SMART Goals to Start Strong and Finish Stronger
Updated: January 4, 2019
SMART Goals, Website Dreams, & Strategic Plans
Is your New Year resolution to improve your website, grow your business, or to publish your ideas for others to see?
If so – WRITE IT DOWN!
It is generally believed that if you write your goal down, you’ll be more likely to follow through with them. In fact, according to a supposed Harvard survey in 1953, out of all the 1953 Harvard graduates, only 3% had clear, written goals, and the plans necessary to accomplish them. Ten short years later, those graduates were interviewed again.
Can you imagine the shock when it was realized that, on average, those graduates were earning 10 times as much as the rest of their graduating class put together?
This is huge! At least… if it was true.
Unfortunately, this supposed story was never actually conducted, but is often quoted by self-help gurus and coaches. Those dreamed up graduates purportedly had huge successes in their lives and a common person would be hard pressed to rise to their level.
But hold up a minute. If you look at any Fortune 500 CEO, you’ll find that they are all chock full of goals… and plans.. and strategies. This indicates that while having a goal, a plan, or a strategy is not the only way to become accomplished, it will definitely help you out along the way.
So what your goals?
Do they happen to look like a list of your dreams? That isn’t quite the way to go – most dreams are amazing, fantastic, and, unfortunately, usually not specific or achievable.
I would urge you to look back on your goals today and see if they are SMART. “Smart” huh? Read more about it below…
Great Goals Should Be SMART
So now we know that SMART goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
An example of a SMART goal could be:
- Specific – We want to bring in 10 new clients via LinkedIn networking
- Measurable – In order to bring in 10 new clients, we will need to increase our posting of relevant material and drive 100 new visitors to our website each month
- Achievable – We have the ability to scale at this pace. Increasing posting frequency will improve relationships with desired customers and drive additional traffic to our website
- Realistic – Increasing traffic to our website will allow us to further deepen customers relationships and improve trust. This will lead to customers purchasing our products or services
- Timely – We will reach this goal of 10 new clients in one year
Taking the time to develop SMART goals is not for the faint of heart. You will need to understand your strengths and weaknesses, goals and desires.
Unfortunately, setting completely unrealistic goals will only result in frustration. As much as I would love to be a flying superhero and save the day, I also understand that this would be an unrealistic goal. This goal would have a higher chance of success if it was phrased as “be a superhero to my children.”
Establishing timely and measurable metrics needed to achieve your goal is more than just writing something down on paper. These metrics will let you know if you have succeeded (or not) while being timely ensures that the goal doesn’t last three times longer than expected.
Lastly, ensure your goal is specific, as this will set the scope and give you direction. “I want to be a programmer, build something awesome, and make a million dollars!”
While this goal sounds amazing, it actually isn’t saying much. A more specific goal would be “I want to be a Java programmer and attain a job earning $150,000 to $200,000 a year.” This goal gives the individual with a focus (single programming language) and what it would look like when the goal is achieved (a high paying job).
Writing It All Down
Documenting all of these elements is extremely important when figuring out your SMART goal. It’s even more important to realize that these goals should not be permanent!
Wait, what? You should not bind yourself to following your “perfect” goal. Instead, understand that your goal, and the elements included, are flexible and modifiable.
Think about it – if some major problem reared it’s ugly head halfway through your implementation, would that mean that you failed?
This means that an unknown problem has occurred and you will overcome it. It may take a longer time, it may take a different path, or you may completely pivot to a different goal.
What’s important here is that as long as you keep trying to move forward, you will reach your goals (whatever they happen to be). Just revisit your SMART goals to see if you are still on track.
To get your SMART goals started off right, input your information below and receive a SMART goal framework – absolutely FREE!
I would love to hear how you developed your SMART goals, starting strong, and finishing stronger! Leave a message in the comment section below.
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