SMART Goals. One of our biggest lessons as a leadership team since we’ve starting using EOS is to make our quarterly SMART goals (rocks) achievable.
We started with these lofty (unrealistic!) goals thinking “Easy, we can achieve these. We have three whole months to do it in.” Then we’d come to our quarterly planning day having achieved only 70% of them.
So we took a refresher on SMART goals. And thought we’d share it with you.
SMART goals turn your aspirations into reality. Fact!
Your SMART goals
Whether you are an employee or the owner of your own small business, you have goals. Are they SMART? Possibly not yet, but write them down and use this article to make them SMART.
Here’s a couple of examples:
The problem with goals
Most of us know what we want to achieve. Then life happens!
- Your bookkeeper leaves and you’re back doing invoicing duty
- A new client project is taking all your attention right now
- You get sick and/or go through a major hiccup personally
- You’ve been spending all your time trying to finish your online course
The SMART goal solution
Step 1: Write down one goal you want to achieve this quarter
- Go away for a long weekend
- Improve cashflow so you stop stressing about your next tax payment
- Generate more leads, and improve conversion
- Spend more time working on your business
Step 2: Define your goal using the SMART goal system
SMART goals need to have each of the following elements:
- S – specific
- M – measurable
- A – attainable (or achievable)
- R – relevant to the overall mission and vision of your business
- T – include a time frame
To set a specific goal, you must answer the following 5 “W” questions:
- What: what do I want to accomplish?
- Why: specific reasons, purpose, or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
- Who: who is involved?
- Where: identify a location.
- Which: identify requirements and constraints.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as:
- How much?
- How many?
- How will I know when it is accomplished?
Set realistic goals that you are able to achieve but which will stretch you. It is by pushing yourself that you will attain your goals. To set an attainable goal you must answer the “H” question:
- How can the goal be accomplished?
Remember, keep your goals achievable. There’s a line of thought to make your ‘measurable’ element one you know you’ll achieve. Then add a stretch target.
Here’s a good article about top tips for setting team stretch goals by Wrike. Their description of stretch states:
A stretch goal is a high-effort and high-risk goal. It is intentionally set above normal standards to attract exponential rewards, opportunities, and experience.
Stretch goals are not expected to be achieved one hundred percent. They are set to inspire growth and counter complacency in teams.
To be relevant, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are both willing, and able to work towards. You want to relate your goal to your mission or vision statement. Your goal needs to be important to you and relevant to your ultimate business vision.
Your goal should be grounded within a time frame. A goal must have a target date. Commitment to deadlines helps teams to focus their efforts on completion of the goal on or before the due date.
Goals without deadlines or schedules for completion tend to be overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in an organisation.
With no time frame tied to it there’s no sense of urgency. To set a timely goal you must answer the sixth “W” question:
- When: Establish a time frame.
Examples of SMART goals
Poor Goal: Reduce customer complaints in service department.
SMART Goal: Design and implement new customer complaint procedure for our service department, to reduce complaints from 30% to 5% of total business by 31 March 2023.
Poor Goal: Start a new blog to educate prospects.
SMART Goal: To achieve an increase in repeat business, start a new weekly blog highlighting the benefits of our product. Set up an automation in Mailchimp to send this to our lead magnet lists. The first article is due to be published no later than the end of January 2023 with success measured by a click through rate of 54% by the end of this quarter.
Step 3: Turn your goal into a project
Download our SMART Goal Project Brief to map out your strategy, turning your goal into actionable tasks.
The template will help you to:
- Outline your project and show how it aligns with your goal, business vision and mission.
- Create the strategy, scope and rationale for your project.
- Break your goal into milestones and then into actionable tasks.
- Set a timeline for each milestone and task.
- Identify resources needed to complete the project.
Step 4: Measure
When the timeframe is up, measure how you did. Did you achieve your SMART goal? If so, onwards and upwards … it’s time to set your next goal. You should always have a SMART goal you are working at achieving. This is what working ON your business looks like.
Once you feel confident, you can now look at defining your short, medium and long term goals.
We have the following goals:
- quarterly rocks
- 1 year goals
- 3 year goals
- BHAG (big hairy audacious 10 year goals)
And if when you measure you haven’t achieved your goal?
Look at what you did achieve, was your goal realistic?
Identify why you couldn’t meet your goal and redefine it with a new timeframe and criteria.
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Practice makes perfect, and it does take practice!
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE GUIDE
We’ll show you how to:
- Set the vision: so you know what success looks like
- Define your goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely
- Plan for roadblocks: so when you stumble, you can get back up
- Create a KISS project: to break your goal into achievable actions
So you start achieving your goals, consistently.