards achieving it already. Using the SMART goal formula will help you to form your goals in the right way.