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Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

With the year’s end around the corner, it’s time to take stock of everything you accomplished in 2010 and set new goals for 2011. At the beginning of each year, I write out at least three ‘big’ goals (professionally and personally) – something that has been proven to be a huge help when focusing my priorities.

The S.M.A.R.T. method is an effective way to help you set inspiring and achievable goals for the next year.

Specific: If you don’t know whether your goal has been completed or not, it’s not specific enough. The goal must be concise, tangible and simple. It should explain what you want to achieve in simple language – so that anyone else would be able to see your goal and immediately understand it. For example, “Find happiness” is not a very specific goal – but “find a boyfriend/life partner” is.

Measurable: Your goal should be measurable, so determine the numbers that are important to you! For example, “Exercise a lot” is not a goal. “Go to the gym 3x per week” or “Average 30 sales per month” are measurable targets you can benchmark and compare your results against throughout the year.

Achievable: Your goal should be achievable. People tend to fall short of their goals because they set completely unrealistic goals that can’t be accomplished within the time frame. That being said – don’t be afraid to dream big! At CityMax.com, we’re a fan of setting BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals (because even if you fall short, you’ve probably done pretty awesome). These are the “big dream” goals that you would be ecstatic to achieve. If you can barely do a pushup, you probably won’t be able to bench press 500 lbs by December, but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do 100 pushups with some hard work!

Relevant: Your goal should be relevant to your dream. When the going gets tough, will you look at your goal and be inspired to act – or will you question whether it’s worth the effort? The more invested you are, the more motivated you are to complete these challenges when you review them. It may seem obvious – but whether it’s growing your business or taking charge of your personal life, choose goals that are dear to your heart.

Timely: When is your deadline? There’s nothing to set a fire under you like a hard date. Be realistic with the amount of time it takes, or else you may feel discouraged. If your time frame is too short for the goal to be achieved it may be discouraging and prevent you from achieving it; while on the other hand, if you take too long to achieve a goal, you will soon get exhausted and more likely quit. For example, “Write a book” is an intimidating goal with no date – but “Complete first draft of manuscript by November 31” gives you a hard target.

Other tips:

  • Break yearly goals down into more manageable monthly or quarterly goals. You need to have a basic plan to achieve big things, and with some basic planning you can monitor your progress or re-prioritize if you fall behind.
  • Have them prominently displayed – on your bedroom wall, taped to your desk, on your fridge – staring them in the face every day will help move you to action.
  • Celebrate when you achieve them! It takes dedication, focus and diligence to accomplish yearly goals, so it’s important to be proud of yourself when you complete them!

What are some of your personal/business goals for 2011?

Comments

  1. Tamara Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement and tips. It definitely helps.

  2. admin Says:

    You’re very welcome Tamara, thanks for reading!

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