I recently set myself some big goals for 2019 and I am really feeling an inner drive provide me with more motivation to move forward.
But what I also realise is that while I have these big goals, I need to set many smaller goals to ensure that I reach the big one. If I don’t then I’m going to lose motivation and my big goal is going to seem less and less likely achievable and I may even give up without really giving myself a true chance at reaching it.
And I also know that I need the really big goal to drive the smaller goals. Without the big goal I have no direction and I have no inner drive.
While feeling this inner drive I also noticed that there were some other people around me that were setting goals, (it’s that time of year!), but I could tell by reading them that they had already put themselves at a disadvantage to reach them. Why? Because they didn’t meet all of the requirements of a S.M.A.R.T. goal. They couldn’t tick all of the boxes and to me they read more as vision statements or New Years resolutions.
Goals are important for improving efficiency, and you can read how here. To make goals successful though you need to follow the S.M.A.R.T. formula, and you really do need to follow this well tested formula if you want to successfully reach a goal. S.M.A.R.T. goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound. Setting a goal that says “I am going make my business bigger” or “I’m going to get more clients” doesn’t follow this formula.
If we use those “goals” as examples, how can you turn them into S.M.A.R.T. goals?
Let’s focus on “I’m going to make my business bigger” and turn it into a S.M.A.R.T. goal by starting at the beginning and working our way through the letters.
How can we make this goal – I want to make my business bigger – more specific?
Start by deciding which area it is that you want to make bigger. Is it your email list? Is it the number of employees that you have? Is it the number of sales that you make for the year, or total profit? Maybe you want to open an additional store or expand into a new market. All of them are legitimate options for making your business bigger, & it might be that none of these are meaningful to you, but you need to decide what it is that would make you feel successful if you made it bigger.
Then you need to decide how you’re going to make it measurable.
If you want to make your email list bigger will you want a percentage increase or a set number of people on your list? If you want to increase your number of employees will it be total employees or total for a certain department, or even a percentage increase? If you’re talking profit or total sales, are you talking a percentage increase or are you talking a set dollar amount? Again, all are legitimate options for your business, but you need to decide what would be important to you and your business, and you need to decide how you want to measure it.
Then we need to look at achievable and realistic together.
This means that you’re going to need to look at past performance and determine what is going to be achievable for your business. And you ideally need to make it a bit of a challenge too. If you have 50 people on your email list after 12 months in business, then you probably wouldn’t want to set your goal to have 1000 people on your list as that isn’t really achievable or realistic unless you’re planning to do something to drive that increase. If you currently have 3 employees, then is it achievable and realistic to increase to 10? The number of employees you can increase to will depend on what is going to change in your business to make it achievable and realistic. Are you opening at a new location or bringing on a new product or service option? Either of those could make it achievable and realistic. But if you’re not changing anything and not actively pushing for more sales, then it might be more achievable and realistic to look at increasing by 1 or 2 employees instead. And the number you decide on will also be driven by the next point, which is the time-frame you set to reach your goal.
Make sure you set a time-frame for reaching your goal.
You need to set yourself a time-frame for reaching your goal or you will not be driven to meet it. And you need to make sure that what you have chosen is also achievable in the time-frame you’ve chosen. For me, I set a goal for the year and then set smaller goals that align with and drive me to my big goal. If I set a goal for the year, then I break down the measurable part to have smaller goals to reach each week, month or quarter. For example, if I set a goal that is to increase my email list from 50 to 200 people in 12 months, then I would set a goal with a smaller figure for each quarter. So quarter 1 I could set it to increase to 75 people, quarter 2 to increase to 115 people, quarter 3 to increase to 150 people and quarter 4 an increase to 200 people. Each quarter I am challenging myself a little bit more, but it also means that I won’t get to the end of 12 months and wonder why I didn’t reach it. I’ll be able to see which quarter or quarters I did not perform in and I will have something to work on to make changes with.
So can you also begin to see how setting goals also helps you to bring about improvement and change? Setting goals gives you an opportunity to review and evaluate why you did or didn’t reach the goal you set. It gives you the opportunity to identify areas for change or improvement, or to continue with what is working well and to increase the challenge on yourself.
So are your goals for the next year S.M.A.R.T. goals? Are you struggling to set them so that they are? Or are you struggling to determine if the goals you set are the right ones for your business? If you’re not totally clear, then you are going to struggle to meet them. But that is where I can come in. Book a session with me and together we can review and set the goals that will be right for you and your business! Stop waiting and stop feeling frustrated in your business. Book your session and start achieving!