I didn’t always used to be the amazing goal-setter that I am today
In fact, I can remember a couple of years ago when I first started my own art business I didn’t track anything.
It’s so embarrassing to admit!
I didn’t even know if I was making money.
I just kept putting things on the website every now and then. Sometimes I would post about it on social media.
And then once in awhile I’d get a sale and I deposit the money in my bank account.
I didn’t really know if I was on the right track or whether or not I was being successful.
But I did know that it was driving me crazy not feeling like I was making progress.
I’m just one of those people where I need to know that I’m moving forward, otherwise I get anxious. If I’m not making my goals then I don’t know what I’m doing with my time.
I like to feel like I am using my time wisely.
So I did a lot of research into goal setting, planning, and project management.
I wanted the right combination of goal setting and motivation that would help me feel like I’m moving forward in my business, making the right progress, but also not getting overwhelmed or upset when I miss a milestone. I didn’t want to get discouraged and stop work.
Goal setting is great because it gives you the momentum to move forward – but you need to make sure that you’re motivated to continue, even when things don’t work.
When you miss a goal you can feel so lousy about yourself.
And that’s not good for you or your business.
I finally learned about smart goals. They’re basically the best way (in my opinion) to make sure that you’re successful. They’re the RIGHT goals to have.
When you make your goals attainable you set yourself up for success!
The Right Goals VS the Wrong Goals
So how do you know a right goal (a SMART goal) from a wrong goal? The easiest way to tell them apart is to know how much control you have over the outcome.
Goals like I want to make a million dollars. Or I want to be a keynote speaker at the most sought-after Summit in the country. Even smaller goes like I want to lose 10 lb.
These goals are okay but the problem is you don’t really have any control over those things.
How much money you make depends on a lot of factors – most importantly whether or not people give you money.
Being a guest speaker an event is awesome but it only happens if they allow you to be the speaker.
And 10 pounds is a great accomplishment but your body decides when that happens.
Instead if you change your goals to things that you have more control over you’re much more likely to succeed based on your efforts.
So for example instead of saying I want to make a million dollars, maybe you say I will dedicate six months to a new sales program that might bring me new clients.
Instead of saying I’m going to be a keynote speaker, instead you could say I’m going to apply to a hundred conferences as a speaker.
And instead of losing 10 lb you could simply set a goal that says I’m going to run 3 days a week and eat a healthy breakfast every day.
These goals put you on the same path as the previous ones, but the difference is by focusing on these goals you have control over your outcome. They’re specific, measurable, attainable, and timely, that’s what makes them SMART.
Ultimately goal setting and motivation is the key to your output and your success, as well as your perseverance in projects.
By giving yourself smart goals you set yourself up for a win. And that motivates you for more success in your future.
How to Make the Right Goals
Now that you know the difference between a good goal and ‘bad’ goal, you’re ready to start tackling your own.
The easiest way to make the right goals is by using the smart goal acronym.
So think about some of those big lofty goals that you have and write them down. Don’t worry this is just a brainstorming setting.
Once you’ve written down those goals now I want you to just really think about what they mean, what they look like, and actionable items that you can control that will help you achieve them.
By focusing your goals around actionable items that you control, you can put the work in place to head that direction.
Remember to make them SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, and timely.
This means that you get really specific about the task goal. Nothing like ‘I want to be the best runner in the world’. Instead focus on something specific like ‘I want to I have a 6 minute mile’.
Measurable simply means you know how to track it. Meaning “I want to run 3 days a week”.
Attainable simply means it’s a realistic setting nothing crazy like I want to grow a third leg.
I’m finally timely just means it’s something that you can accomplish in the foreseeable future. Something that might take you 10 years may be difficult to keep you motivated.
Goal Setting Benefits
We’ve already hit on what the benefits of the smart goal setting is. It’s really the motivation and the success that keeps you moving forward.
It’s also the fact that these goals are measurable and specific, which sets you up for more success and an easier time identifying your wins.
My experience with goal setting and motivation
I’ve had huge strides in my businesses do to goal-setting, planning, and project management.
By holding myself accountable to my smart goals and making sure that they’re things I can control, I start every day with a plan and I know that I’m making progress.
One of my smart goals for my shop was to add 12 new products. I didn’t want to focus on sales because I knew I couldn’t control that. So instead I picked a related task that was something attainable and measurable, like the amount of items for sale in my store.
I set a plan with an annual target (12 items), and quarterly benchmarks (3 a quarter).
Then I simply would start each month and check my benchmark, and make plans accordingly to help that goal.
By the end of the year I had achieved my goal and added 12 new products to the website which in turn increased my sales, my SEO Rank, and my brand awareness.
But most importantly it increased my motivation and my pride in my work.
It made me ready to tackle next year with even more items and I’m excited to get started!
Ultimately I really believe that having the right mindset, motivation, and plan for action is what propels me further in my life.
Moving forward is always better than standing still.
So I want to hear from you, are you a goal-setter? Are you a planner? What smart goals are you working on in your life or your business right now?
Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear more about it and encourage you on your goals!