If you’ve ever been lost in a new city—especially without access to a smartphone—you can probably appreciate the value of a good map. Without knowing where you are or where you’re going, it’s pretty hard to tell if you’re headed in the right direction.
As any entrepreneur can tell you, that’s why goal-setting works as well as it does!
If you’re setting goals in the right way, you’re starting with an understanding of your current situation, and then you’re outlining a few strategic criteria for future success. Of course, that can be easier said than done with traditional goals, which is where SMART goals come in! Let’s take a look at how you can harness this simple goal-setting strategy to ramp up your productivity and give yourself clearer targets to aim for.
How SMART Goals Work
If you’re not familiar with SMART goals, you might not know that SMART is an acronym that stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. These words help you break down your goals to make sure they’re as effective as possible.
- Specific: Goals are clear, with a narrow focus rather than a general overview.
- Measurable: The end result is something you can measure with ease.
- Achievable: Your goal is something that’s actually possible for you to reach.
- Realistic: It’s realistic to expect that you can achieve your goal in the time and way you’re setting out with.
- Timely: The timeline for achieving your goal—including a start and end date—is clear.
With these words, you can create actionable goals that you can feasibly work toward, instead of vague promises and wishes.
How to Make an Effective SMART Goal
Let’s take a quick look at a few examples of effective SMART goals to help you get the picture.
Instead of a vague hope that you’ll improve your email marketing campaign, for example, you might choose to improve your open rate by 5% in the next 6 months. This goal is more specific than your vague idea, the percentage increase is easy to measure with campaign tools, and it’s achievable and realistic in the time you’ve allotted.
On a personal level, you might hope to attend three industry events this quarter to develop your networking skills, or you might set aside a half-hour per week to evaluate your performance before your monthly one-on-one with your manager.
How SMART Goals Improve Productivity
Goals, in general, can greatly enhance productivity—by up to 25% in some cases. Setting goals is linked to higher achievement, something that’s especially true of written goals that are displayed somewhere near where you work. SMART goals, in particular, can be a great way to enhance your success simply because they help you streamline and focus your objectives. With a clear path forward, it’s much harder to stumble!
Ultimately, setting goals is an absolute must whether you’re seeking personal or professional growth. With the right roadmap, it’s easier to see the big picture—and to know how to get where you want to go.
If you’re looking for more ways to enhance your success with the right tips and tricks, be sure to take a look at our blog for the tools you need!