How to Set SMART Goals

Every renowned entrepreneur achieves success by setting realistic goals and working tirelessly to reach them. According to a recent study from Dominican University, if you put down your ideas on paper, you're more likely to accomplish them than when you don't. However, it's not enough to write down your objectives. The research also showed that public commitment and accountability could propel people to achieve more.

Even with this relevant information, several business owners fail to set and accomplish their goals to enhance their company success. That's because they don't have a reliable goal-setting framework in place. Hence, this article provides reliable ways to set up different SMART goals frameworks to help your organization's values align with your team goals. 

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART goals refer to objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Plans are precise when they aren't ambiguous, and you can clearly define them. And, they're measurable when you can break them into measurable steps. Furthermore, for your goals to be achievable, you should be able to reach them within a time frame with the resources at your disposal. 

Besides, your goals should be relevant so they can reflect your company's ideals and values. Lastly, you have to make your goals time-bound by setting deadlines to create a sense of urgency.

The paragraphs below offer you various tips to help you set SMART goals.

#1. Decide What You Want

The first step in every goal-setting framework is to decide what you want to accomplish. So whether your goals are short-term or long-term, you must first determine what you want before setting them. Nonetheless, it would be best if you weren't too broad-minded with your objectives. Also, ensure you're not setting goals to impress anyone. 

Even though you should begin with a general idea of what you want, make your goals more specific by defining your terms and adding details. 

#2. Get Specific

You're much more likely to reach your goals if you narrow them down. A specific goal is more easily accomplishable than a general one. So when you have ideas, endeavor to translate them into something much more precise. 

For example, your goal could be to have more customers. In that case, you might want to set a specific plan of using Facebook ads to reach your target audience in different parts of the world. That way, you're more likely to achieve that goal.

#3. Create A Yardstick For Measuring Outcomes

Establish your business success criteria if you wish to track your team's progress or know when you reach your business goals. It's noteworthy to mention that your criteria could be outcome-based (descriptive) or numbers-based (quantitative). Besides, it's a good idea to add concrete numbers to your life goals. This will help you know if you're on the right path or doing poorly. 

For instance, your goal may be to generate more money for your business. However, ensure you make it quantitative by saying you want to generate 1 million dollars in revenue. Knowing the existing financial state of your business will help you see if you have reached your goal.

#4. Ask Yourself Questions To Sharpen Your Focus

You can ask yourself many questions to ensure your personal and business goals are as measurable as possible. These include:

  • How much? For example, “how much profit do I hope to make?”
  • How many? For example, “how many times a week do I need to go to the office?” 
  • How will I know when I've attained the goal? Will it be when I compare my business revenue with previous years?

Probing questions like the ones mentioned above help you to sharpen your focus.

#5. Track And Measure Your Progress

It's easy to know if you're on the right track when you have measurable goals. For example, if your goal is to make 1 million dollars in 12 months, then you earn over 500 thousand dollars in 6 months, you will know you're about halfway there. However, if eight months have passed, and you have barely made up to 100 thousand dollars, this will signal that you need a strategy change.

Additionally, using a journal to keep track of your business records is another good idea you should try out. Writing in a journal will help you keep things in perspective and relieve you of the stress your business may be causing you. 

#6. Assess Your Limitations

Always set goals that you know you can achieve. Or else, you can easily get discouraged when trying to achieve them. Ensure you identify the various issues and challenges that could arise and how you can overcome them. You must understand when trying to pursue your vision, you will face challenges. 

Ask yourself if it's reasonable to achieve the goal despite such challenges. Also, be realistic about your personal and team's limitations and how they can affect your goal's pursuit. For example, it will be unlikely for you to make 10 million dollars within a year if you don't have the necessary skills and business resources. 

Assessing your limitations will give you a clear view of what you can achieve and the challenges you will face in pursuing your goals.

#7. Reflect On Your Desires

Remember always to ask yourself if your goal meets your values and fulfills your desires as a person. Also, ask yourself if there's an objective that's more important than the one you're pursuing. For example, imagine you get admitted to Harvard to study law. And you have all it takes to become a lawyer. But if your goal is to become a musician, pursuing law at Harvard will do no more than hinder your music career. And you probably won't succeed in law either.

#8. Choose A Time Frame

Choosing a time frame means that you put a deadline or set a completion date for a particular task. Furthermore, you can define and stick to the specific actions you need to reach the goal when you place a timeline. Also, as a business owner, it's good to put a deadline for your team to accomplish your business goals.

If you don't give your team deadlines, there will be no internal pressure to hit the target. Therefore it's likely your goals will end up on the back burner.

#9 Set Benchmarks

It's beneficial to break a goal down into smaller chunks when it's long-term. This allows you to manage them well and also monitor your progress. For example, if you want your business to make 500 thousand dollars in the next six months, set a default goal of hitting around 85 thousand dollars each week. This is less of a challenge and creates the motivation to make steady efforts. 

Also, you can get an app that will track your business activities and finance. Moreso, such an app ensures you are taking the necessary steps each day to attain your goal. And if this turns out to be too much for you, you can always go back and make changes to make your goals more achievable.

Final Words

Setting SMART goals is a powerful weapon that can motivate you to turn your business ideas into reality and prepare you for your ideal future. Besides, the Smart goal-setting process can help you decide what you want to do in life. The goal-setting process will help you identify unwanted distractions that can lead you in the wrong direction in life.

Finally, setting SMART goals allows you to keep an eye on today and the future. Not only will this enable you to make steady progress towards your vision, but it also helps you focus on things that will help you reach both your long-term and short-term goals.

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