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A Practical Guide to S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Oct 22, 2018
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Goal setting is an essential  practice of high achievers. But setting goals is not nearly as easy as it sounds. In order to make sure you hit your mark and get results, you can leverage S.M.A.R.T Goals. In this video, I'll walk you through how to create better goals using S.M.A.R.T. Goals.

 

 

Video Transcript:

Hey, thanks so much checking out this video. If this is your first time watching or maybe you've been watching a lot, but haven't hit subscribe, please do so now, we would love for you to join our community.

Today, we're going to be talking about smart goals and really how we can turn those goals into a reality, so we're not just dreaming of things that we want, but actually we're making them happen.

So, what is a smart goal? S.M.A.R.T. goals are defined by specific terms. It's S-M-A-R-T which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result-focused, and Time-bound. By using these specific elements of a goal we will have a better chance of achieving that goal or at least heading in the right direction.

Let's look at each of these elements. We're going to start with Specific. A goal should be simple. It should be clearly defined on what we're going to do. We need to be specific on the what, the why, and the how when we're creating this goal. Let's look at this example below and we're going to walk through each of the different elements in this example.

Our smart goal is that by January 1st, 2019 we're going to implement a new CRM for our company using clearly defined processes and guidelines so that the sales and marketing team can better track and serve leads through the marketing funnel.

As you can see this goal is very specific. We have what we want to do. We have why it's important, and how we're going to have that achieved for our company. So measurable, this is extremely important, goals need to be measurable so you have tangible evidence of whether or not you've accomplished them.

If we just say, hey, we want to have a CRM, that would be great, but how do we really measure if it's effective or not, or if we're going to make it in a certain timeframe.

Right here, the measurable piece of this, the truly measurable piece of this goal, would be by January 1st, 2019. That gives us a timeframe that we can measure against and if we're not going to make it there. Obviously, the CRM has to work. We have to have the processes. If we don't have processes and we don't have guides then we actually haven't really met it either.

We have different elements that we can track and process here to make sure that we are hitting this goal specifically.

The next thing is Achievable. We need to make sure that we can make this goal happen. We need to make sure that it's defined enough that we can achieve the goal, but we also must have the skills and abilities to make it happen.

By January 1st, again, this goal, we need to make sure we have a team that can implement a CRM. Now, if we're a company that doesn't know how to do that, this goal wouldn't be achievable, but if we have an internal team that can help us implement this, or a partnership that we can leverage to help us implement this, then this goal can be achievable.

It's very important to make sure that the goals that we set for ourselves can happen. A lot of companies get into a place to where they have goals that they can't achieve, and then they get frustrated, and well then it kinda goes downhill from there.

Make sure that you have goals that you know you can achieve.

Results-focused. This is sometimes ... the R in S.M.A.R.T. ... is also sometimes Relevant. Relevant is a good term but I think Results-focused is a better term for S.M.A.R.T. goals, because we need to look at goals that can be measured and have outcomes, not activities.

Activities don't produce results, outcomes is what we're looking for. So again, the outcome here is to have the CRM in place by January 1st, and not just that, but so that the marketing and the sales team can be better aligned and we'll move more of our leads and customers through that funnel.

The last thing, it has to be time-lined, it has to be time-bound. A goal that doesn't ever end is not really a goal. It's just a dream. It's a hope. By January 1st. That's when we're cutting it off here so make sure that the goal has an outcome by a specific point, and make sure that everybody's aligned, everybody's headed in the same direction.

Let's say you're getting ready to write your S.M.A.R.T. goals. Let's look at some questions we need to ask at each phase of the S.M.A.R.T. goal writing process.

Specific. What goal do you want to accomplish? It's pretty simple, right? What do you want to do? Then you need to ask yourself, how are we going to do it, and why are we going to do it? Write those things out. Start to align those together. Get it on a piece of paper.

What do we want to accomplish? How do we want to accomplish it? Why do we want to accomplish it?

Measurable. How are we going to measures this goal is even hit? We need at least two. Is it going to be a timeframe, well, you should have that, right? That's important. We need to measure that. Then, what's the outcome that we're looking to get as a result of this? How are we going to measure the outcome of what we're looking for?

Achievable. Extremely important. Is it possible? Have others done it successfully? Is it something that's never been tried before? Is it something new? Do we have the knowledge, and skills, and resources to do this? Very important. You need to be able to make sure that you can get something done in a timely fashion with the people that you have, or maybe you need to outsource to other people.

And then, ask, will meeting the goal challenge you without defeating you? A really great question here. Sometimes, we have stretched goals that are good, but if we stretch ourselves too much, and we don't hit that goal, it can be crushing, demoralizing, and really put us backward. I want to make sure that we're going after goals that are going to challenge us, but also help us grown, and not push us backward.

Results-focused. What is the reason, and the purpose, and the benefit of accomplishing this goal? What is the result? Not the activities but the result of that goal? What are we going to accomplish? Why are we going after this specific goal?

Lastly, it's time-bound. What is the established completion date, and does the completion date create practical sense of urgency? You want to have a practical sense of urgency but you don't want to be stressed urgently where we're like, oh, I don't know if I can do this.

You want to make sure that you have a goal, and you have it within a timeframe, that actually makes sense for you, your team, and your business. So after you go through all of this what do you do? You write your goal. You start to create that goal.

The big question now is what're you going to do to accomplish it? What do you want to see happen? And how are you going to make that happen?

I hope you learned a little bit more about S.M.A.R.T. goals and how you can implement them today. I recommend you do this with big decisions, and small decisions, and start to live by this. It's going to help make sure that you're getting the goals done when you want them done, and getting the results that you want to see.

Until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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