Are you a pro at setting goals, but not quite the master at achieving them yet? You’re not alone. And fortunately, you’re not a lost cause either. Breaking your goals down into a few key elements could be the difference between all talk and all action.
One way to remember these key elements is to think of your goals as SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Let’s take a look at what each of these elements mean, and how you can apply them to better set and reach your goals…
You’re much more likely to achieve a goal if you get specific. But most people don’t realize how vague their goals actually are. Take a look at this example:
I want to start using online marketing to promote my business.
It sounds specific enough, but do a little digging, and you’ll find there’s a lot more to “online marketing” than meets the eye (as you likely know). In fact, the overwhelming online marketing options we have these days is what keeps many people paralyzed. So, start breaking it down by talking yourself through the process required, step-by-step…
You could ask yourself these questions:
To start out, do I want to do an ezine, email marketing, or social media?
How often do I want to send out an ezine, email blast, or tweet?
Getting specific will not only give you clarity of what’s required, but it will also make it less daunting because you have a specific area to focus on.
Establish concrete criteria so you can evaluate your progress as you go. Break your big goal down into small targets that you can track.
Using our example from above, you could decide that you will tweet once a day on Twitter, post a status update once a day on Facebook, and send out one ezine every other week. Now, you’ve got a set item that you can add to your to-do list, just like you would any other task—and you can cross it off your list as “done”. Your goal is now in action.
You want your goal to be a challenge, but also one that you truly believe is possible to achieve. Don’t say you’re going to write a book this summer if you know you’ve got speaking engagements every other week. Pick something reasonable that you could really see yourself achieving.
Can you see yourself writing 250 words a day or 5 pages a week? If you know you can do it, and you start meeting your quota, you’ll notice that you’ll gain momentum. Goals that once seemed out of your reach become attainable, and you’ll grow and expand to match them.
Your goals should feed into your main purpose, so you must get in touch with the underlying purpose tied to your goal.
For example, if you want to grow your client list, your priority will be to spread the word. In this case, you’d want to use your ezine, social media, etc. to reach out to new prospects that are in your ideal target market.
Make sure you review your goals on a regular basis—at least once a month. That way you can track your progress, and ensure you’re actions are in line with your vision.
Set a deadline for you to achieve your goal. It will give you a sense of urgency and also help you keep things in perspective in real time. For example, you want to grow your list by 2,000 people by September 30, 2011. This way, you go from having a “someday” kind of plan to having a concrete guide for the months ahead.© Copyright 2011 Ali Brown