Goal setting is a helpful way to build the career you want. By setting objectives and creating a clear roadmap for how you’ll reach your intended target, you can decide how to apply your time and resources to make progress. Without goals, it can be difficult to determine how to get a certain job, promotion or other milestones you want to achieve.
When you set an objective for yourself, you should include each step necessary for success. To help, you can use a framework called SMART goals. Here’s how SMART goals work and a few tips and examples to assist you in your goal-setting efforts.
What are SMART goals?
SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. Each element of the SMART framework works together to create a goal that is carefully planned, clear and trackable.
You may have set goals in your past that were difficult to achieve because they were too vague, aggressive or poorly framed. Working toward a poorly-crafted goal can feel daunting and unachievable. Creating SMART goals can help solve these problems. Whether you’re setting personal or professional goals, using the SMART goal framework can establish a strong foundation for achieving success.
Below, we’ll demonstrate how to turn a goal like “I want to be in leadership” into a SMART goal.
S = Specific
Be as clear and specific as possible with what you want to achieve. The more narrow your goal, the more you’ll understand the steps necessary to achieve it.
Example: “I want to earn a position managing a development team for a startup tech company.”
M = Measurable
What evidence will prove you’re making progress toward your goal? For example, if your goal is to earn a position managing a development team for a startup tech company, you might measure progress by the number of management positions you’ve applied for and the number of interviews you’ve completed. Setting milestones along the way will give you the opportunity to re-evaluate and course-correct as needed. When you achieve your milestones, remember to reward yourself in small but meaningful ways.
Example: “I will apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup.”
A = Achievable
Have you set an achievable goal? Setting goals you can reasonably accomplish within a certain timeframe will help keep you motivated and focused. Using the above example of earning a job managing a development team, you should know the credentials, experience and skills necessary to earn a leadership position. Before you begin working toward a goal, decide whether it’s something you can achieve now or whether there are additional preliminary steps you should take to become better prepared.
Example: “I will update my resume with relevant qualifications, so I can apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup.”
R = Relevant
When setting goals for yourself, consider whether or not they are relevant. Each of your goals should align with your values and larger, long-term goals. If a goal doesn’t contribute toward your broader objectives, you might rethink it. Ask yourself why the goal is important to you, how achieving it will help you and how it will contribute toward your long-term goals.
Example: “To achieve my goal of being in leadership, I will update my resume with relevant qualifications so I can apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup.”
T = Time-based
What is your goal time-frame? An end-date can help provide motivation and help you prioritize. For example, if your goal is to earn a promotion to a more senior position, you might give yourself six months. If you haven’t achieved your goal in that timeframe, take time to consider why. Your timeframe might have been unrealistic, you might have run into unexpected roadblocks or your goal might have been unachievable.
Example: “To achieve my goal of being in leadership, I will update my resume with relevant qualifications so I can apply to three open positions for the manager of a development team at a tech startup this week.”
Why should I use SMART goals?
Using the SMART goal framework sets boundaries and defines the steps you’ll need to take, resources necessary to get there and milestones that indicate progress along the way. With SMART goals, you’re more likely to achieve your goal efficiently and effectively.
Here are a few examples of how SMART goals can benefit people in different circumstances:
- Laura would like to change careers from customer support to design…
- Avi knows that his goal is to become a sales manager but he’s not sure where to begin…
- Tonya wants to get a job in the healthcare industry but doesn’t have industry experience…
Examples of SMART goals
Here are two smart goal examples:
I will obtain a job as a high school math teacher within three months after graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Education.
- Specific: The goal of becoming a high school math teacher is well-defined
Measurable: Success can be measured by the number of applications, interviews and job offers.
Achievable: The goal setter will have the appropriate degree for the job.
Relevant: The goal setter is planning to get a job in the education industry after getting an education degree.
I will earn a promotion to senior customer service representative by completing the required training modules in three months and applying for the role at the end of next quarter.
- Specific: The goal setter has clearly set the objective to be promoted to senior customer services rep.
Measurable: Success can be measured by training module completion, filing the application and earning the promotion.
Achievable: The goal setter will complete the training necessary to earn the promotion.
Relevant: The goal setter is planning to apply for the promotion after finishing their training modules.
Setting SMART goals can help you move forward in your career and achieve the success you want. While goals can be challenging, using the SMART framework can organize the process and provide structure before you begin.
What is a SMART Goal?
