Business Goals: Setting SMART Ones

by Theo McLanahan

You have probably come across many articles, books, and audios that stress the importance of setting goals. Hopefully, you have taken the time to sit down and write out goals for yourself. But are you writing SMART goals? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Related.

If your goals are specific, they will be set up with a specific time frame in mind and a deadline of when they must be accomplished. They will also be clearly written out so you know exactly what you want to do. For example, if your goal is to earn income working from home, you could make it more specific by saying you want to earn a steady income of $500 within the next two months. Your goal will be easier to reach that way.

In order to stay on track with your goals, they also need to be measurable. That means that if your goals are related to how much you earn, you need to make the goal measurable by giving it a specific figure. You also need to give your goal a measurable time frame to work within.

An Attainable Goal is a goal you know you can achieve. Don’t be fooled by the word “attainable”. It can still be a challenging goal and require effort to achieve it, but it does need to be something you can do. For instance, if your goal is to learn to build websites and you have absolutely no experience, your goal shouldn’t be to build a huge, portal website in a week.

Learning how to use web design software and then developing a small website is an attainable goal related to web design. If you pressure yourself to reach goals that are not reasonably attainable you will only frustrate yourself and that will lead to the bad habit of procrastination due to being afraid of failing.

Your goals need to be realistic as well. In the first mentioned example of earning $500 a month in the next two months, this goal could be made quite unrealistic if it was changed to earning $500 within the next week.

Owning a profitable at-home business is not always an instantaneous process; it requires hard work and effort. Setting mini or stair-step goals for yourself will be more beneficial than aiming for one enormous one.

You may have noticed that the example goals were Time Related. There is an old saying that “a goal without a deadline is just a wish”. Having a defined time line will keep you motivated. If you have an open-ended goal, it will be easier to procrastinate, and therefore, harder to accomplish. However, knowing you need to accomplish something in a set period of time will spur you into action.

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