Make Your Goals SMART

Now that you understand the importance of committing goals to paper and have identified the areas of your business where you need to set goals, and you practice using autosuggestion and visualization regularly, let’s continue to develop those goals.

There’s no point in setting goals unless they’re SMART, because SMART goals have the highest probability of being achieved.

Many people set goals, but too often, goals are too vague, or too broad. “I’m going to be a millionaire,” “I’m going to be the best parent ever,” or “My business is going to make much more money this year.” They’re big, bold abstract statements that are great for dreaming and visioning but don’t stand a chance of being achieved in a meaningful or tangible way.

SMART goals, however, are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound goals; specific goals that describe details and articulate aims are easier to achieve than vague or broad statements.

Ambiguous, incomplete goals will only assist you in achieving ambiguous, incomplete results. Your goals need to be as detailed as possible so that you will achieve the specific results you are looking for—a specific goal can be easily understood by anyone who reads it.

Ambiguous goals:
I should lose weight.
I will work harder this year.

Specific goals:
I will lose 10 pounds in the next two months (2.5 pounds per week) by eating more fruits and vegetables and exercising three times per week.
I will increase my sales figures by 20% in the next six months by scripting and practicing my closing strategies.

Measurable goals are the only kind of goals that you can actually technically achieve.

Your goals need to be measurable so you can assess your progress, manage your progress and know when you have achieved your desired outcome. Just use standard measurements like time, numbers, money and distance.

When goals are measurable, they can be broken down into smaller pieces. You can create an action plan and plot the steps towards achieving the goal. You can track your progress and revise your action plan if you need to.

I will make more money this year.
I will start running this spring.

I will increase my profits by 15% this year by increasing my prices (and value I offer) by 5% each 6 months and selling my audio interviews on eBay.
I will learn to run 10K this spring by joining a running training group.

Set goals that challenge and stretch you, but be careful to avoid setting goals that are far beyond the reach of your circumstances and skill level. It’s great to think big and dream big, but too many people set goals that are simply beyond their capabilities, so they wind up feeling disappointed.

On the flip side, setting goals that are too easy to achieve will not help you grow as a person and as a professional. Try to strike the right balance between challenge and reality.

I will climb Mount Everest this year
I will make billions of dollars

I will begin a one-year training program today, and climb to base camp in 9 months from now.
A million dollars is $2,739.73 per day, and $9,230.77 per week. I will earn 1 million dollars in the next 365 days starting today.

Realistic, relevant goals make sense and can be integrated into your life and overall business strategy.

It’s great to set goals in all areas of your life, but for the most part your goals will collectively achieve a common vision, and each goal’s action plan can be reasonably integrated into your life, with a realistic amount of effort.

Goals that are not realistic or relevant don’t have a logical place in your life or vision, and can derail you. Make sure that all of your efforts are working in a focused direction or you may run the risk of going in too many directions, never achieving your vision.

I will become a better Monopoly player, and win 25% more games.
I will become a NASA astronaut.

I will spend more time with my family this year by staying at home one night each weekend.
I will start my own online business to complement my existing business, and add another stream of income by my birthday.

Time-bound goals give you a frame of reference and keep you motivated.

Just as any task without a deadline is easy to push to the back of your desk or down your to-do list, a goal without a time frame will never be achieved.

Make sure that the time frame you set for your goal is realistic and achievable, not too short or too long.

I will join a gym and start an exercise program.
I will start a new marketing program.

I will join a gym by the end of this month and start a regular weekly exercise program.
I will invest $750 on an online product by the end of this month, and start selling it online by the end of August.

Once you’ve come up with some goals for your personal and professional life, make sure they are SMART:

Can I be more specific with what I wish to accomplish?
Can I measure my results over time, distance, dollars or quantity?
Do I have what I need to reach this outcome?
Is this goal consistent with my values and overall vision for my life?
Have I set a reasonable time frame for this goal?

I want to write a book.
I want to be really wealthy.
I am going to do my taxes.

I will write a book on Internet marketing that is at least 150 pages long, and have the first draft completed by Jan. 23. I’ll commit to writing at least three pages each day until I finish.
I will double my income to $200,000 within 18 months by starting an Internet marketing business.
I am going to finish my taxes by Friday, and I’ll achieve this by spending two hours on them each night until then.

Now, set some goals, based on your own vision and values. Set a few in various time frames, some to be achieved this week, some this month, some in 6 months, 12 months, 5 years and 10 years.

Put them on paper, and display your goals where you can be reminded of them on a regular basis, and get to work in transforming your vision into reality.


About the Author

Robert Ritch is a successful entrepreneur and business consultant, and has helped numerous small businesses increase their profits by assisting them in planning the steps they need to take and the order they need to take them, and in identifying and reaching their target market. Contact Robert at ceo@robertritch.com or at robertritch.com.

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