We all have big hopes and dreams that we are striving to achieve. The kicker is that there is only a small percentage of us that follow through with those goals until the end. By using the SMART goal-setting method whether as a corporation or as an independent, we are able to create a structured goal that is attainable, contains success criteria and will hold us accountable to the results. Here is how to crush your goals the SMART way!
We have all met someone that talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk. It is exhausting to hear them talk about things that they are not really doing. The problem is that a lot of what we tell ourselves is going to get done, never does, or it takes forever to achieve due to procrastination and life getting in the way.
Having trouble focusing?
Do your goals seem so large and audacious that it feels difficult to even take the first step.
My friends, I am with you!
I have been there. The great Marie Forleo once said, “Success comes when you start before you are ready.” I truly believe this statement. We need to stop talking about it and take the next steps toward our goals in a more methodical way.
How to Stop Procrastinating and Start Achieving Our Goals
First thing is first, Write it down!
It is completely possible to achieve our goals, however we need a daily reminder of its importance. It needs to be front and center so that it does not come third or fourth in our day. By writing it down on a post it, in your journal, on your notepad, within your to do list, etc, your able to take a stand and repetitively remind yourself that "this goal" is the end game.
Make your goals SMART goals
When writing it down, work to adhere to the SMART goal setting method. By creating SMART goals you are able to create structure and accountability to your objectives. Individuals who use the SMART goal methodology create clear and descriptive goals to ensure that the outcome is achievable and there is criteria that defines success. Here is what the "S.M.A.R.T." goal stands for:
T: Time bound
Here is a good and bad example of a goal to give you a frame of reference:
Bad Version: I want to write a book this year.
This goal does not provide specifics or a timeline.
Good Version: I want to write a passive income book that I will work on for a minimum of 2 hours per day whereby enabling myself to publish by February 28, 2020, selling 10,000 copies by January 1, 2021.
This goal provides the specific type of book and speaks to a measurable amount of copies sold. It adheres to an attainable amount of time spent performing the task on a consistent basis and it is relevant in comparison to your skill-set and knowledge. It also contains a deadline to ensure that it is a time-sensitive goal.
Breaking Smart Goals Down
Ask yourself these questions: What do you want to achieve? How? Why? Where? When? With whom? Are there barriers? Are there alternatives? By answering these questions you will be able to break this goal down and get very definitive on your outcome.
This means that the outcome needs to be measured. What do results look like? Is it the numbers that you achieve or the activity or inactivity of achieving this goal that proves success?
Is the goal realistic? Can it be achieved? What are your barriers, do they prevent you from reaching this goal?
Do you have the skills or knowledge to achieve the goal? Would it require additional training? Do you have the money or will you need to save to make it achievable? What about the time? Do you have the bandwidth? Ensure that the goal is relevant within the limits you set for yourself.
What is the deadline to achieve your goal? Is it in hours, days, weeks, months, or years? By setting a deadline you are creating a sense of urgency and perimeters to stay within and meet.
Additional steps to take to achieve your goals
Block out time
If your serious about getting it done then you need to set time aside to achieve the goal on a consistent basis. There will be no question that you are committed. Be sure to prioritize this time and do not make excuses. Protect your time.
Learn to say NO!
As I said above… in the same vein, it is just as important to block out the time as it is to protect it. Saying yes to an outing, a commitment with friends, or a work engagement means your taking that time that you blocked out away from achieving your goal. Yes, things come up, but if you are to skip your working time, reschedule it.
When you make plans with a friend and a family emergency comes up, there is typically a conversation about rescheduling that commitment. Most of us take a rain check and then reschedule.
Ever heard the saying that you are burning the candle at both ends? In order to fully commit you need to learn to say no and put your goal first.
Break your goal down
Back out your goal. What does that mean? It means that you need to do a little bit of retroactive planning.
Put your end goal with its timeline on the calendar. Then create small milestones in between the start and finish that you are able cross of your list upon achievement.
These milestones should be the major stepping stones that need to be done in order to achieve the main goal.
For example, if your goal is to write a book you could set milestone such as: Creating an outline, writing each chapter, finding a publisher etc., prior to Publishing and putting the book on the market. Make sense?
Be patient and stay the course.
Rome was not built in a day as my eyebrow stylist says, A.K.A. (it takes time to grow your eyebrows out). But really, it took them hundreds, in fact, a 1,000 years to build up the Roman Empire to what it was at its prime.
Your goal will not take that long, but you need to stay the course. Do not let the self-doubt overcome you. If you let it, it will! A smart person once said that you can only truly experience one emotion at a single time. So, if you think of your goal and what motivates you to achieve it, it will be a lot harder for self-doubt to settle in. The slow and steady win the race.
Perfection is the enemy of progress
Guys, IT DOES NOT NEED TO BE PERFECT! Seriously, I am a perfectionist and if I let perfection get to me I would be doomed for failure. I am one of those detail orientated people who would see a power point and if all the headers were different font sized I would spend an hour fixing them before getting to the content. I would critique and adjust all visual details before getting to the meat of the project. THIS IS THE WRONG WAY TO DO IT!
This is so important...
DO NOT LET PERFECTION GET IN THE WAY OF PROGRESS!
One small tip that I have for you is that if you goal requires you to write, do not edit while writing. I am a huge advocate of batching, but be sure that you perform one activity at a time. For example, write multiple blog posts, then, in another session, edit those blog posts.
Amy Porterfield gave me this insight and it is so true. When you are writing, get your words on paper, then leave it. Go back to edit it later. If you do it all in one session you may get overloaded with the need to make it perfect and it WILL take a lot longer to get it done.
Apply this theory to anything you are doing and you will be much more efficient. Spread out your work over a couple of days so you can go back with fresh eyes.
Celebrate the small wins
Remember those milestones that we talked about earlier? Those are there for you to not only have mini goals, but to also provide you with small victories of progress. By celebrating the small victories it will help and motivate you to achieve more. If you wrote a chapter of you book, that is something to celebrate. If you decided to start your website and you took the first step of signing up for your domain name, that is a victory.
By creating SMART goals you are already well on your way to achieving your goals. If you read through this, your a rock star and you have what you need to achieve your goals.
YOU are going somewhere and YOU are taking steps to achieve it.