Goals are part of every aspect of business/life and provide a sense of direction, motivation Interpersonal Intelligence Interpersonal intelligence refers to the ability of a person to relate well with people and manage relationships. It enables people to understand the needs and motivations of those around them, which helps strengthen their overall influence. People with interpersonal intelligence , a clear focus Leading by Example Leadership is a process in which an individual influences the behavior and attitudes of other people. Leading by example helps other people see what lies , and clarify importance. By setting goals, you are providing yourself with a target to aim for. A SMART goal is used to help guide goal setting. SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Therefore, a SMART goal incorporates all of these criteria to help focus your efforts and increase the chances of achieving your goal.
SMART goals are:
- Specific: Well defined, clear, and unambiguous
- Measurable: With specific criteria that measure your progress toward the accomplishment of the goal
- Achievable: Attainable and not impossible to achieve
- Realistic: Within reach, realistic, and relevant to your life purpose
- Timely: With a clearly defined timeline, including a starting date and a target date. The purpose is to create urgency.
SMART Goal – Specific
Goals that are specific have a significantly greater chance of being accomplished. To make a goal specific, the five “W” questions must be considered:
- Who: Who is involved in this goal?
- What: What do I want to accomplish?
- Where: Where is this goal to be achieved?
- When: When do I want to achieve this goal?
- Why: Why do I want to achieve this goal?
For example, a general goal would be “I want to get in shape.” A more specific goal would be “I want to obtain a gym membership at my local community center and work out four days a week to be healthier.”
SMART Goal – Measurable
A SMART goal must have criteria for measuring progress. If there are no criteria, you will not be able to determine your progress and if you are on track to reach your goal. To make a goal measurable, ask yourself:
- How many/much?
- How do I know if I have reached my goal?
- What is my indicator of progress?
For example, building on the specific goal above: I want to obtain a gym membership at my local community center and work out four days a week to be healthier. Every week, I will aim to lose one pound of body fat.
SMART Goal – Achievable
A SMART goal must be achievable and attainable. This will help you figure out ways you can realize that goal and work towards it. The achievability of the goal should be stretched to make you feel challenged, but defined well enough that you can actually achieve it. Ask yourself:
- Do I have the resources and capabilities to achieve the goal? If not, what am I missing?
- Have others done it successfully before?
SMART Goal – Realistic
A SMART goal must be realistic in that the goal can be realistically achieved given the available resources and time. A SMART goal is likely realistic if you believe that it can be accomplished. Ask yourself:
- Is the goal realistic and within reach?
- Is the goal reachable, given the time and resources?
- Are you able to commit to achieving the goal?
SMART Goal – Timely
A SMART goal must be time-bound in that it has a start and finish date. If the goal is not time-constrained, there will be no sense of urgency and, therefore, less motivation to achieve the goal. Ask yourself:
- Does my goal have a deadline?
- By when do you want to achieve your goal?
For example, building on the goal above: On August 1, I will obtain a gym membership at my local community center. In order to be healthier, I will work out four days a week. Every week, I will aim to lose one pound of body fat. By the end of August, I will have realized my goal if I lose four pounds of fat over the course of the month.
The Importance of SMART Goal Setting
Often, individuals or businesses will set themselves up for failure by setting general and unrealistic goals such as “I want to be the best at X.” This goal is vague, with no sense of direction.
SMART goals set you up for success by making goals specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. The SMART method helps push you further, gives you a sense of direction, and helps you organize and reach your goals.
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- Emotional Intelligence Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence also known as the emotional quotient (EQ) is the ability to manage one’s emotions and the emotions of others. For
- Time Management Time Management Time management is the process of planning and controlling how much time to spend on specific activities. Good time management enables an individual to complete more in a shorter period of time, lowers stress, and leads to career success. This guide provides a list of the top tips for managing time well
- Leadership Traits Leadership Traits Leadership traits refer to personal qualities that define effective leaders. Leadership refers to the ability of an individual or an organization to guide individuals, teams, or organizations toward the fulfillment of goals and objectives. Leadership plays an important function in management
- A Sense of Purpose at Work Sense of Purpose at Work Find your sense of purpose at work. Whether you enjoy your job or not often comes down to how well it supports your sense of purpose. Where you work, the role you hold, and your broader sense of your purpose are subject to change, therefore, if you want to have a balance between these three, you must be open to change
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COACH RACHEL’S SMART GOAL
Let’s take a look at how these 5 elements can improve your fitness goals, and see how Coach Rachel’s SMART goal stacks up!
Don’t go into the process with a goal that’s too broad or arbitrary. “Getting healthy” is an example of a goal that’s simply too broad, while “Achieve a lower resting heart rate” is an example of a specific goal. Goals that are specific have a significantly greater chance of being accomplished!
