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September 08, 2020 7 min read

Setting goals is critically important when it comes to reaching enormous success. However, it’s not enough to just come up within exact goals. Realize that not all goals are achieved in the same way and not all goals are achievable. Successful entrepreneurs rely on SMART goal setting and for good reason.

The idea for setting SMART goals is considered to be successful as it uses a number of strategies, helping to set achievable goals that will lead to success. Read on to find out what SMART goal setting is and how you can incorporate it in your daily life. You’ll also find an example of setting a SMART goal and achieving them.

 

What are SMART goals?

The art of setting SMART goals brings trackability and structure into your objectives and goals. Unlike obscure resolutions and grand goals, SMART goal setting forms effective and clear strategies towards a certain objective. The process involves the estimation of the attainability of a certain goal and a creating of an exact plan of actions. Each goal can be turned into SMART if you follow the rules we’re going to discuss below.

In a business world, SMART goal setting has become one of the most powerful tools for reaching great goals. Yet, this tool is little known and many people are unaware of it. Let’s say, you received a hard project and you’re not sure how to accomplish it. Start with scribbling the outlines of your project and then set specific intermediate goals that could help you do that project.

Evaluate your objectives with the SMART checklist and see how you can improve your goal in order to complete the project on time and correctly. Setting SMART goals creates transparency and clarifies the methods of tackling those goals.

 

What does S.M.A.R.T stand for?

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. If you’re going to set a new goal, it should definitely meet the criteria of SMART goal setting. Whether you’re setting a professional or personal goal, here are a few tips on how to achieve it fast.

Specific

When setting a SMART goal, think about what exactly you truly strive to reach? Be sure your description as specific and possible. It’s not enough to say, “I want to be rich and successful” or “I want to start a business.” Your goal should reveal a lot of details and you should answer to the most common ‘w’ questions, such as:

  • Who? – Think about those who you want to help you to reach the goal. This question is particularly crucial during teamwork.
  • When? – Sometimes it’s impossible to set an exact deadline, but setting a time frame is a must.
  • Which? – Identify any related requirements or obstacles. This will help you to find out if your SMART goal is actually realistic and achievable. For instance, if your goal is to start your own blog, but you’ve never written any articles or blog posts before, you might have trouble achieving this goal. SMART goal setting includes the preparation time, so before you start your own blog, learn how to maintain it and how to write articles professionally.
  • Where? – While this question isn’t a must, it can still be used when setting personal SMART goals. If your goal is about visiting an amusing event, figuring out a location is essential.
  • What? – This question requires tons of details regarding your goal.
  • Why? – Why do you want or need to achieve the goal?

Measurable

Measure exactly what you will hear or see and how will you feel when you achieve your goal. But it’s much easier to achieve one big goal if you break it down into several measurable elements. These elements will help you to stay on track and stay motivated on your way to success. Identifying the physical manifestations of the objective or goal makes it easier to complete.

Attainable

When setting a goal it’s critical to determine whether it’s attainable. If your goal is big, it doesn’t mean it’s not achievable. Break it down into smaller goals and identify if it’s still possible to reach that big goal by tackling the smaller ones. Consider the time, effort, and money your goal might require.  

If you have no time, desire, or finances to attain your goal, there’s no point in reaching it. This way, you’ll definitely fail. SMART goals require smart planning. Every detail counts here. You have to be prepared for it.

Relevant

Are you sure your goal is relevant to you or your company? Are you setting this goal for your team? Time is money, so make sure your goal isn’t a waste of time. Determine if your goal requires certain skills and if it does, then consider specific training. If you’re setting a goal for your employee, they should be ready for it. Plus, they should know that your goal is 100% relevant. Will your goal help your business develop? Do you have resources for it? Consider these two questions, as well.

Timely

As mentioned above, time is precious, so when setting a goal, you should create a detailed plan of everything you’re going to do and when. It’s not a secret that a deadline is something that makes us strive to action. That’s why, try setting at least an approximate deadline for your goal.  

Keep the deadline flexible and realistic, though. Quality is more important than quantity, so stay calm if the deadline won’t be met because of certain circumstances. If you’re breaking your big goal into several smaller ones, set a deadline for each small deadline and try to stick to it.

 

How to set SMART goals (with Example)

When setting SMART goals, the first thing you should do is to write them down.  Then, write down a few sentences about why you want to achieve this goal and how it can change your life. Here are a few tips on how to set SMART goals smartly:

To make setting SMART goals even easier, we have a great template you can download.

Come up with a SMART action plan

Once you set a SMART goal, your next task is to come up with a SMART action plan that will help you achieve that goal. This plan should include the details about how you are going to reach your goal. It’s also important to consider things like deadlines, milestone setting, potential pitfalls, and actions in case one of your milestones fails. Write down step by step instructions for achieving each milestone and set realistic timelines.

Invest in a quality goal planner

Planners are underrated these days. No wonder why, but all those apps will never replace a good planner. If you already have a planner, it’s perfect. For your SMART goals, it’s better to buy a new planner, though. Write down all of your ideas, goals, milestones, deadlines, and plans of action in your goal planner and cross each goal or milestone off as you reach it. It will keep you organized and focused on your actions.

We recommend our personal planner as a great tool to use. We’re currently offering great early bird specials.

Consider goal journaling

Before you say that this idea is crazy, hear me out. Reaching goals – be they business or life-related – is a stressful experience. Journaling has a lot of health benefits, including instant stress reduction. Consider starting goal journaling. Write down all of your worries, fears, doubts, success, motivation, and anything in-between that can’t be written in a goal planner.

Writing down your progress, thoughts, ideas, fears, and more in a goal journal will clear your mind and help you to fully concentrate on your goal. Even though setting a SMART goal isn’t an easy task, following through it is tricky. You don’t have to spend hours writing everything down but dedicate at least 10 minutes per day for your goal journal.

 

SMART goal setting example

Let’s look into one of the biggest goals of humanity – saving money. This goal is challenging and requires special training. SMART goal setting helps to achieve even the trickiest goals. Here’s how:

Let’s say, you want or need to save at least $20,000 this year. Write down this goal in your planner. Is this goal measurable? What’s your monthly or annual income? How can you increase it to achieve your goal?

Measure the amount of money you’re able to save this year. Create milestones to see how much you should save monthly to achieve this big goal. Schedule your milestones according to your paycheck day. If you have a complicated financial situation, create a plan of actions to fix it. Depending on the reason you want to save money, this goal is considered to be SMART and absolutely relevant.

The last but not the least thing it’s crucial to remember about SMART goals is that they can change. As soon as you feel that your goal isn’t relevant or it steals your personal time, you can change it. It’s okay to come up with a SMARTER goal, too. If you have difficulties achieving your goal, reconsider your plan of actions and see what else you can do to gain success. If you fail, it’s not the end of the world and you can re-set your goal, taking into considerations your mistakes and experience.

 

Your Ultimate Guide to Setting SMART Goals Final Thoughts

I hope this article was helpful for teaching you about setting SMART goals. It may seem like you’re taking simple goals and adding a bunch to them, which you kind of are because there is a good reason to do it. It is better to take extra time to set appropriate goals that you can accomplish than it is to set weak goals you never achieve. So, this simple method will 10x your goals and put you on the road to success quickly. Give them a try and let us know how they worked out.

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