Be SMART. That’s the key.
I’m not yelling. SMART goals are a thing…I’ll get to that.
So you all know that I was a teacher for years, before I became KrisWithaK. I learned a lot from my students…like A LOT.
But I learned a lot from administrators, bosses and professors too. I know – I usually buck against the authority figure-types, and particularly when they are telling me how I need to organize and prioritize my dream-time, imagination place…
Let me have my daydreams! I don’t want SpreadSheets messing with my creative magic!!!
But sometimes, the folks with all the pragmatic advice and spreadsheets really get it right. And the SMART goal-setting method represents a time when they got it verrrry right for me.
The idea behind the SMART goals method is pretty clear.
S – Specific! Make your goals really specific, so that you can be clear on what you are working toward, and how you measure success.
M – Measurable! See what I did there? That was a master-segué. You need to be able to measure whether or not you’ve reached your goals, and how well your strategies are working to get you there.
A – Achievable! Don’t set goals for yourself that are impossible, or will take more time than you can devote. Break them into steps if you need to, but don’t set yourself up for failure and then beat yourself up for the next year about how you couldn’t cut it. Not cool, kitten! Not cool.
R – Realistic! I add the caveat “and Exciting” to this one, because realistic goals are important, but they have to be exciting so that you will be filled with enough intrinsic motivation to get them done.
T – Time-bound! Ok. This one is huge. If you don’t have a super specific time as a deadline for each strategy you use to get toward your goal, you leave a big ole space open for that sneaky term, “someday” to sneak in there and ruin everything. Also beware someday’s cousins – soon, sometime and when-I-get-a-chance.
These elements are necessary for a good, achievable goal-setting hangout, in my opinion. There are a lot of SMART goal spreadsheet looking printables out there too, but they don’t totally cover it for me, and you should probably have a worksheet to help you. Amirite?
Luckily, I want you to be prepared.
So I made one for you! Because I luv ya, and I want you to be prepared for your 2015. It’s going to be amazing.
Let’s DO this!
Now, download and print this worksheet 4 times (one per quarter), and then we can get to the planning.
So how do we use this worksheet?
There are 4 basic steps to this goal setting process (all with the SMART rules in mind):
- Come up with one really effective 2015 Business Goal for the year that will move you closer to your measure of success – your Great Big Why.
- Outline 4 Outcomes that are measurable and will make that big Goal happen naturally.
- Decide how you will achieve each of those Outcomes. Do your brainstorming, research and crowd-sourcing to decide on 3 solid Strategies to use for each Outcome.
- The last thing for you to do is outline the specific Tasks that you will need to undertake to make sure that your Strategies work effectively toward each Outcome, and ultimately to the realization of your 2015 Goal. Make sure that you are clear on who will do them, when and where they will happen and how you will measure their success.
I’m going to work on mine too; lets GO!
Personally, I need to be able to really focus on one goal at a time. I’ve learned over the years that if I am working on too many things at once, I lose a lot of them to the sidelines.
My overall goal for 2015 will be to focus on raising my revenue by 75%.
See how it’s measurable? It’s realistic too – I’ve crunched the numbers and I can do it if I work hard. It supports my Great Big Why because it will make it possible for me to teach more people in more interesting ways and get my own Voice out there more too.
Always be aware of your GBW when you are planning, and choose one big business goal for the year that will support it.
To make my path to my 2015 goal clear and bite-sized, I pick four really great outcomes from my long and dreamy list of business aspirations that will make the big 2015 goal inevitable. I decide which four things I want to see happen that will really move my business and life forward – toward my Great Big Why.
Then, I choose the best quarter to focus on each outcome – based on what my year will look like, what my industry calendar is like and based on what needs to happen first.
Once I’ve nailed down the four biggest and best outcomes I want to see and I know when they need to happen, I give one to each quarter.
Now – this doesn’t mean that the outcome for my first quarter will end on April 1st. It just means that I’ll have it set up to work with systems in place and move my creative focus to the next outcome, while I keep this one moving in the background.
Go write yours down now. DO IT!
Ahhhh! It already feels like I’m getting things done. Goal planning is so coooool.
My 4 outcomes for 2015 are all going to be geared toward that major goal. The first outcome I will work toward is to create higher visibility for my brand by doubling my list subscribers.
After you have nailed your 4 major Outcomes, It’s time to talk Strategy.
To keep it simple, I choose 3 straightforward strategies to implement that will move me measurably toward the 1st quarter outcome – and my 2015 Big Daddy Goal.
First, I brainstorm as many possibilities as I can think of. Then, I cross off the crazies from that list and think more clearly about what remains. I do some research and choose the three I think will best move me toward my outcome.
These strategies have to be specific, measurable and clear. You’ll be expanding them into specific tasks in a minute, so don’t stress about that. Just pull the 3 best strategies and write them in the pink boxes on your sheet.
I have Strategies like guest posting, creating and automating an opt-in freebie and making a new blogging calendar – like this one or this one – for 2015.
Now, you bring it down to the nitty gritty
It’s always good to recognize that the tasks aren’t as fun as the dreaming, but having these tasks closely related to the bigger outcomes and overall goal makes them feel worth it…even when I want to just curl up in my jammies and snooze for a month (I’m talking to you, February! You make me so sleepy).
Break your strategies down into 3 tasks or routines that need to happen. You have to be super clear and detailed about how these guys are going to happen, or they’ll fall between the cracks.
- If you are going to start doing some public speaking to raise your local profile, you could attend a toastmasters’ meeting every Wednesday at 7:00pm.
- You could also meet with a writing coach every other Monday morning from 9:00am to 11:00am – to find your signature story to share with your audiences.
- Or you could send 2 emails to potential groups to speak to every Tuesday morning at 8:30am.
Now put those tasks in your calendar, kitten!
For my first strategy – Guest Posting – I have these tasks listed:
- Create a master list of blogs I’d love to guest post to (December 15th 9:00 am).
- Write an intro note and query letter template to use as a backbone for query letters to potential guest post buddies (December 16th 1:00pm).
- Send at least 2 query letters to bloggers on the list every Monday morning, by 10:00am, geared to their blog and what I can offer them in particular.
I have similar lists for my other strategies, but you don’t need to hear about all of my homework.
Go do yours! And tell me in the comments section what your big 2015 Goal is and the 4 outcomes that will move you toward that goal. Let’s do the accountability buddy dance, and keep each other honest.
And come back next week to see how I’m making my 2015 planning *stick*…to the wall…with washi tape 😉 Happy Goal Setting!
See you next week!
You mad? Excited? Have a perspective to share? Please do!
Want to read more? Check out these recent articles.
Taking Apart the Writing Process: What does it actually look like? Well…it doesn’t really look like this layout of the insides of a typewriter, but looking at any complicated thing in pieces is the best way to make certain that all of the parts are there – and working well. I talked a little bit…
How is Your Blog Writing Going, Today? Are you sitting in front of your computer, with a cup of coffee in your hand and one of the best seats at Starbucks, only to stare at the blinking cursor on your screen – your fingers paralyzed on the keyboard? Or do you prefer to sit outside in the sun…