Rachel’s goal is specific because she states what she currently performs and exactly what she’s trying to achieve – hip thrusting 285lbs for 5 reps.
This is the stage where you measure your progress toward your goal. However you measure progress, you need a way of knowing when you’ve achieved your goal.
Rachel’s goal is measurable because she is able to log the weight lifted and track how much further there is to go for her specific goal.
The perfect goal stretches your abilities without becoming unachievable. Big-picture goals are wonderful for the long-term, but having smaller milestones along the way will help keep you on track.
Rachel’s goal is attainable because she knows her limits and her goal is in reach – an additional 20lbs from what she currently performs is challenging, but undoubtedly possible.
In fitness, you’ll often hear people talking about their “why.” This is the reason they keep pursuing fitness goals, even when they feel demotivated or frustrated. Only you can determine whether your goals are worthwhile, but attaching a powerful “why” to them will help keep them relevant in your life.
Rachel’s goal is relevant because it will show her progressive strength gains in the gym, and pushes her to another one of her goals, attaining more glute muscle.
In order to be truly powerful, SMART goals have strict deadlines, creating a sense of urgency and keeping your fitness top of mind. Time-bound goals can often answer questions like “What can I do today?” “What can I do in six weeks, or six months?”
Rachel’s goal is timely because she gives herself a deadline—June 2021. She gives herself 6 months to focus on fueling her body properly and to push herself to perform the heaviest weight possible each session to reach this goal.
READY TO GET SMART?
Now that you know what goes into a SMART goal, it’s important that you be honest with yourself about your limitations in order to get started. If you know that you only have 30 minutes a day to commit to your workouts, don’t plan hour-long gym sessions that you can’t ever stick to. Keep your expectations in line with your abilities, schedule, and other commitments in order to help with follow-through. Incorporating rewards as you complete your SMART goal is a great way to stay motivated through each step of the process and to celebrate your small wins!
If you’ve struggled with follow-through before, FIT by Katy may be the accountability partner you need. The #FBKFitFam is here to help with resources to keep you motivated, challenges to keep you excited, and so much more.
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Work smarter, not harder.
SMART goals were invented in 1981 by George T. Doran, a consultant, in a paper titled, “: “There’s a SMART Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives.” But what are they, and how do you use them?
SMART goals allow you to clarify what you’re trying to achieve, manage your time efficiently, make the most of your resources, and increase the likelihood of actually achieving the goals you set for yourself and your team.
Let’s explore SMART goals and why they are important to your business.
What are SMART goals?
To put it simply, SMART goals are a tool used to set realistic objectives and help businesses improve their chances of achieving a goal.
Whether it’s a new product launch or a seasonal promotion, SMART goals help you set a track and stay on it until the end.
Let’s take a look at each SMART goal a little more closely.
We’re willing to bet you’ve heard this before: who, what, when, where, and why?
When it comes to setting goals, you can never be too specific about what you’re trying to achieve, who you need to do it, what skills/resources do you require, where is the work going to take place, and most importantly, why are you doing it?
When setting yourself any goal, it’s important to think about how you’re going to measure that goal. How will you track your progress? How will you make adjustments? And how will you measure whether your goal was achieved or whether it failed? You need to consider what metrics you will use to measure success and make sure these metrics aren’t biased. If you want progress and growth, you need to be honest with yourself.
Achievability is all about not setting the bar too high. Conversely, it’s equally important to not set the bar too low. Anyone can tick off goal after goal if they’re too easy.
Ask yourself some questions: Is the goal realistic? Do you have the skills/resources to do it? Will the results justify the effort?
Sometimes achieving a goal might require you to do some personal development and learn some new skills. Alternatively, you may need to outsource some work or make a new hire. If you don’t have the skills to achieve a goal, think about what you need to do to develop or obtain them.
Why this goal? Why now? How does it fit within your overall marketing strategy?
It’s time to think about how this specific goal fits within the ecosystem of your entire business. If your goal is to successfully launch a new product, your goal needs to be homogenous with your overall business goals.
Closely related to achievability, time-based goals are all about being realistic with the timeframe in which you’re trying to achieve a goal. Not only does setting unrealistic time frames make it more likely that you won’t achieve your goals, it also places unnecessary dress on yourself and your whole team. SMART goals should be used to help you keep your team motivated and inspired.
Try and be as specific and honest as possible when setting a time frame. This goes both ways, by the way. You need to be honest with your team about your expectations and your team needs to be honest about whether or not they think those expectations are achievable.
