Last week, we talked about SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). This week, I wanted to go into a little more detail about SMART goals, with good and not as good real life examples (from me!).
SMART goals seem pretty easy, until you sit down and make sure you have all five components. Then it’s a bit more of a challenge!
Here’s a non-SMART goal from my own business: “Decide on holiday packaging.”
- It’s kind of specific, if all I want to do is make a decision about holiday packaging, but which parts and what about after the decision?
- It’s not really measurable – how do I know how to measure a non-specific goal?
- It seems achievable, but refer back to #1.
- Realistic? Yes … but again, the goal isn’t very specific.
- Timely? Not at all – what’s the deadline for this decision?
Here’s a SMART-er goal: “Select and order 1000 pieces pf holiday tissue wrap and four reels of ribbon by August 15th.”
- That’s very specific. I know exactly what the goal is.
- Definitely measurable, both what I’m doing, the amount, and the date.
- I think this is achievable – I already have an idea of what I want – it’s just a matter of finding the best price.
- Two weeks is realistic, but only because I’ll be working on my Fall and holiday plan during vacation next week. It wouldn’t be achievable if I said “tomorrow” or “Friday of this week.”
- This is also timely – I have a specific date as a deadline.
For me, that first goal would keep falling to the bottom of my to do list. It’s just not specific enough to tell me what I need to do in the midst of a crazy day of multitasking. The second goal is one I could knock out pretty quickly: very specific and directive. I know exactly what to do and will have the satisfaction and positive reinforcement of accomplishment when I cross it off my to do list.
Here’s another real life example: “Get blog press about new Fall line.”
Yikes! Sounds so simple, but there are multiple goals within that little statement. I wouldn’t get anywhere with a goal like this. I would have the best of intentions, but it’s rather overwhelming when you really look at it. Where to even start?
Here are possible mini goals, all SMART:
- “Research 10 design/shopping blogs by next Monday to identify at least two possibilities to query about my new Fall cowl lineup.”
- “Draft and proofread two possible email query templates by this coming Sunday morning.”
- “Ask two friends on Sunday to read my email templates and provide feedback by Tuesday evening.”
- “Photograph and list my three new cowls by Monday.” (Note: I could break this in two: a photo goal and a list goal)
- “Write up final draft emails to my chosen blogs on Wednesday, send to myself as practice run.”
- “Send final emails to chosen blogs by next Wednesday night.”
The original SMART goal was huge and a little scary. The smaller and much more S-M-A-R-T goals are not that scary individually, and by the time time they’re all accomplished, I will have accomplished that original, scary goal. Yay! Better yet, by cutting my large end result into small, specific, achievable goals, I’ve successfully engaged in strategic planning for my business.
Let’s practice! In the comments, list one of your goals, then identify each S-M-A-R-T component. You may find that your goal isn’t SMART quite yet; if so, what do you need to add? If you’re not sure, don’t worry, I’ll check back all week to help out!
Image credits: (1) Vintage style chalkboard vinyl decal by Off the Wall Expressions; (2) Yellow handbound book by sfeinstein