Do you set goals? I’m sure you do and I’m sure you have heard all the reasons under the sun of why and how you should set them. So today I just want to quickly share with you what one guide I use that has given me the greatest success. And that is by setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goals.
As far back as I can remember, I have been a goal setter. I think there just may be a specific part of my DNA designed just for goal setting. Be it so, it doesn’t mean I have always had the best goals or even the greatest outcomes. Some were a success while some, not so much. That is until I found out about S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals.
Great Questions to Great Goals
You know as well as I do that having goals in life is crucial to success. It is one of the key components that make up a life of significance. Goals help guide us to achieve our desires. They give direction and provide a means of measurement in the journey of life.
As with any success, great goals start with great questions. That is why you should always, always, always allocate quality time to think about your goals in detail and map out your game plan before you start.
This is where using the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goal plan can help tremendously. So what is it? To put it simply, it is a fantastic framework that calls out key parts of a well-planned goal. Each one helps you obtain a very clear picture of the goal and how to get there.
Let’s go ahead and look at each part now…
- Specific: Be highly detailed and extremely clear about the goal you want to accomplish. Drill down to exactly what you want to achieve.
- Wrong: Have a successful online business
- Correct: Sell blue widgets online with a stand alone shopping cart storefront.
- Measurable: Your goal has to be quantifiable. To know if you reach your desired outcome, you need to have a way to gauge the progress. To do so, set benchmarks.
- Sell 1,000 blue widgets with an average profit margin of 35%.
- Attainable: There is nothing worse than setting a goal that is not attainable. If you cannot truly reach your goal, then you are basically setting yourself up to fail. From there you will become discouraged, frustrated, and possibly depressed. This could even lead to not believing you are capable of succeeding.
- Check the market and find out the average sales and profit margins for blue widgets. If it is only 200 per month and an average of 20% profit margin, then your goal is most likely not attainable. At least not immediately.
- Relevant: Your goal should matter to your life. It should be worth the effort or you will probably give in quickly. With goals come obstacles. If the goal at hand is not relevant, then you will not be willing to push through to the breakthrough.
- Will selling 1,000 blue widgets per month at a 35% margin provide a desired lifestyle? Maybe not if you are selling them for $2/ea. But if they are $20/ea then it possibly will.
- Time-based: Map out and attach your goal to predetermined time points. This includes, launch, progress, and capture times. Some examples would be:
- Open store in 10 days.
- First month sales will be 400 blue widgets on a Grand Opening sale price giving you a profit margin of 20%.
- Second month you still run the grand sale but now selling up to 800 blue widgets.
- Third month is final month of sale and gained 1300 sales but margin is still an average of 20%.
- Fourth month sale is over and your margin goes to 35% while sales decrease to 1000. GOAL CAPTURED!
- Evaluate: You must continue to evaluate your progress when working towards a goal. If certain activities are not helping you reach the destination, then you should take needed actions to change.
- Set checkpoints each week and track sales progress.
- Revise: Based on your evaluation checkpoints, you may need to revise your plan in order to hit your goal. This is especially true for long range goals that will span a lengthy amount of time.
- If after your first month you are far off from hitting your time-points then maybe the sale isn’t working. Try another avenue or method.
Always remember that the purpose is the goal and not the plan. Do not get so focused on the plan that you risk missing the goal. Understand that your plan may need to change along the way.
Also remember to ask yourself thought intensive questions to bring light to the best answers for each section. Again, to capture great goals you must first start with great questions.