The SMART goal setting method involves applying a set of attributes to our goals in order to make them achievable. The right goals can help to rapidly increase the development, growth and productivity of a business.
However, most people set goals that are either too vague, not realistic or don’t have a clear plan of action to achieve them.
By applying all the SMART filters to our goals, we can also start building a strategy to reach them.
Refine your goals using the following SMART goal filters and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing business success…
S – Specific
Your SMART goal needs to be specific
The first part of the process is to determine EXACTLY what it is that you want to achieve. No matter how big or small your business goals are, the first step always involves clearly identifying what you want to achieve in the short, medium and long-term. This gives you a starting point from which to work through the remaining other criteria.
Specific goals provide focus and direction
M – Measurable
Every SMART goal should have a measurable or trackable aspect.
This step gives you a simple way to determine if and when you have achieved your goal. If your goal is to grow your business, how will you know when it has grown? Do you want to earn a certain amount of money? Or do you want to take on a particular number of clients?
When you set a long-term goal you may also want to set smaller targets or milestones along the way to measure that you are on track to reach your end goal.
How will you measure your progress?
A – Achievable
A SMART goal must be achievable for your business in the given timeframe.
If you set a goal that is unattainable you could be setting yourself up for failure. Repeatedly failing to reach your goals will impact your motivation, pause your momentum and stall your business progress.
That’s not to say that you can’t set goals that aren’t challenging or push you to stretch your capabilities. Challenging goals will help you to develop both your talents and your business.
Your goals must be realistic and achievable
R – Relevant
The SMART goals that you set, need to be relevant to you and your business.
This filter is a little harder to apply than the others because it is a more individual criterion.
When we set a goal that matters to us, we are more likely to commit the time and effort into making it happen. This is a more valuable use of our energy and in turn, will lead to an increase in motivation.
If you have multiple goals, this step can help you to prioritise what is more important to you and can be crucial to gain a workable growth strategy for your business success.
Prioritise the relevancy of your business goals
T – Timely
SMART goals have a time-limit.
When we set a goal without giving it a deadline, it is more than likely to keep getting pushed back as we work on the tasks that do have deadlines and therefore, seem more important.
However, assigning a timeframe to achieve our goals can be a tricky process…
According to Parkinson’s Law – “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
In other words, the time we allocate to complete a task will be the time it takes to finish it. What tends to happen is that people will do nothing for the first part of the allocated time and then start working rapidly at the point they realise they must get to work, or they won’t make it.
Another problem that we should take into account when setting deadlines for our goals is the ‘planning fallacy’. Simply put, we have a tendency to be optimistic about how quickly we can complete a task and may not allocate enough time for achieving the goal.
You need to find the sweet spot between these 2 points that is not too much and not too little time.
The whole point of a time-bound goal is to achieve the right level of urgency. If things feel just urgent enough, we’ll work on them efficiently. If they feel too urgent, we’ll panic and get nothing done. And, of course, if they don’t feel urgent at all, we’ll never get around to them.
Deadlines provide a sense of urgency
The SMART model refines the typical goal setting process by stripping each goal back to the core elements. This makes it relatively easy to set do-able goals that will ultimately get you to where you need/want to go.
If you apply these filters in more depth you can easily outline a business strategy that will stimulate the rapid growth of your business.
For additional help in transforming your business goals into SMART goals, book a FREE Strategy Session using the link below.
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