If a goal is going to take six months to achieve, try breaking down the schedule and setting shorter goals and milestones that you’d like to achieve. Small wins go a long way to keeping energy alie and spirits high.
Why you should write SMART goals
Writing SMART goals shouldn’t be a scary or overwhelming experience. The whole system of writing SMART goals is designed to alleviate stress and help you see the bigger picture more clearly.
The key to writing SMART goals is positivity and being as realistic as possible. You’re trying to develop a strategy to achieve something that you actually want to achieve. Occasionally, writing SMART goals might actually help you see that a goal isn’t worthwhile.
So what’s your plan? If you’re like most of us you have some goals in mind, but let’s go one step further and put together some SMART goals.
SMART goals will give you a game plan that makes it much easier to make decisions and helps keep you on track.
Just the process of writing down SMART goals will go a long way, but defining the reasons for accomplishing those goals makes all the difference in accomplishing them.
Writing down goals is a great first step because it puts you in the top 3% of the population. The second step and the secret to making your goals come to life are putting enough reasons behind the goals to make them a reality.
What do you think the difference is between having 2 reasons to achieve a goal and having 100 reasons? When you have 100 reasons, reaching a goal is pretty much a certainty. Reasons are motivation and motivation is the fuel that takes you where you want to go.
Write down all the reasons you have for accomplishing each goal. When you have 25 or more reasons for a goal – it’s important to you. When there are few reasons to accomplish a goal then it’s just not a match for you.
Some Urban Legends Make Sense
Urban legend says that many years ago an interesting and telling study was conducted with a class of Harvard MBA students. I cannot find solid documentation that the study was in fact conducted, so according to legend each student was asked, “Have you set written goals for your future?” 3% of the students reported that they had written goals; 10% reported they had goals generally in mind, but not in writing; and 87% reported they had no specific goals at all.
Now jump ahead 10 years. The same students were interviewed again and the results were astounding! The 10 percent of the students who had goals generally in mind were earning, on average, twice as much as the 87 percent who had no goals at all. This is where it gets really interesting because the three percent who had written goals were earning, on average, 10 times more than the other 97 percent combined.
In my experience, working with thousands of people in hundreds of companies, the Harvard study, whether actually conducted or not, sounds right. Most people just don’t have written goals. I believe there are four major reasons why people don’t set goals:
- Most people don’t recognize the value and impact of goals. If your friends, family, and peers don’t have written goals, what’s the chance you will have written goals?
- The vast majority of people have never had any training in goal setting so they don’t know how to go about SMART goals. When goals are set they’re usually general and not well thought out. Goals that are not written, specific, and measurable are only dreams.
- People fear failure and will avoid any failures if at all possible. Of course, any failure bruises the ego, but failures are a requirement to achieving success. The trick is to keep from sabotaging yourself by not setting goals to avoid failures.
- People fear that others will be critical of them if they don’t achieve their goals. To overcome this, keep your goals to yourself. Then, when you reach some of your goals and experience some success, show others your achievements.
Make a habit of focusing on the things you want, staying positive, and moving consistently toward the outcomes that are most important to you. Setting goals is a wonderfully powerful process for envisioning your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision into reality.
The first step in planning personal goals is to consider what you really want. This isn’t necessarily the time to go big or go home. It’s no fun to only have goals that take 10 years to achieve. Start with smaller short term goals and work up, but keep the big picture in mind.
Use the SMART goal setting technique to make it easier to set goals that you will accomplish. Download the goal setting worksheet and use it. Feel free to share this form with everyone.
SMART stands for:
- Specific – Keep goals clear, concise and simple
- Measurable – Define action plans to measure
- Achievable – Keep goals incremental
- Realistic – Match goals to needs and ambitions
- Timetable – Add milestones and completion dates
Do some goal setting in the following areas or in categories of your own that are important to you:
- Family – Relationship with spouse, children, and extended family.
- Career – What do you want achieve from your career?
- Financial – What do you want to earn? How will you make it happen?
- Education – What skills will you need to achieve your goals?
- Attitude – Are there attitudes that are holding you back?
- Physical – Are there health goals that you want to achieve?
- Avocation – Do you have a hobby that is important to you?
- Service – How will you make a difference in your community?
Use the Life Wheel to see how well rounded your goals are. For example, are all of your goals career or financial oriented? If so, your wheel would be very lopsided and you would be missing some fun and enjoyable areas that make life fun.
