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.
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!