If you think of your goals as dreams or wishes, you’ll never accomplish them.
A different way to frame your goals
We recently talked about a clever way to recover lost time in your seemingly busy day. We even provided you with a tool, a time calculator, that helps you discover just how much time you have to pursue new goals and achieve those things you’ve been putting off forever.
Well, now that you know you DO have the time to work on the things that matter to you, let’s get to working on getting to those goals!
SMART is not just a trendy hashtag
You’ve probably heard of S.M.A.R.T goals before…and that’s because it’s a formula that works. It’s not just a trendy hashtag. Here’s an overview of the why making SMART goals are critical:
Your goal needs to be spelled out very precisely and you also need to have a reason WHY behind your goal…some benefit or emotional attachment that will keep you focused. For example, a goal might be to earn $12,500 per month and onboard 5 new quality clients monthly in the next 90 days.
Three keys to being specific:
- Use language that leaves no doubt as to what the goal is
- Be clear about why you want to achieve the goal, and
- Specify how you will get there
If you are not able to be detailed in your description of the goal, it will be hard to meet it. Take the time to do this part right.
This is where the Journal comes into play. It’s a report card and a method to measure what you want to accomplish and be accountable for what you actually accomplished. If your goal cannot be quantified, then it’s not a full goal and you won’t know how when you have succeeded.
An example of a measurable goal would be “I want to deposit to our bank account an additional 100 dollars per week. I’ll accomplish this by writing five 500-word articles each week for a life coach.”
There’s a useful saying, “measure what you treasure.” It means you should track anything that important to you–weight, inches, run or walk speed if you’re doing fitness; savings, income, debt if you’re focused on your finances, and so forth.
ACTIONABLE / ACHIEVABLE
There are different things that “A” can stand for, but it’s usually actionable or achievable. In order to achieve anything, you must take action. So, make your goal actionable, where you do something each day that will eventually result in an accomplished goal.
Goals should also be achievable or you will quickly get frustrated. Be accurate about the time it takes to reach a goal, and what actions it takes to get there. Also, know who will be responsible for doing it.
REALISTIC / RELEVANT
“R” can stand for realistic or relevant, and both are important. If you want your goal to succeed, it should most certainly be realistic or you will fail. If you’re currently making $500 a week and your goal is to increase that to $12,500 in 90 days, it’s probably not realistic (although getting to your figure is do-able). However, you may be able to increase it by $300. Once you achieve that goal and are earning $800 a week, you can set a new goal to increase your income by another $500 a week or something similar.
Even better, instead of focusing on the specific number, focus on the specific actions that will increase your business revenue or side income. Track what actions produce results and do more of what works, prioritizing the most important income generating activities each day. By doing that, you’ll be surprised how fast you achieve your goals. (In fact, what if you could achieve more than that 12,500–wouldn’t that be awesome! So, focus on the actions vs. a fixed number.)
Your goal should also be relevant to your life’s vision and match your values. There’s no point in making or achieving goals that have no relevance to your long-term life goals. You could instead use that time to reach goals that get you one step closer to actually reaching your life goals. So always ask yourself, if the goal is relevant to your life goals.
TIME BOUND / TIMELY / TRACKABLE
Various authors refer to the “T” in the S.M.A.R.T. acronym as time-bound, timely or trackable. All of these t’s are important parts of the goal creating and setting process. If you don’t set a time limit and you can’t track what is happening, your goal will be hard to quantify or show as achieved.
Break down your goals by when you want to achieve them, and work backward to weekly and daily milestones. Our time calculator and morning makeover challenge will help you do this. Learn how you can get access to both, plus grab the S.M.A.R.T. goals workbook and the rest of the valuable resources in our success toolkit.
Free Downloadable S.M.A.R.T. Goals Workbook
To help you work through and create S.M.A.R.T. goals, download the quick guide and worksheet below as part of our Power Achievers personal and business success toolkit. You’ll also get the 7-day Makeover Your Morning Challenge to supercharge achieving your goals!