The Life Wheel will help you set goals that fit the complete picture of your life. Just be certain that your goals fit your core values. When you have goals in each of the areas you will be on your way to living your dreams.
Commit to Your Goals
Identify one or more goals in each category that reflects what you want in life. While you are in this process, make sure that the goals are genuinely what you want, not goals your family, or employer might want.
If you have a spouse, discuss what they think is important, but make sure the goals you commit to are goals you believe in.
The bottom line is it’s hard either way: Hard to be aimless and living from paycheck to paycheck and hard to be laser focused on what you want out of life and determined to get it. So, identify your goals, work on them, and live your dreams!
How Do You Work on Your SMART Goals?
What’s your experience with goal setting and SMART goals? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
Setting goals at the start of the year means you will know exactly what you need to do throughout the year to be successful. By setting goals, it forces you to build a plan about how you intend to achieve those goals. By having a plan in place, you will wake up every morning with a clear idea of what it is you need to do each day. Just by writing down your goals, there is a 42% greater chance you will achieve those goals than if they just stayed in your head. It may seem like a small thing but actually creating goals every year and then writing them down significantly improves your chances of success.
What is a SMART Goal?
SMART goals were brought into the mainstream by Peter Drucker and they are now one of the most popular ways of setting goals, both by organizations and individuals. SMART is an acronym that describes a specific way of writing down goals. The SMART acronym stands for:
The formula means that all of your goals will be incredibly specific, which is a key component of improving your chances of achieving any goal. To illustrate this point further let’s look at an example of two similar goals to see what one is a SMART goal:
- I want to be more productive this year
- I am going to wake up at 5 am Mon-Fri to work on my project that is due in 3 months
It should be pretty clear which goal is the SMART goal, it’s the second one. It gives a clear outline of what you will do, how it will be done, and over a specific time period.
Now we will look at 5 examples of SMART that you can set this year to make it your most successful ever. You can copy these goals exactly as they are, or tweak a component of the SMART acronym to something that better suits you.
1. Journal every morning at 6 am For 10 mins For 2 months
If you are into self-development, you have probably come across journaling and it’s benefits. It can be a great way to reflect and plan for the future so is a great SMART goal to set for the year. We have kept this one pretty short at 10 mins every day because if you are new to journaling, it is better to start with a shorter period of time and build from there
S – The goal is to journal
M – Every day for 10 mins at 6am
A – A challenge, but achievable
R – Relevant if wanting to reflect and plan more
T – 2 months
2. Drink 2L of water every day for a year
We all know how good water is for us, but sometimes it’s hard to drink enough each day so setting a SMART goal is a great way of trying to drink more water. As you can see, the goal is specific in how much water we will drink every day. This is important as it is something that you can easily measure with a 2l bottle.
S – The goal is to drink more water
M – Every day
A – A challenge, but achievable
R – Relevant if wanting to be healthier
T – 1 year
3. Go for a run 3 times per week for 6 months
We should always include exercise into our daily routines as it has so many benefits to our overall well being. A goal many people set similar to this ‘I want to exercise more’. This is incredibly vague and doesn’t give any clear direction on exactly what you will do.
This SMART goal is an example of one where you could substitute the run for something else such as cycling or going to the gym. The key point is to be specific in what type of exercise you will do.
S – The goal is to exercise more
M – 3 times per week
A – Achievable
R – Relevant if you want to get fitter
T – 6 months
4. Get 7-9 hours sleep every night for 4 months
Getting enough sleep is incredibly important to how we perform the next day, both physically and mentally. It’s easy to stay up watching an extra episode of Netflix, but if you want to be productive the next day you need to get enough sleep. Although everyone is different, the science says on average we should all be getting between 7-9 hours sleep every night.
S – Sleep more
M – Every day
A – Easily doable
R – Relevant if wanting to be more productive
T – 4 months
5. Review your goals every day for a month
As this post is about goals, let’s include a goal about goals. It’s easy writing down your goals to begin, taking action to achieve your goals is the hard part. One way of improving your chances of achieving your goals is to review them regularly. We have set the time period as 1 month for this SMART goal to help build the habit. Ideally, you would want to increase this time period to every day, all year.
S – The goal is to check your goals
M – Every day
A – Tough at first, gets easier
R – Relevant if wanting to achieve your goal
T – 1 month
The above list should give you some good ideas of goals to set this year. Don’t forget they can be adapted to suit you better. For example, you could change the running to cycling. The key is to follow the SMART acronym for every goal you set as it significantly improves your chances of success.
