Do you want to create a successful business? Do you set goals but feel like you never achieve them? Well, it may be it is time to look at creating a SMART goal. Sometimes when people create goals they say, ‘I want to grow my business’. This is an admirable goal but how will you know when you have achieved it? It is time to apply the principles of a SMART goal to this idea.
The word ‘SMART’ is an acronym which states that a goal should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. When a goal has these five aspects then it is more likely that you will achieve it. So let us take a look at these criteria in more detail.
When you make a goal, ensure that you are specific. You could say, ‘I want to grow my business’, but how do you want to do it? You could rather say, ‘I want to increase my client base by 5%’. Now you know where to focus your efforts and how you will grow your business.
The next factor to consider is whether your goal is measurable. Have you defined an amount which you can measure to know that you have achieved your goal? In our example we are able to measure our goal because we have said ‘5%’ – this is a measurable amount.
You know yourself and your business so ensure that when you set goals they are not too high or too low. If the goal is too high you will struggle and your motivation will dwindle. If it is too low, you may not be motivated enough to achieve it. Therefore, ensure that the goal you set for yourself is attainable. This should not prevent you from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, but still ensure that you do not feel overwhelmed. By pushing yourself slightly, you will grow in confidence and be able to achieve greater goals in the future.
Ensure the goal you set is relevant to your situation and the economic situation in your area. For example: if we set our goal to increase our client base but there is a recession looming, then it may not be relevant. Make sure the goal fits within the reality of your situation.
This is probably the most critical aspect of your goal. When do you want to achieve it by? By giving yourself a cut-off date for the goal you will be more focused on achieving it. If we go back to our example, then we could say, ‘I want to increase my client base by 5% by 31 December 2017’.
When you have created the goals, write them down and put them in a place where they will be visible to you every day. This will ensure that they remain at the forefront of your mind. Break down each goal into tasks and work on them consistently. It is also important to review your goals and adjust them as the situation requires.
By applying these criteria to each of your goals, you will be able to create goals which you want to achieve. Some goals may become irrelevant but that is okay. Just go back to the beginning and create another one.
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