4 Steps to SMART Goal Setting

Do you have personal and business goals?

Are they clearly defined and written down – or floating around up there in your head?

Call me odd, but I LOVE the process of setting goals.

Part of it has to do with the fact that I really seriously love making lists. (Who’s with me here?)

And the other part is that these goals motivate me, help me prioritize my projects and time, and lead me to what’s next… ultimately guiding me to realize my greater aspirations.

Today, I’m specifically talking about SMART goals, and I put together a free workbook to guide you through the process of setting your own goals. The SMART way.

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Before we dive in, you likely want to know what SMART goals are. Right?

Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Time-Based

This acronym is used for the process of developing concrete, well-defined objectives with clear milestones, a path to attainability, and a commitment to getting there in a specific amount of time. It’s a checklist, if you will, that helps you get those dreams and ideas out of your head and into a well-conceived plan.

A plan that you can make happen!

I’m sharing with you today the 4-step process to setting SMART goals that I use in my business.

STEP 1: WRITE OUT YOUR GOALS

Think about what you want. What you want to do, to produce, to achieve. And then follow the SMART pattern of writing out those goals.

S – SPECIFIC
What do you want to accomplish? When writing out your goals you want to be VERY specific and include the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW.

M –  MEASURABLE
Your goals must be measurable. Otherwise, how will you know you’ve achieved them? When writing, determine exactly how you will measure your goal and then break it so you can track progress along the way. 

So, if your goal is to launch a new website by September 2017, you will want to write out the multiple stages of getting to that goal and assigning each stage its own desired completion date. That will make tracking progress much easier and ensure that you don’t get to August 31st and realize that you’re only halfway there.

A – ACHIEVABLE
How will you achieve your goal? Is it within reach and realistic given where you’re at right now? What are the action steps you’ll use to accomplish this goal? Make sure that your goal is challenging and compels you forward, and that it is not out of reach.

For instance, I shouldn’t set out to run a marathon tomorrow knowing that I’ve never trained to run distances in my life. That’s just not achievable and I’d be setting myself up for failure.

R – RELEVANT
Is this goal relevant to your overall business aspirations? Or does it take you off in a different direction? Be sure that your goals align with your big picture plans.

Do your big dreams entail becoming a nationally known speaker on a specific subject matter? Then it wouldn’t be relevant to set one of your goals as finding a part-time retail job to earn extra income.

T – TIME-BASED
By when will you accomplish this goal? Set a deadline and mark your calendar!

STEP 2: SET YOUR STRATEGIES

Once you’ve set a few SMART goals (remember, the more specific, the better!), it’s time to create an action plan (ie. strategies) for achieving them.

You can use my free Essential Guide to SMART Goal-Setting Workbook to go through the process and then transfer your to-do’s to your productivity app of choice. (I use OneNote and love it!)

STEP 3: MAKE COMMITMENTS

I hear Jillian Michaels in my ear right now yelling “You’re not finished yet! If you want to see change, you’ve got to stick with me!!” (If you Shred, you know what I’m talking about!)

After firming up your SMART goals and strategies, I suggest that you make your commitments firm by putting your John Hancock on them (see the workbook to see this in action!).  

Because if you want to see real change, you've got to plan for it.

STEP 4: CELEBRATE

Whether you’re reaching for a personal or business goal, it’s important to celebrate when you get there. You will have worked hard and deserve it!

So, before you get to work, decide what that celebration will look and feel like.

Will you plan a special date night with your loved one?
Take a trip?
Get your nails done?
Eat popcorn and ice cream while lounging on your couch and watching a movie?

This celebration is yours.

Dream it. Plan it. Commit to it. Do it. (Once you’ve reached those SMART goals, that is.)

As you’re wrapping up your 3-month goal-setting and perhaps feeling slightly overwhelmed, remember that:  
>well-defined SMART goals keep you aligned with your big picture aspirations.
>they are clarifying.
>they help minimize stress because there is a clearly defined path to achievement.

After you outline your action steps, set completion dates, and dream up your celebration - - mark your calendar! Tell a friend or spouse! And POST A COMMENT in the REL Impact Private Facebook Group so we can help keep you accountable along the way.

Good luck!