Goals are also plans of execution. Plans are of the mind, right? It is very common that we make resolutions to do something, maybe new year resolutions and in the end of the year, we have either forgotten that we even made a resolution in the first place or we have badly performed in implementing that resolution.
In writing down our plans for our day, week, year or life or even a project we are working on, it’s prudent and proactive on our part to make them SMART. SMART is simply an abbreviation for smart, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. I got to know how to set smart
It is common for us to set goals for ourselves, be it daily, weekly or goals for an area of our lives such as education or finance.
You may decide that you will, with immediate effect save money for future expenditure and unexpected happenings which require financial commitment. Though this is a well-meaning goal, it’s highly unlikely that you will implement the line of action needed to achieve this goal. It’s better to resolve that you will save 10 percent of your monthly allowance, starting this month and go ahead to tell your dad to deduct that amount and put it in the bank. For those who have bank accounts, it’s even easier. You can setup an investment account which automatically deducts this amount from your account to the investment for the period of each month.
Why set goals?
One may wonder why it is important to set goals. Look at the lives of great achievers and you will find that all of them set time bound goals and work with all their strength and might to get them achieved. If that is not enough, setting goals gives you long-term vision and short-term motivation. Though goals are for the short term execution, they serve a higher purpose of directing your short term actions for future gain. The fact is that setting goals and writing them down is a good way to deal with goals because will be able to Measure your successes, take pride in your achievements and raise your confidence levels. Now these are big influences to greater achievements. Once you are able to cross each goal out, you get a feeling that the rest are just a matter of time and persistence.
The SMART way of creating and writing goals is a proven strategy. This popular strategy simply involves considering five areas your goal should qualify for before you start to implement it.
When goals are not specific, for some reason, we are less bound to achieve them than when they are very specific. For example, when you say you want to make money, what you are actually saying is very vague and less specific to be achieve. You can’t just say that. It’s better to say you want to make a certain amount of money. This way, your mind will be able to calculate the kind of ventures you will need to take to make that amount of money. Your mind will immediately begin to strategize on ways and means to get this new task it has been given.
The specific nature of goals will allow them to be measured in terms of how successful you have been in getting them done. If you say you want to make a certain amount of money, you can easily tell whether you have been successful or not. In complex goals, you will be able to set monitoring and evaluation plans beforehand to help you better measure your goals.
Now sometimes we set insane goals for ourselves. If your friend says he wants to overcome Bill Gates in wealth within the next 2 years, he will definitely sound like a crazy person to you, right? Though goals should be ambitious, we should make them logically achievable. They shouldn’t promise castles in the air which cannot be achieved especially within the time limits of the goal.
We have all got dreams and aspirations and as such we have short term goals and plans to eventually get to achieve that one overarching dream of ours. Our lives are ones of contribution to the world. We cannot take anything to our graves, so our target must be to improve the people we will leave behind, our contribution to them is what matters. The fact that goals are small pieces of implementation of a one big goal, they must be relevant to achieving that dream or overarching goal.
Time is the greatest asset we have in this life. How we use our time determines the number and value of the goals we are able to make a reality. There are different classes and we happen to be born to one of them but whether we rise above that class or fall below or even stay at the same class lies in how we use our time and how it impacts our lives. Goals must be time bound so that it doesn’t take forever to work on a single goal while there is more to be done. This also sets a time clock in our minds which tells the mind that you have to produce results before a certain date. This allows the mind to process ideas in line of the goal you are working on. The mind is put to a sort of ”Panic mode” and a strong need to create results. As time approaches, results will be produced by the mind.
Goals could be set for various areas of life like financial, education, career, family and physical. It doesn’t matter which of them you are setting the goals for, you can always use the SMART goals method to setting your personal as well as business goals. It works anywhere and with whomever.
Golden rules to goal setting
Goals are largely dependent on one thing. The SMART method is there to help you in that regard. Goals will only remain things of the mind if they are not worked on, if they never get implemented and if they are made to die a premature death. That’s why the SMART method is there to help you narrow down your goals to thins which will help you in your life’s endeavors and things which you are passionate about. This way, you have to inner will power to execute the goal to the end as well create the necessary checks in order to ensure that you achieve the goal no matter what.
I challenge you to go out there and create SMART goals for yourself and more importantly, implement them, work on them and create a better life for yourself and your community.
The success of your company’s long-term strategy depends not only on your entrepreneurial skills, but also on all parts of the business moving in sync to reach the same target. This can be achieved by setting specific goals for each department, goals which are geared toward ultimately fulfilling your company’s short- and long-term objectives.
