Let’s say you are wanting to start your own business. Be your own boss. Work hours that you want to work so that you can spend more time with your family.
You start doing your research and find a market that is suitable for the type of business you’re looking to start. You are super pumped! You start learning everything you can about your corner of the market.
Then reality hits….there is just so. much. information. You start to feel overwhelmed.
This is the perfect time for you to stop spinning your wheels, so to speak, and start making SMART goals.
“SMART goals? What’s that about?”
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. It will help you to achieve what you hope to accomplish.
How do you do this? Let me tell you…
Your goal must be specific. If you leave your goal too broad, you will feel overwhelmed and less likely to accomplish it. Ask yourself these questions: What do I want to accomplish? Why is this goal important? Who is involved? Where is it located? Which resources or limits are involved?
Example: I will sell handmade Whoozits on Etsy.
Your goal must be measurable. You need to keep track of how you’re doing with your goal: How much? How many? How will I know when it’s accomplished?
Example: I will be ready to take my first Etsy order within four weeks, and I will aim to sell a minimum of five Whoozits per week.
Your goal must be attainable. You need to make them realistic and achievable. The idea is for your goal to stretch your abilities while remaining possible. Questions to ask yourself: How can I accomplish this goal? How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints?
*Expert Tip: Be mindful when setting your goal. Don’t set it in such a way that gives power to someone else.
Example: I will get set up on Etsy first. Then, I will build an inventory of 30 handmade Whoozits to sell. Finally, I will promote my business and build customer relationships through word of mouth, referrals and local networking
Your goal must be relevant. Does your goal matter to you? Your goal is relevant if it can answer these questions with a “Yes!”
- Does this seem worthwhile?
- Is this the right time?
- Does this match our other efforts/needs?
- Am I the right person to reach this goal?
- Is it applicable in the current socio-economic environment?
Example: Selling handmade Whoozits will allow me to benefit financially from my favorite hobby.
Your goal must be time-bound. Create deadlines for when you want to have achieved your goal. These will range from daily (short-term) to yearly (long-term). To help you determine your deadlines, ask yourself “When? What can I do 6 months from now? What can I do 6 weeks from now? What can I do today?”
Example: My Etsy store will be up and running within four weeks, and I will have an inventory of 30 Whoozits to sell within six weeks.
Using SMART – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound – when setting your goals is effective for achieving your goals. It helps you to “declutter” your mind, providing clarity of thought.
Taking our original goal, “Starting a business,” I showed you how to make it SMART – “Within a month, I am going to get set up to sell handmade Whoozits on Etsy, which will allow me to benefit financially from my favorite hobby” – by breaking it down into more manageable steps during the planning process.
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