Implement S.M.A.R.T Goals for Better Results and Success

SMART Goals to SuccessIn Part I – “New Year’s Resolutions or S.M.A.R.T Goals for Better Results” we discussed the importance of setting S.M.A.R.T goals. We clarified the first two parts of the meaning of the acronym: S = Strategic and M = Measurable. In this post, Part II, we will dive into the meaning of Achievable, Realistic and Time-Specific goals…and more.

Achievable/Attainable: No one can set your goals for you because only you can decide if they are within your capabilities – your ability, skills, resources, and time-frame. True, others can often see in us what we cannot see in ourselves, and that’s the advantage of having a coach or a Mentor. I help my clients/students to discover strengths they may not have thought they had and breakthrough their limiting beliefs and barrieers, but ultimately they are going to do the work and only they can decide if this is something they feel they can accomplish.

Goals should make you stretch; they should challenge you, but should not be so unattainable that they frustrate you. Question to ask: Are there any challenges or barriers that would prevent me from reaching this goal?

Realistic/Relevant: In order to set a goal that you want to achieve it must be relevant or meaningful to you. You decide if this is a realistic goal that’s relevant to your personal life or your business. If it’s not, why include it? Time spent on one thing is time away from another, so to spend time working on achieving this goal you’ll have to carve out time from your other activities. So your goal should be something you believe you can reach and an important part of your strategy in your life and/or business. Question to ask: Why is this important to me?

Time-Specific: Your goal must have a deadline. As I reviewed my goals I’d written for 2014 I realized that some were not time-specific; I’d not set a time-frame for completion and for some I did not have a start date. It was important to go back and add those parameters. Not all your goals will start on the same date so it’s important to include a start date and a deadline. Questions to ask: When will I start this goal and what will be the deadline?

You’ve written your S.M.A.R.T goals, now what?

Your S.M.A.R.T goals should be a reflection of where you want to go in your life or business. But that’s just the first step. Your goals may be just a single page document, or it may be three pages or more. However, the next two steps are crucial:

  1. Make a list of the steps you’ll need to take to accomplish each goal
  2. Decide which goal you will make a priority – the one you’ll work on first.

For years I’d set goals at any given time: maybe at the beginning of a month or the beginning of a quarter and found myself frustrated because I was not able to complete them in the given time. Why? Because I’d not taken the time to break them down into actionable steps.

A part of these steps will be to determine if you have all the information needed or will you have to get additional training (that takes time), what resources do you have available to you or where will you get the resources. Those and more will affect you time-frame.  If you gave yourself a three-month deadline but six weeks of that time is spent in training, will you have enough time to implement all of the strategies?

The second thing is that if you attempt to start several goals at one time you’ll only end up frustrating yourself. Give yourself permission to select a priority goal and work on that to completion, or until it’s at a point where you can take your focus off of that item and turn your attention to your next goal.

Make your S.M.A.R.T goals FUN!!!  Don’t view them as “have to’s” but as “want to’s”!  Visualize what it will look like when you’ve accomplished all the goals you’ve set for yourself.  Get an accountability partner to cheer you on!  Find a Mentor or Coach who will support you and guide you on this journey. 

I’d love to talk with you about supporting you where you are and where you want to go in your business. Let’s set up a time to talk in a complimentary Breakthrough Session. You can either use the Contact Form or send me an email directly: yvonne@yvonneajones.com.

 

 

New Year’s Resolutions or S.M.A.R.T Goals for Better Results?

smart goalsWhat do S.M.A.R.T goals have that New Year resolutions may not have? Every year around mid-December especially, millions of people around the world start to make New Year’s resolutions. At the same time there are millions who take the time to create their goals and actually write them down. Remember that it’s more than a cliché that “A goal is just a dream if you fail to write it down.”  [This is Part I of a two- or three-part post.]

Distinction between New Year’s Resolutions and Goals

Wikipedia defines “New Year’s resolutions as, “… a secular tradition, most common in the West but found around the world, in which a person makes a promise to do an act of self-improvement starting on New Year’s day.” Notice the word “promise”! Promises are not to be disregarded by any means, but in this context, let’s explore the strength to be found in well-planned and documented goals.

Different online dictionaries describe “goals” in various ways. Here are some common definitions: ‘the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.’ An observable and measurable end result having one or more objectives to be achieved within a more or less fixed timeframe.’ I like the latter definition as it embodies parts of what are commonly referred to as S.M.A.R.T goals.

What are S.M.A.R.T Goals?

The acronym represents Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Let’s look at these more closely.

Specific: When you’re specific with your goals, you will have a clear picture in your mind and be able to translate this to paper of what your objectives are—what you’re aiming to achieve. It will also make it easy for others, especially those to whom you’re accountable, to understand. This could be a business partner, an accountability partner, like your coach. You’ll know that your goals are clear when you’ve answered: Why, What, Where, How, and Who? Here’s an example of one question to ask yourself: What will it look like when I’ve accomplished this goal?

Measurable: “I want to earn more money in 2014” is not a goal. You must state numbers and dates that you can quantify and earmark. This means that there must be mileposts along the way that you can check-off. If you’re going on a long road trip, you’d have a map with points along the way that as you check them off (even mentally), you know that it means you’re getting closer to your destination. The same is true with your goals. These mileposts may be monthly checks, or other periodic checkpoints specific to you and your business. Question: How will you know that you’ve accomplished your goal?

In Part II, we’ll discuss the other three parts of SMART goals and dive a little deeper into what other steps you can take to make sure that the goals you set for 2014 give you the desired results. It’s one thing to set overall goals, but how will you go about achieving those goals? What steps will you need to take to achieve your goals? More in the next post.

New Year’s resolutions or goals, which do you think, or have you found, bring greater results? Please share in the Comments. Thank you.