Goals are Part of the Success Formula
You’ve made the decision. Starting today, you’re going to set goals! Hooray! But wait… you’ve set goals before and what do you have to show for them? Fancy day planners covered with spider webs.
If you truly want to make a change and start achieving your goals, you need to be SMART. Relax, I’m not calling you dumb. It’s just that your goals haven’t followed the right format. In order to be SMART, goals must be: Specific, Measurable, Action Oriented, Realistic and Timely. Let’s dive in and learn a little bit about each characteristic.
There’s nothing like a vague goal to cause failure. If you’ve found yourself saying things like “I want to build my business” or “I want to get in shape”, then chances are, you haven’t succeeded at either. Your goals should define exactly what you intend to gain (or lose) and how you intend to do it. For example: “I will make 10 sales calls a week” or “I will run a mile five days a week”. That takes the responsibility away from the Business and Weight Loss Fairies and gives you the guidebook you need to increase your bottom line or decrease your bottom.
How will you know when you succeed? What’s the evidence necessary to begin your celebration dance? If you can’t answer that question, your goal isn’t measurable. Let’s stick with the building your business example. Building your business could mean you land one more client, or you bring in 5 million repeat customers, hire a staff of thousands, and have an employee break room stuffed with Oreos and Pepsi. Making it measurable gives you a finish line to work towards.
No disrespect to The Secret, but most of us haven’t mastered the art of manifesting riches while sitting on our couch. What action steps will you take to reach your goal? Think “I’ll ask each home buyer for a referral at closing”, or “I’ll replace my evening oatmeal cookie with kale chips” (nope, that’s a terrible plan. Don’t do that.) Remember those fairies I mentioned before? Keep the ball in your court by making goals action oriented.
I’m all for dreaming big and reaching for the stars, however if you create a goal you’re not willing and able to work towards, you’ll likely fail and then take a hit to your self esteem (and potentially your wallet). Let’s say you’ve determined your goal is the break room overflowing with snacks, but you’re currently a one person operation and you sell a tool created for left handed, red headed step children, who were born on a Wednesday under the zodiac sign of Aquarius. Clearly this is a bit exaggerated (plus everyone knows that red heads aren’t born on Wednesdays), but I wanted to show you a pretty much impossible scenario. Keeping your goals realistic prevents you from disappointment when they aren’t met.
Ever find yourself using words like “someday” or “eventually”? Those are Kryptonite to a goal setter. When would you like to accomplish your goal by? Is it a short term goal like “I’ll lose 10 pounds in the next month”, or a long term goal such as “I’ll run the Iron Man triathlon before I turn 50” (which by the way will need to be broken up into smaller goals starting with “Stop eating Oreos and drinking Pepsi every day”). Creating an end date keeps you focused and moving, and provides a sense of urgency.
Are you ready to be a goal setting rock star? Keep your goals SMART and you’ll rock your business and your life.