It’s that time of year again. Time for New Year’s Resolutions. This year, let’s do it differently. Let’s make sure that every goal we create is one that we can (and really want to) achieve. Let’s take a few extra minutes to dig deep and create goals that are designed to be personal, powerful and achievable.
By creating S.M.A.R.T. goals we are intentionally setting ourselves up to win.
What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal?
It is a goal that is designed to be Stimulating, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound.
Now, if you’ve heard of a S.M.A.R.T. goal before, you may have heard of each letter representing a number of things. Some will say S stands or Specific. Well, I kind of think of that as being a no-brainer. My ensuring that the goal is Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-Bound, we are pretty much ensuring specificity anyway. So I’ve put my own little spin on the acronym to get the most possible bank for my buck, so to speak.
So let’s dig in!
Here’s the bottom line: If a goal doesn’t excite you- and I mean really excite you- you aren’t going to follow through. End of story. Your goal has to really drive you from an internal place. This is where you ask yourself
“Why do I want this?”
If the answer to that question doesn’t trigger some kind of emotional response, then it’s not a good goal. Furthermore, ask yourself, “How will I feel, if I don’t accomplish this goal?” and let this be the emotion that prevents you from slacking off when the temptation hits down the road. You have to want this almost more than you want to eat tomorrow. If that’s the case, then you’ll have the stimulation and drive you need to follow through no matter what.
If your goal is to make more money, how will you feel if you don’t. What will (or won’t) happen? Who will hurt? Go deep and get emotional.
If you want to lose weight, ask yourself why. Will you feel embarrassed in a swim suit? Will you miss out on a planned hike or excursion? Seriously, allow yourself to feel that emotion. It’s harsh, indeed. But it works!
This is where we really start to get specific. A goal isn’t really a good one unless you can measure whether or not it’s been reached. A good goal cannot be subjective. It has to be clear and concise. Put it this way, in order for a goal to be truly measurable, it has to be clear to anyone else who looks at it, what the benchmark of success looks like (including a 12 year old)! Ask yourself:
What does success look like?
Let’s go back to the money goal. Exactly how much money do you need to make? $50,000? $100,000? $500,000? Pick a number and that becomes your benchmark.
Now let’s look at the weight goal. How much, exactly, do you need to lose? 10 pounds? 40 pounds? Are you aiming for a specific weight on the scale? Or do you want to fit into a certain size jeans? Pick a number. That’s your goal!
You’ve set your goal. You’re fueled by emotion and you know exactly what success will look like. Now, ask yourself:
How am I going to achieve this?
In order to get from where you currently are to where you want to go, you need to take the first step. That means taking action toward your goal. What action steps will get you to your desired goal? Remember, be specific and use numbers to describe what needs to happen and always start the sentence with an action word.
What do you need to do to earn more money? An action statement might look like this: I will make a minimum of 25 sales calls each day or I will create on online course to generate additional revenue.
How are you going to lose that weight? Do you need to eat better? Exercise more? An action statement for weight loss might look like this: I will eat a diet of 1400 calories per day or I will workout 3x/ week for 45 minutes and burn no less than 300 calories per workout.
Now that you’ve gone pretty deep into the goal setting process, I want you to take a step back. Look at what you’re aiming for. And while I definitely want you to dream big and aim high, I also want you to be honest with yourself. In order to determine if this goal is realistic for you, ask yourself:
Do I have the skills and/or resources to make this happen?
You might need to consider what else is going on in your life. If you’re getting ready to have a baby any day now, focusing the extra time and energy on your business might be a little unrealistic. And getting to the gym 5 days a week might be out of the question.
Or if you’re just starting to learn how to generate revenue online, you might need to invest in a few courses of your own before you attempt to create one. Just sayin’. Consider whether you have everything you need right now to make this a reality. If so, you’re good to go!
T= Time Bound
This one is simple. Set a deadline! Ask yourself:
When do I want to celebrate reaching this goal?
By setting a deadline, you’re able to reverse engineer the process of making your goal happen, which means, working backwards from the deadline to where you are now.
For example, if you’re currently making $75k per year and you want to make $100k this year, and you set a deadline of 12 months from now, you know that you have to somehow generate an average of $2k a month. With that in mind, you can determine exactly how many more phone calls you have to make, or how many products you have to sell to reach your goals by your deadline.
Likewise, if you want to reach your goal of losing 20 pounds in 5 months, you know you have to lose 4 pounds a month, which is 1 pound a week. With that in mind, you can plan your caloric intake and workout schedule accordingly.
Finally, Write Your Goals Down!
This is a critical step! Do NOT skip this!!! After you’ve written them down, be sure to keep them with you at all times. Look at them everyday. Make them your screensaver on your computer, your lock screen on your phone, hang them on your fridge or tape them to your dashboard.
You’ve heard the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” right? By keeping them in front of you at all times, you are ensuring that they stay top of mind and you will be less likely to “forget” to take your daily action toward making them happen.
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