In addition, setting and tracking department-specific goals can greatly improve employee engagement and retention. And with roughly 80% of small business owners failing to keep track of their business goals, it is now more important than ever to help each member of your team understand their role and work together to achieve your organization’s overall strategy.
Below, 14 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their plans and tools for setting and tracking department-specific goals this year and why their approach bears fruit.
YEC members share how they track their goals.
1. Alignment to Overarching Company Goals
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s flooring how many companies don’t map department-specific goals back to overall company goals. We outline departmental goals that directly support our overarching company success. This way, although every individual and department has different objectives, we’re all working towards connected and common goals.- Stan Garber, Scout RFP
2. Accountability and Milestones
This year we have implemented practices from a book called Traction by Gino Wickman. For tracking specific goals we have implemented accountability charts and KPIs to track progress, and performance-based rating systems to understand why we are or are not hitting some of our goals. We’ve also implemented a time tracking tool to better understand how much time should be spent on specific tasks.- Stanley Meytin, True Film Production
3. Playbooks and Metrics
We have defined playbooks that help us track key metrics per department. It differs in every business model, but this is a great way to grow efficiencies and keep everyone aligned with their main focus on the business.- Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
4. SMART Goals
I encourage our managers to dedicate time with each of their team members to gain an understanding of their interest and personal goals. We use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) goals, both on an individual level and a department level, to track our goals for the year. Once each employee has clearly defined their goals, it is easier to review our progress.- Kevin Yamazaki, Sidebench
5. Proactive Dashboard
This year, I’m jumping on a tip I’ve learned from Noah Kagan, and using a proactive metrics dashboard. What I love about this is that it helps me focus on the metrics and data I can control rather than worrying about what I can’t. Now we have a much tighter system for tracking that we can use and will be able to drill down directly to see exactly what is working and what we need to improve.- Sean Ogle, Location Rebel
6. Tracking From the P&L
We assign each department a section of the profit and loss statement (P&L). This keeps the entire company aligned with company profitability. Each department is bonused based off of hitting their targets, then we offer an overall company bonus based on company profitability targets.- Brandon Stapper, Crown Growth
7. 90-Day Goals
Viewing the year as a set of four 90-day goal periods has been effective in helping my team focus on unique goals during each quarter. By assessing weekly progress towards goals, it ensures that steps are being made on a regular basis, and makes it more likely that the overall goals will be met.- Mark Krassner, Expectful
8. Weekly Department Meetings
Weekly meetings are a great way to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working toward meeting the company-wide goals. In addition to the weekly meetings, we also send out a monthly user activity report to all team members. The monthly report lets everyone see how their work and achieving our goals is contributing to the company’s success.- Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.
9. Personal Goals Lists
Each member of each of our internal teams has a list of goals that is prepared by the individual. This list of goals is then shared with the group publicly, and all of the lists are maintained and revised every few weeks. It is vital that members of a team know, at least to some degree, what the other members of the team are working on.- Ryan Bradley, Koester & Bradley, LLP
10. Automated Key Metrics
All businesses have metrics. We decided to task our engineers with automating the pulling of live data, dropping it into a chart format, all while including parameters on how well each point is doing against benchmarks. The resulting engineering project cost us about 50 hours of time, but drastically improved our metrics dashboards and cut tons of time for our managers who hated pulling data.- Brion Bonkowski, Tern Commerce LLC
We’re using Asana this year to track department-specific goals. I like that it’s a collaborative project management tool. The team gives each other tasks to complete with a deadline, and it sends out the necessary notifications.- Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
12. EOS Vision/Traction Organizer
We use EOS V/TO™ to track all of our group and individual goals. We share our goals at the beginning of the quarter, and revisit them at the end. Since it’s out in the open, if someone does not meet their goals, they have to explain why to the group. Not only does this accountability motivate us to succeed, it also gives us a space to examine how we can improve both individually and as a group.- Jessica Gonzalez, InCharged
13. Google Drive
Collaborative software such as Google Drive has proven to be very helpful for our company when it comes to both planning and tracking goals. We can create tiered access to different documents in a way where everyone can leave suggestions but only verified individuals can change more important documents and spreadsheets. This has greatly improved the way we track our goals.- Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
14. Time and Project Management
We use both Trello for project management and Toggl for time tracking. This makes it easy for everyone on the team to see progress across all tasks and departments. Data from Toggl enables us to do accurate cost tracking and marshal our resources more effectively.- Thomas Smale, FE International
The key to being a successful streamer is setting goals and tracking progress. Learn why goal setting works and how to do it as a streamer.
