Craft Venture: SMART goals

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on the road again by jaredks
What a week I’ve just had! Not enough time in the day to get everything done. This coming week was supposed to be my vacation, but my week off turned into a halfweek, while some design deadlines were moved up to this very week. In the midst of that, I’m dealing with a broken computer, typing right now on a broken keyboard, and fantasizing about running away to join the circus.
Every feel the same?

Unfortunately for all of us, the computer age hasn’t really ended up saving time for us, has it? Well, sure, it’s made it possible for us to do more in less time, but the result has been adding more and more and more to our days.

Luckily, any one of us, regardless of education, experience or wealth, can deal with staying productive even with limited time, but setting goals. Not just any goal, but effective, achievable goals. SMART goals!

I’m a huge proponent for setting goals. I often ask, “How do you know where to go and how will you know when you get there?” That’s all a goal really is: stating where you’re going, but in a way that sets you up for success. Goals are your own personal road map.

paris vessel by bombus

SMART goals are just goals that do set you up for success. It takes a little practice to change your goals from “I want to do X” to “I will do X in this specific way by this specific date.”

SMART is an acronym: Specific, Measurable, Achievable or attainable, Realistic, Timely. If you google SMART goals, you’ll find more than 31 million web hits!

Let’s walk through a common for an online business owner. “I want to increase sales.” A laudable goal, but not very specific, measurable or timely. It might be achievable and realistic, but not really based on the goal itself.

A SMART goal for this might be, “My sales at the end of next month will increase by five from this month.” It’s specific, measurable and timely: five more sales at the end of the month. Is it achievable? Realistic? Might be. You may need to set smaller SMART goals in order for your sales goal to be realistic. Setting a goal to place a new ad or develop a new line or send out a newsletter with a special discount: any of these may help you achieve your sales goal. (By the way, setting smaller goals to achieve a larger goal is the practiced of “strategic planning,” which we’ll talk about in the future.)

I have more to accomplish by this Wednesday evening this week than I thought humanly possible. Earlier today, I practiced what I preach and wrote down a list of SMART goals. Now I feel less overwhelmed and more focused. I know where I need to end up by midweek, so I’ll also know when I get there. And I no longer feel the need to run away to join the circus …

What about you? What’s your experience with setting goals? SMART goals? Let’s all commit to setting at least one SMART goal this week! I’d love to hear your feedback about the experience!

Until next week! BrendaPhydeaux DesignsPhydelle Designs

Image credits: (1) On the road again by JaredKS, (2) Paris vessel by Bombus,

11 comments | Click here to reply

I’ve been doing smart goals for my business for the past 4 months or so and have noticed that I get overwhelmed less now. Before I would have so much I wanted to accomplish and no clue how to get there. Small manageable goals (both for business and my house) have really helped my stress level.

Amanda | July 27th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

I love reading these kinda posts. I too am feeling the deadline crunch looming, my husband and I both follow a GTD approach which helps. I’m always up for ideas to keep up the productivity and keep the creative paralysis at bay. One SMART goal I’m setting is to gain 2 wholesale accounts in August.

Onwards and upwards!

sarah - craftyFOLK | July 27th, 2009 at 12:46 pm

What a great idea! My SMART goal for the week is to photograph the components for a custom order to get customer approval to start the project. Small, I know, but it also involves locating all of the photography equipment from my recent move…

Rebecca | July 27th, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I know SMART, I know it works and yet I can’t seem to get it down to paper for my own business and own life. I have a goal, I know I get there but have no idea how yet. Maybe I’ll have to take youre advice and start with something much smaller!

Monique (Kee) | July 27th, 2009 at 4:28 pm

SMART goals really do work! It’s hard, though, when you’re going pell mell, to slow down and write them down. Sometimes a goal is really too big for one SMART goal. Break it down into multiple smaller goals! You’ll get the positive reinforcement of accomplishing sequential goals, while steadily moving closer to your big goal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Brenda | July 27th, 2009 at 9:53 pm

I love reading everyone’s goals. One of the smartest (pun intended) parts of SMART goals is attainability in my eyes. Once you are able to meet/exceed a goal it will motivate you to do even more.
-Brittni

papernstitch | July 27th, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I love SMART goals, whether for your business or your household or your personal development.

A started using them when i was teaching HS, and worked with the kids in learning to use them. They work also for teachers. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am a big proponent of breaking big things down into small, achievable and concrete steps.

Now, all I have to do is get back to my SMART goals

rowena | July 28th, 2009 at 11:00 am

SMART. Very smart. I can’t get anything done without a list. The problem is I constantly over estimate how many things I can do in a day and end up feeling overwhelmed and annoyed with myself. For me the goal is going to be learning to set time constraints for certain activities during the day. So many of the things we do take only minutes, but add up to a long and overwhelming list.

heather jane | July 29th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

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I love this write up! It’s fresh, very refreshing and very simple to imbibe

Nola | August 19th, 2009 at 4:44 am
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