The problem with many of these new year resolutions is that we don't stick to them and after a couple of weeks they are a distant memory. This not only makes us feel like we have failed but we don't actually achieve what we wanted to.
Now I don't believe that setting goals at this time of year is a bad idea, I just think the goals we set are bad.
Many have no structure and are very vague. Goals such as "exercise more" or "earn more money" don't really mean a lot.
If you currently do not partake in any exercise at all and you set a
goal to exercise more then if you go to the gym once you have in theory
"exercised more" but is that really good enough to be classed as
achieving a goal?
Setting a goal to earn more money? How much more, and by when? As you evaluate them you can see that these goals on their own do not really mean a lot.
How can you make these goals better?
When setting any goal, be it in business or in my personal life I like to follow the guidance of SMART.
SMART has a few varieties but the most common version is:
Specific - Exactly what it is you want to achieve
Measurable - How will you know you have achieved it
Achievable - Is it actually possible!
Relevant - Something that fits into the bigger picture
Time-Based - Set a deadline for when you will achieve it
So first let's take a look at a personal example and for this, I am going to use a fitness goal. Rather than a goal of "get better at running" we are going to follow the SMART system
S - To be able to Run a 10k
M - Completed my first 10k
A - I can run 5k now and don't have any major injuries so yes
R - I want to get better at running so this is a good goal
T - I will enter a 10K which takes place in September so that's 9 Months
Now that looks like a proper goal and one you will stick too. How do you get there, well that's the next stage and you will need to work out the details of going from 5k to 10k. Perhaps it is working with a running club, a personal trainer or upping your running but at least you now have a proper goal to work towards.
A goal I often hear when talking to new clients about our business marketing packages is that they want to gain more work. When I ask how much they don't really know. I would prefer to set some clear goals so that we can see the improvement and have a target to work towards. As the saying goes, If you don't have a goal, then you can't score! So now let's follow the SMART system
S - Gain 1 new client a month for 12 months
M - We will sign up a new client roughly at a rate of 1 per month but 12 by the end of the year
A - We currently gain about 1 per 2 months so with some extra work yes
R - It will improve income
T - By December 2018 we will have 12 new clients
Now the example above isn't about MJS Media, it is just an example of a goal a business may set and could work for a personal trainer or an accountant etc.
You may have also heard of SMARTER goals. The E stands for Evaluate and the R for Re-do. This is because often goals can change. If after 3 months you can run 10k why not reevaluate the goal and set it for a Half Marathon? Goals should be flexible as long as they still stick to the reason you are doing them.
Whats your best tip for setting yourself a goal? I would love to hear.
Happy New Year,