Setting goals is important for any business, but there’s a difference between just setting a goal and creating a goal with actionable steps to help you achieve it. Simply saying you want to increase your email list in 2021 sounds good, but it’s lacking structure and without defining key aspects of your goal, you’re almost sure to fall short. In today’s post, we’ll take you from vague, open-ended goals, to creating SMART goals with concrete targets, time frames, and clear paths to success!
What is a SMART Goal?
The “SMART” acronym stands for “specific,” “measurable,” “attainable,” “relevant,” and “timely.” Including each of these five characteristics when writing out your goal ensures that your goal can be reached. Now let’s break each of them down and show how to use them.
Make sure your goals are focused and identify a tangible outcome. Without being specific, your goal will run the risk of being too vague and far more difficult to achieve. By being specific, it helps you identify what it is you want to achieve. Don’t forget to answer the six “W” questions:
Who: Who is involved in this goal?
What: What do you plan to accomplish?
Where: Is there a target location for this goal?
When: Narrow down a realistic timeline.
Which: Note any requirements and constraints involved with this goal.
Why: Hone in on your purpose and benefits of accomplishing your goal.
An example of a vague goal would be, “Get more Instagram followers.” A specific goal would sound more like, “Introduce our new holiday campaign and increase our Instagram followers by 4% by the end of Q4.”
Establishing criteria for measuring your goal’s progress is key to staying on the path to achieving your goal. In order to make a goal something you can easily measure, ask yourself the following:
How will I know if I’ve reached my goal?
What is a solid indicator of progress?
Attaching a number to your goal gives you a concrete benchmark to strive toward. If you just say you want more Instagram followers and only gain two by the end of Q4, it might seem like you reached your goal. However, if you started with 4,000 followers and the goal was to increase your follower count by 4%, you would know that you need 160 new followers. Tracking your progress just got a whole lot easier, and you’ll be able to know if what you’re doing is working, or if something needs to be changed in order to hit that end number.
It’s great to have big goals, but keeping them realistic will help set you up for success. An attainable goal should be something you’re both willing and able to work towards. For instance, saying you want to double your Instagram followers in just one quarter is probably a little far-fetched. Something more attainable would be increasing your followers by 4% or 160 total new followers. You should already know that this number is attainable based on your current growth rate. When you begin to set achievable goals, you’ll start to identify areas previously overlooked and opportunities missed. Try asking yourself: Do I have the capabilities and resources to realistically achieve this goal? If not, what am I missing?
The goal you’re making should address a core initiative and matter to you and your business as a whole. Essentially, recognizing if your goal is a priority worthy of your focus. Growing your following by 4% using a new holiday campaign will likely lead to more website visits, email signups, and sales, making your goal a relevant one.
In order to stay motivated, your goal needs to have a timeline and target end date. This will help prevent other less important tasks from taking priority over your long-term goal of growing your following by 4%. Additionally, a time frame can help you chart your progress. If Q4 is already halfway through and you’re not on pace to hit your end goal, you’ll be able to identify areas you could be doing more to ensure you reach your goal by the end of the year.
Specific and measured goals are the key to success. With your new SMART goal, you’ll have a clear target to aim for, can quickly evaluate whether you’re on track to achieving your goal or falling short, and can celebrate the achievement when it happens because it was realistic and relevant to your business. Using a structure like the SMART formula can help you succeed in whatever you set out to do. If you find that you’re lacking the tools to crush your goals, reach out to our team and let us help you today!