Do you know how to set out great goals? We all set out goals even as children. We may have been pretty relentless in tracking some of them. Earning a few pennies here and there to buy something we really wanted, learning to pass an exam or to get a good grade, or taking the girl we liked out, these were important goals at the time.
As adults we want a great family, kids, a great neighborhood, car, house etc. We might aim at certain jobs, salaries, club memberships, titles and so on. It’s likely you want to make money online or start a home-business online. And each of them is a big goal for you, if you want it. If you set out great goals, and how effective you are in pursuing them, well, that’s a big topic, and we’ll start today by unveiling what makes a goal great (for you).
How should great goals look like?
Specific. Don’t use general terms, be as specific as possible in your goal (especially for longer terms). Here’s an unspecific goal: I want to become a better online marketer.
Here’s a specific goal: I want to become a better email marketer.
“Email marketer” is more specific compared to “online marketer”.
Measurable. Your goal’s progress and finalization must have a clear, non-subjective method of being measured and determined. Here’s a non-measurable goal: I want to add more subscribers to my list.
Here’s a measurable goal: I want to add at least 100 more subscribers to my list.
Do you notice the difference? “More subscribers” can mean 2 more. “at least 100 more” is measurable.
You will see below being a measurable goal is still not enough.
Attainable. Using the experience, means and resources available to you when you set the goal, it must be attainable in the given time frame. For example, having no previous experience in online marketing, it would be unattainable for you to become a successful email marketer, with your own style, by the end of this year.
Relevant. Your goals need to be relevant to the bigger picture, your reason why, but also take into consideration the feelings of people close to you (your family). Short-term goals need to align with long-term goals, and all with your vision, if you have one, and if you don’t try (hard!) to find one. Relaxation, vacation, enough sleep, good health and nutrition, etc. can also be relevant goals for some, or else you cannot be effective in anything you’re doing. They are for me.
Time-bound. If you don’t put a time limit to your goals, they are ineffective. Let’s reconsider our example with the subscribers:
I want to add at least 100 more subscribers to my list.
At least 100 more subscribers until when? This month-end? This year-end? Ten years from now?
So, let’s revise the goal to include our time constraint:
I want to have at least 100 more subscribers to my list in September.
The above list makes up what is called a S.M.A.R.T. goal.
But I’d like to add
A few more qualities great goals should have
Have a main goal! For every term, from daily to yearly or more, have a main goal! That’s the first goal you tackle in the morning, when you’re mind is fresh, and the goal you pursue relentlessly until completion (or failure), sometimes even in the detriment of the secondary goals.
Have at most 3 goals! Ok, maybe you prefer at most 5 goals, but keep it to a reasonable low limit! Too many goals means no goals. Learn to prioritize what’s important to you, delegate what others do better than you if you can, and ignore 99% of the rest.
Have evolving goals! If your goals from this month are the same as the ones from last month or the ones from this year are the same as the ones from last year, you have a problem. Fix it! Thrive for more next time. Our new add-on can help you set out, prioritize, manage, analyze and improve your goals.
Sometimes your goals will go way off reality. It happens. When we set out goals, we need our experience and past results as guidance. When we deal with something new, we’re mostly… guessing. Last week I had two important goals, one of which I initially estimated it would take half a day, maybe a day to complete. It took 5 days. Missing a goal or more is not the end of the world. And certainly not a reason to stop using them because they don’t work or to ignore the deadlines. Just learn and do better next time.