I am not a football fan. The sight of a grown man (or woman) merely kicking a ball into the back of a net does not fill me with excitement. Hey, no problem if that’s your thing, but what gets me excited is the achievement of business goals or personal goals.
But what is a business or personal goal? Is it just an aim? Or perhaps a statement of intent? Well, yes, but it’s so much more than that, because it is much more structured than a wishy-washy “I’d like good things to happen.”
We’d all like good things to happen, but what sort of good things? Why do you want them? When do you want them by? And how are you going to make them happen? Who could help?
A good business goal or personal goal is a S.M.A.R.T. goal. It stands for a goal that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Over the next few days, let’s take a look at each of the elements, because one of the main differences between the wealthy and the not-so-wealthy is that the wealthy set goals while others do not.
The specific element of your goal is the what, why, and how of what you want to achieve. If you are not properly clear about exactly what it is that you want, then you are going to be very fuzzy over trying to achieve it.
An example of a fuzzy, non-specific goal would be; “I’d like to be richer”. Well, what do you mean by richer?
A cake might be described as ‘very rich’, but I’m sure that’s not what you meant. Probably.
I found a five pence piece on the pavement this morning, so I suppose it could be said that I am richer than I was when I woke up. But if I only had another ten pence to my name, having an additional 50% wouldn’t exactly get me described as ‘rich’ by most people’s standards.
A better, more specific example than that above would be; “I want my business to generate one million pounds in profit”.
It’s still not a fully SMART objective, as it misses several of the other elements, but at least it’s clear as to what you meant by ‘richer’. “I want my business to…” touches on the notion of how we might reach this goal. The word “profit” makes it clear that we meant financially richer.
And “one million pounds” tells us specifically how much wealthier you want to be, and links in nicely to tomorrow’s lesson about being able to measure the success (or otherwise) of your goals.
A specific goal will usually answer the five ‘W’ questions, plus how:
- What: What is it that we want to achieve?
- Why: Why do we want to accomplish the goal? What are the reasons or benefits?
- Who: Who is involved in reaching this goal? Do you have the right team?
- Where: Identify the location(s) where this goal will take place
- When: When do we need to achieve this goal?
- How: How will we achieve this goal? What will we need?
Share your experiences of goal setting in the comments, and join me later for the next installment, all about the science of making your goals measurable.
To your success,