In business lingo, a SMART goal stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. These goals need to answer the following questions:
- Specific – what exactly am I going to do?
- Measurable – will I know when I’ve arrived?
- Attainable – can I realistically achieve this goal?
- Relevant – will it get me closer to my end-game objective?
- Timely – is it within an appropriate timeframe for me to work towards this goal. Without overworking myself or getting burnt out by or forgetting about the task at hand?
When you read those five questions, the first thing that pops into your head is “well, of course, I want my goals to be specific”. It’s natural to assume that the people who created these questions had specific in mind. But they really didn’t. They aren’t asking you to be specific about what your goals are, but rather how, specifically and particularly, you’re going to achieve them.
Not being able to answer these five questions can lead to a lot of frustration, disappointment, and eventually give up on goals altogether. That’s why you need SMART goals.
Why is SMART goal setting so important?
SMART goals allow you to work towards your objectives by breaking them up into a series of smaller tasks that are more easily achievable. They help you keep on track with what needs to be done to reach them.
You’ll be able to determine in advance how you’re going to achieve your goal (measurable) whether or not you’re on track with it and to what extent you’ve achieved it (attainable). Relevant goals are ones that will actually provide value towards reaching your end-game objective, as opposed to irrelevant ones which will only distract you from achieving your end goal.
These goals are also time-specific (timely). This means that your deadlines will be clear and you’ll be able to plan how long it should take for you to achieve each of these tasks. They also have a time limit, so that you know when exactly they need to be finished. You’ll never have the feeling that you’ve been working on these tasks for a long time without any results.
- SMART goals can help you stay focused and increase your chances of success
- SMART goals are the key to setting yourself up for a successful business
- Clear goals lead to clear paths
- SMART Goals help keep everyone on track
- SMART goals save you time and effort
- Use other people’s experiences to your advantage
- Writing down your goals is more than motivational; it can actually force them into existence
Some example SMART goals
The smart goal for the Apple iPhone could be to “sell over 10 million iPhones in the next year.”
The SMART part of this goal is:
- Specific – It gives you a specific number of what you want to accomplish.
- Measurable – If you know how many iPhones are sold, then you will be able to tell if you reach your goal or not.
- Attendable – The goal is very reachable because it is set to sell over 10 million iPhones in a year, which isn’t an unrealistic goal based on the company’s previous sales records.
- Relevant – The success of the iPhone depends on how many are sold in a year; so this goal is very relevant.
- Time-Bound – The time frame completes this SMART goal and tells Apple when they can expect to finish.
Using the same formula, Starbucks could come up with a smart goal like, “Sell 5 million Starbucks products in the next year.”
- Specific – Just like the previous example, it gives you a specific number of what you want to accomplish.
- Measurable – This goal is also measurable because it can be counted how many products were sold.
- Attainable – Selling 5 million in a year is definitely possible for Starbucks because they have done it before.
- Relevant – This goal is very relevant because they need to sell a specific amount of products for their company to remain successful.
- Time-Bound – This goal is also time-bound, just like the Apple example, and tells Starbucks when they can expect to finish.
A SMART goal is a crucial part of your business strategy, which should be considered by all entrepreneurs. They act as a plan that will help you achieve your goals and to determine the best way to reach them. Achieving success in any venture takes laser-focused focus and determination; so set yourself up for success with these steps:
1) Decide what you want to accomplish
2) Write it down
3) Break it down into smaller pieces
4) Set deadlines
5) Make sure each task has specific instructions
6). Reward yourself when you complete tasks
7). Use other people’s experiences
8). Writing things down can actually force them into existence
9). Remember why this journey is important
10). Stay focused
11). Keep moving forward
Using SMART goals can help you stay focused and increase your chances of success. They are the key to setting yourself up for a successful business. Clear goals lead to clear paths, so be sure you have everything all mapped out before you start!
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