Setting goals in business is one way to help us stay focused. Goals help us to prioritize our tasks because when nothing is important, everything is important (thus feeling overwhelmed.) The way we set goals can impact how successful we are and how focused we are. One method that is extremely effective is the S.M.A.R.T. method. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Timely.
Create a goal that is very specific. It should include the how of what you want to achieve. Instead of saying, “I want to grow my Facebook Group.” say, “I will post in Facebook Groups.” This tells you what you will do to grow your group.
Have a number in the goal. It is much easier to understand if you meet a goal when it has a number. Our goal would then become, “I will post in 5 Facebook Groups.”
Make sure your goal has a verb in it, to tell you what you are going to do. Our goal may become, “I will post in 5 Facebook Groups and invite 10 people from each group.” The verbs post and invite tell me exactly what I am going to do.
Be realistic about what you have time to do in your business. Don’t have a goal to post in 30 groups or invite 100 people, because you know that isn’t going to happen. Our goal may become, “I will post in 5 Facebook Groups and invite 10 people from each group Monday through Friday.” Take a look at your life personally and professionally and understand how much time you can devote to each goal.
This means having a goal with a specific end date. Our goal would become, “I will post in 5 Facebook Groups and invite 10 people from each group Monday through Friday for the month of July.”
This goal tells us exactly what we are going to do and how long we are going to do it.
It is important to limit the number of goals you have. 3 goals are usually about all we can handle without getting overwhelmed again. Write down your goals and post them where you can see them every day. Review your task list and determine what items support your goals. If a task doesn’t support your goals figure out why you are doing it. You may be able to delay it or even stop completely.
For the most effective use of goals, start large. Create annual goals that are general, then break those goals down into quarterly, monthly, and then weekly goals. Each layer will get more specific with the weekly and monthly goals being in the S.M.A.R.T. format. This will help you stay focused on the tasks you need to complete to grow your business in the long term. In our example, the annual goal may be to grow our Facebook Group to 4000 members in 1 year. That means 1000 members per quarter. Then use our S.M.A.R.T. goal for each month.
Review each goal at least monthly. If you are not achieving the goal then tweak it (or choose a different goal with a different action.) This step is important as you have a limited amount of time and you need to use that time as effectively as possible.
Having specific goals and reviewing them regularly will help you decide what is important and what is not. These priorities will make your day run more smoothly.
Dawn Marcotte’s Bio
Dawn Marcotte is the ‘kindergarten’ teacher for online entrepreneurs. She focuses on helping women learn the fundamental skills they will need to build a successful business. Dawn brings her experience from 20+ years in the corporate world and 10+ years as a freelance writer into the online industry, helping women create business processes that are repeatable and reliable.
Get in touch with Dawn from her website; DM Consulting LLC
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