Did you set any goals today? You probably did without realizing it. If you have a to-do list, that’s setting goals. If you plan what you’re going to make for dinner tonight, that’s setting a goal too.
As a live streamer, you unconsciously set streaming goals as well. You want to reach a certain number of subscribers, or you want to broadcast at least once a week. Does it make a difference if you actually write these goals down, or can you just keep them in your head?
Turns out, you should write them down! According to goal-setting theory, your chances for success increase when you actively set goals. Your motivation, self-confidence, and productivity soar.
To be an effective streamer, you should use goals to mark your progress and growth. Take Twitch streamer Kaitality, for example. He used steady goal setting to go from 50 followers to 6000 over the course of three years. Now, his channel sits at 16,000 followers.
Once you know what your goals are, you can set yourself on a clear path toward success.
Why does setting goals matter for streamers?
Writing down your goals helps you plan and keeps you on track. Setting goals leads to chain reactions. The more goals you set and the harder you work toward them, the more likely you are to set even more goals and improve your skills further.
By setting a difficult goal and working hard to achieve it, you feel a sense of accomplishment when you succeed. This boosts your self-confidence, which motivates you to set another, more ambitious goal. By working toward a more difficult goal, you improve your skills.
Overall, goal setting makes you feel positive about the future, which improves your wellbeing. Setting stream goals doesn’t just lead to success — it also makes you a better person.
🎯 How to set goals
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to set goals. How do you know if you’re doing it right? For live streamers, the best place to start is by asking yourself questions about your content.
- Why do you want to go live?
- What valuable information do you have to share?
- What needs to happen with a broadcast to consider it a success?
That last question is the most important. To set goals, you have to measure success. Saying, “I want more viewers,” is stating a goal, but you haven’t given yourself a way to achieve it. How many more viewers? What kinds of viewers do you want?
🙌 Set smaller streaming goals
Let’s face it — you aren’t going to become a Twitch Affiliate after a single broadcast. Take that big accomplishment and break it up into smaller tasks you can work on stream by stream.
Let’s take becoming a Twitch Affiliate as an example. You must meet four basic requirements to be accepted into the program. You should focus on one requirement at a time. But you can break up your goals even further.
One requirement for the Twitch Affiliate program is having 50 followers. Now, think about how you’ll achieve that goal and how long it’ll take you. Instead of waiting for people to find your channel, hoping to reach 50, you could interact with 50 other streamers to boost engagement. One streamer per day, for (ideally) 50 days — small and doable.
What are your stream goals?
As a streamer, what type of goals should you set? Goals should have all of the following characteristics:
- Long-term or short-term:You need both in your overall streaming strategy. Getting 100 new followers on Twitch is a long-term goal. Interacting with more streamers this week than you did last week is a short-term goal.
- Specific: Goals should describe exactly what you’ll do and how you’ll do it. A general goal is: “I will stream more often.” But how often is more often? A specific goal is: “I will stream twice a week.” An even more specific (and the best) goal is: “I will stream every Tuesday and Thursday.”
- Meaningful: Goals are more motivating if they mean something to you. Start a live stream channel about a niche you’re interested in. It’ll be much easier to achieve your stream goals if you enjoy what you’re doing.
- Positive: It’s always better to reframe negative goals into positive ones. For example, turn “I want to stop losing viewers” into “I want to keep viewers engaged.”
- Simple: Goals should be straightforward and realistic. “Become a Twitch Affiliate” is not a simple goal because there are several smaller steps involved in achieving it. “Stream to three different platforms simultaneously for each broadcast” is simple and realistic.
- Challenging: Goals should be simple, but not too easy to achieve. Don’t make your goal “I will turn on my webcam today.” Since you can’t live stream at all without completing this “goal,” you don’t learn anything from it.
🤓 SMART goals
If you can’t remember all those characteristics for setting goals, use the SMART formula instead. SMART stands for:
- Specific – Your stream should have an objective (speed run, charity stream, 24-hour stream, etc.) to be specific.
- Measurable – To be measurable, you should have a way to track progress toward achieving your goal (raising a certain amount of money for a charity stream, for example).
- Attainable – Attainable goals can be reached during one stream or over the course of several streams, whatever timeline you specify.
- Relevant – A relevant goal should be appropriate for your audience. If you normally do speed runs and suddenly change to an art or creativity stream, your audience will be confused.
- Time-Sensitive – Goals should also have a deadline. If they don’t, you’ll never know when you’ve actually achieved them.
You now have two different methods for setting goals — and no excuse not to get started!