PP 027: SMART Goal Setting
Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. This is your host, Kim Sutton. And today, I’m going to talk to you about SMART Goals.
After hearing about it for years and years, over this past weekend, I finally started reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. If you’ve already read the book, you know just in the first chapter – and I believe I’m still in the first couple of chapters – it is quite an impactful book. I’ve been taking a lot of notes, I think I’ve already burned through one highlighter – and the only thing I wish the book had was page numbers, so that when I’m taking notes in my journal, I could record which page I got these specific notes from.
However, right in the first chapter, Napoleon Hill talks about desires. He talks about how, in order to reach a goal, we need to know what that goal is in the first place, and we need to clearly define it and set a timeline for achieving it.
Right away, this made me start thinking about the SMART Goal-Setting Method – which if you haven’t heard of it before, is an acronym -which in my interpretation, stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based. So again, the SMART Goal-Setting Method.
I realized while reading the chapter that I do, in some ways, define my goals, but I really didn’t have most of the SMART Goal-Setting Method worked out.
So as I was reading last night, I took a break and clearly defined my biggest goal at the moment. I’m not going to get into my goal; however, I did, in my journal, write out a two- or three-page plan on how I’m going to reach my goal, which actually has a deadline of March 19th, 2019. Yes, this is a couple-year goal. However, there are so many moving parts within this goal that I wanted to make sure I laid it all out, so that I have a plan to follow.
When we’re looking at our goals, there’s so many ways that we can look at them. We can look at them as daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals – you get it. However, for each one of these, it’s really important that we know how we are going to achieve them. Laying out specific timelines for daily goals and weekly goals might be a little bit unrealistic, and may honestly, sometimes, take more time than just getting the task done in the first place.
But for the bigger goals, like launching a course, starting a new business, buying a car or a home, even having children – these are goals which we need to figure out how we are going to do it. I know you could be sitting there thinking, “Well, I know how to have a baby.” Right? I’m not even going to go there. But still, if you’re planning on having a child, you have to consider things like insurance, how you’re going to pay for all the baby goods, where the child is going to go after born – meaning daycare, or is somebody going to stay home to take care of it? You get my point.
I’m going to walk through each of the steps and the SMART Goal-Setting Method right now, and go over some of the points that you may not have thought about when you have considered the goals in your bucket list or on your to-do list.
“S” stands for Specific.
It’s really easy to say, “I want to start my own business,” or, “I want to write a book.” But when you really look at it, you have to be more specific about what type of business you want to start, what type of book you want to write, what type of podcast you want to launch, what type of clients you want to be working with, or even what type of house you want to buy. Nailing down all these minute details will really help you hone in on the action steps that you need to take each step of the way.
“M” stands for Measurable.
How are you going to measure whether or not that goal has been met? Sure, you can build a website and say you’ve “launched a business”, but is that what it means to you? Or, does it mean that you’ve actually opened up your doors and have signed your first client? Does “launching a podcast” mean creating your cover art and recording a couple episodes, or does launching the podcast actually mean having your first episodes released to iTunes, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio? Clearly defining what “reaching your goals” means will make it a lot easier to know whether or not you have hit that goal when the time comes.
“A” stands for Achievable.
I love the song “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars. And while I would love to be a billionaire – and I’m sure a lot of you would too – this isn’t really achievable, given the way that my life is currently going. And quite honestly, it doesn’t need to be achieved. I would be quite happy with far, far, far less money.
To achieve our goals, it’s really important that we know which steps to take, and what outcome we can realistically expect from each one of those steps. So if your goal is to make $500,000 next year, you need to know how exactly you are going to do that. If you’re selling physical products, that may mean selling X quantity of each product to reach a sum of a half-million dollars. If you’re a service-based business, that may mean signing on X number of clients on a recurring monthly retainer. So how are you going to achieve that goal?
When you’re documenting the goals that you want to reach, make sure you account for the milestones that will help you achieve those goals. After writing down the milestones, you can look them all over and consider whether or not your goal is too large – or maybe not even large enough.
Personally, when I was looking at my goal, I realized that I can probably blow that goal out of the water far before that date. So I stepped it up a notch. Yes, I’m going to have to work harder, but my initial goal was so achievable, it was almost easy. I don’t want to find myself slacking, and I want to push myself just that much more, so I can reach the next level.
“R” stands for Realistic.
Now, let’s just be realistic here: “Realistic” and “Achievable” go hand in hand. If it’s not achievable, it’s not realistic. So let’s move on to “T”.
“T” is Time-Based.
If we set goals with no time expectation, it’s really easy to say, “Oh, I’ll start on that tomorrow.” “Oh, I’ll do that next week.” And then you reach the end of the year, and you realize, “Oh, I wanted to do that this year, but I haven’t even begun yet. Let’s make that my goal for next year.
Put a date on it. When are you going to have your book published? When are you going to buy your house? When are you going to get your dream car?
Jim Carrey wrote himself a check for $10 million and gave himself a date for which he was going to be able to cash that check – and he did it. I want each and every one of you to be able to write yourself a check. It may not be for money; it may be, “Here’s the keys to your new car.” “Here’s your business, so you can quit your job.” “Hey, look here’s your podcast.” But I want you to be able to have a check for that. And by the day for which you set that goal, I want you to be able to cash that check in.
I want to know that you’re listening to this podcast, and I would love to know your goals. You don’t need to give all the details, but please come on over to the website, and in the comments, tell me about your goal. Again, it doesn’t need to be specific, but give a generalization – and the date by which you want to reach that goal. I am actually going to put it in my calendar, and I am going to follow up with you to see how you are doing. Again, you can share those goals at TheKimSutton.com/PP027.
If you do nothing else today, I want you to lay out your SMART Goals. Remember to make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Based. And until the next episode, make it a positively productive day.