Have you ever got in your car and just drove? Maybe. But typically we hop in because we have places to go, things to do, people to see. There's a plan. A path. A "map." The same can be said about your business and goal-setting. You can sit down for the day and get start working, but without goals there's really no northstar to navigate to.
Alright, we all know goal-setting is important, but coming up with goals just for the sake of it isn’t meaningful. When creating goals, it’s important to focus on SMART goals.
What are SMART goals and why do they matter?
Let’s break it down.
Breaking Down SMART Goals:
When it comes to setting goals, they should be SMART. Yes, they should be thought-through, but there’s a great acronym here that if you haven’t ever heard, we’re thrilled to be the ones to share it with you.
Your goals need to be SPECIFIC in order for them to be executed. It’s helpful to be super clear and to the point when creating your goals.
Specificity helps you ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success.
Let’s say you want to create more content on social media. Having a goal of “wanting to post more on social media” isn’t specific at all.
How do you know what to do? How do you know what actions to take?
You’ve gotta take a deeper dive into exactly what you want to achieve with your goal. What's your why?
The next step is making sure that it’s measurable. How much is “more” when you talk about posting more on social media? It’s important to make sure that you actually quantify the goal.
The goal needs to be able to be measured, otherwise you won’t know whether your efforts are successful.
State the exact number of times that you want to post. If you’re currently posting on social media 1x/week and want to “post more,” figure out exactly how many posts that means. Maybe you go from 1 to 3x/week.
Whatever the case, make sure that you can actually quantify the actions you’re taking.
This part is critically important. Often, we create ambitious and lofty goals which can sometimes to our own detriment. The goal needs to be able to be achieved.
The key is knowing where we are now and where we can get realistically that’s also a stretch for growth.
It’s not worth creating goals that are completely unrealistic because you’ll end up feeling unmotivated and give up making any progress at all.
If you want to post more, and you’re posting 1x/week, don’t make the goal to post twice a day every day. That’s too big of a leap. Instead, make the goal attainable. Perhaps your goal is to go from posting 1x to 3x/week. That’s a goal that is realistically attainable.
That said, the goal needs to be relevant. It has to have meaning and context into the big picture.
There has to be a REASON behind you wanting to achieve the goal.
What does posting more mean? Is it because you’re looking to generate a sense of community? Are you looking to become a hub of information?
Make sure you’ve thought through how this goal plays into the big picture for your life and business. If the goal isn’t relevant, you’ll end up quitting once it gets difficult.
The last part could be the most important, because this step ensures that the goal is time-bound.
How LONG do you want to post more content? 3x/week for 6 months? When are you going to start creating this content?
It’s important to create goals that have a start and end point, otherwise you could end up losing steam along the way.
Similarly, without a timeframe, you won’t know how to truly measure your efforts and progress along the way.
So by apply SMART goal methodology to that "I want to post more of social media goal" you've now morphed that into: "I want to create and post one video every other day to my instagram channel so I can build meaningful connections online."
Goals that are SMART are more likely to be achieved, and isn’t that the point of creating them in the first place? You want to set yourself up for success!
What’s important to keep in mind is that setting goals is really just the first step.
You have to commit to actually doing the work and taking action once you’ve had the planning session.
Celebrating Small Wins:
Keeping up motivation to achieve your goals throughout the year can be hard, which is why we’re all about celebrating small wins.
As you start working on your goals, you’re going to have ups and downs. You’re going to see small little victories along the way, and it’s important to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate those, because that’s what keeps the momentum going.
Growth isn’t linear. As you start to make progress, you’ll have some days where you “dip.” That’s totally okay! That’s actually just part of the process. It means that you’re human.
Your goals should be set up so that you can have an off day and still get back on the horse.
If you end up shaming yourself for not being perfect (which always reminds us of our friend Brian Fanzo’s saying “perfection is a fairytale,”) you’re going to lose your motivation. And seriously, nobody is perfect. Nobody “kills” it every day. That should never be the expectation.
Instead, celebrate the days that you DO rock out that task list! It won’t happen everyday, which is exactly WHY it’s worthy of celebration.
It’s a lot easier to stay positive throughout the year when you have created a list of SMART goals and gotten yourself in the habit of celebrating your small wins. The combination of these two things allow you to keep up the momentum!
We fully believe that a positive mindset is critical to allowing you to stay motivated and keep making progress on a daily basis.
One of our favorite ways to do this? >> Set a daily intention or affirmation.
By focusing on one specific mantra, or intention, for the day, we have the ability to really zero-in on the mindset OR action that we can embody, or take, in order to get us closer.
We all know the saying “where attention goes, energy flows.”
If we want to direct our energy towards success, we have to pay attention to the things that are helping us get to where we want to go.
That is why developing a list of SMART goals, and celebrating the small wins along the way, is such an incredible way to maintain a positive mindset and not allow the small bumps in the road to throw us off course.
What do you think? How are you planning to start 2021 off on a strong and motivated note?
Share with us in the comments below!