Setting SMART Goals for the New Year  

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The vast majority of people have felt that they’re working hard but not seeing the result of their efforts. You may feel that your past achomplishments are not as many as you would hope, or your struggling to envision how you will fulfill your dreams in the next few years. This is not an uncommon feeling when tackling career goals.

If you want a strong start to the year, try setting SMART goals. SMART goals focus your desires with achivables actions in order to set you on track for your career, business or personal life.

What are SMART Goals?

A SMART goal refers to any goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. The purpose of the SMART acronym is to help individuals set goals that are both clear and reachable. No matter how lofty or trivial your objective is, the SMART approach to goal-setting will set you up for success.

How to set SMART Goals?

Fortunately, setting a SMART goal is a process that is neither difficult nor time-consuming. Simply consider the guidelines below and you’ll have a set of SMART goals for the upcoming year.

SMART Goals for success

1. Are your goals SPECIFIC?

A good goal needs to be specific and clear so that you’ll know exactly when you’ve accomplished the objective. For example, “running a successful business” is a common goal that many people have, yet it is too general because there are many ways to define success. One individual might believe a business is successful if it produces a lot of revenue, while another person may believe a high rating from the Better Business Bureau means having a successful business.

2. Are your goals MEASURABLE?

Not only should your goals be specific, but they should also be measurable. Otherwise, you’ll have a difficult time tracking your progress and determining when you’ve accomplished your goal. In most cases, adding value will make a goal more measurable. For example, instead of saying that you want your business to produce a lot of revenue, you could make a business goal to generate $1 million of revenue. Then, take steps to be able to track the amount of revenue made per month in order to consistently measure your goal’s success.

Before you choose a number to make your goal measurable, you should figure out how high or low you should go. Goals that are too easy or too hard typically have a negative impact on motivation.

3. Are your goals ATTAINABLE?

Many people make the mistake of setting goals that are not realistic. Knowing the difference between an attainable goal and a dream may be difficult at first. However, think about what you know you can do to achieve that goal. If you know what to do and are able to make it happen, then it is attainable.

4. Are your goals RELEVANT?

Make sure that you’re setting goals that are important and address your needs. Don’t make the mistake of setting a goal due to outside pressures. If you’re happy with $10,000 in revenue from your small business, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to earn more money next year. You will struggle to maintain the motivation to meet your goals if they aren’t relevant. Instead, you can look into other areas of your business that need to be improved.

5. Are your goals TIME-BOUND?

Finally, your goals should be time-bound. For example, you may want your business to generate $25,000 of revenue within six months and $50,000 of revenue by the end of the year. Knowing you have a deadline will motivate you to get started. Without a concrete endpoint, you’ll continue putting off working toward your goal.

SMART goals are an effective way to get your personal and professional life on track this upcoming year. The International Association of Women can help you accomplish your career goals. Join the largest network of professional women for support, motivation, and inspiration!

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