Chances are, you have already heard about SMART goals and how to set them. The biggest challenge is establishing and following a plan to turn them into reality. When you are just starting out with setting your goal, you will achieve results because your enthusiasm is driving your motivation. However, it’s not too long before your goal becomes a fleeting memory and it’s life as usual. In fact, research has proven that approximately 10 percent of people believe they have achieved their goals in life. If you want to achieve your goals, then you are going to need to make a plan.
Creating a Plan to Achieve Your Goals
Following are some steps to help you with crafting a plan to reach your goals.
Ensure Goals are SMART
When your goal is SMART, it provides you with some clarity as well as a deadline for achieving them. Here’s the definition of a SMART goal:
- Specific/Clearly Defined. Don’t say something like “I want to make more money.” Instead say, “I want to be making $10,000 per month.”
- Measurable/Quantifiable. This is why you should not say “more” money- after all, “more” could be $1. On the other hand, when you mention a specific dollar amount, that can be measured.
- While it’s great to challenge yourself, you don’t want to make it impossible. When it’s impossible, you set yourself up for failure and frustration.
- Your goal should be built so that it fits into your overall life plan.
- When you set a goal, it should have a deadline by which it should be achieved.
One of the biggest challenges to achieving goals is that in most cases, the “deadline” is so far out that people don’t do anything about it until it’s too late.
Instead, when you set a goal, you need to think about the time that you have between now and your deadline. Then, start establishing mini-goals/milestones that bring you closer to the big goal.
For example, let’s say you want to be bringing in $10,000 a month with your business within the next six months. Now, start thinking about milestones you can set of how much you plan to be earning within the first month, third month, and six months. This way, when month #3 comes along, you’ll be able to tell if you are on track or if you need to re-evaluate and try something else.
Figure Out What Should Happen to Get You to Your Goals
In this step, you must be specific on what exactly you must be doing in order to reach your mini-goals as well as your ultimate goal within the established time frame. Looking back at the $10,000 per month example, you’ll need more clients/customers, right?
So, consider how many clients/customers you will need to make $5,000 per month and $10,000 per month. Figure out how many prospects need to come into the sales process and how many pitches you need to make in order to get one sale.
Determine the Actions Necessary to Attain Your Goals
Think about what it is that you need to be doing on a regular basis in order to fulfill your mini-goal as well as your ultimate goal? Let’s say that in order to make 2 sales, you need to interact with 10 people. So, what is it that you need to do to find 10 people? Let’s say you need to have 100 leads in order to get 10 people to talk to you? What should you do to find those 100 leads?
When it comes to business, the tasks in this section typically involve marketing, which guides people through your sales funnel. In addition, it means that you should be offering a quality product/service and making sure that your current clients/customers keep coming back for more- and referring others to you.
Create a Schedule for Your Actions
Once you have figured out what you need to do in order to fulfill your mini-goals and your ultimate goal, it’s time to create a daily plan and schedule those tasks. These are things that you should be doing on a daily basis in order to generate prospects/leads. In addition, it involves the tasks that you do in order to create/deliver your product/service. Basically- it’s your job.
Of course, it can be challenging to start a part-time business around and already jam-packed schedule, but it’s critical if you want to achieve your goals. One of the ways that you can make this work is to learn some time management skills.
Don’t Forget the Follow Through
Once you have completed all of the above, you will have a daily schedule in place and milestones you’ll need to reach for along the way of reaching your goal. The next step is to follow through.
Make sure that you always do what you have put on your schedule. This seems pretty obvious- but you might be surprised at how many people never reach their goals because they’re not willing to invest the effort.
You also might consider keeping track of your results and accomplishments. Take some time each week/month to sit down and evaluate the effectiveness of your plan and see how far you’ve gone. If you find that something is not working, make some adjustments so that you can see the progress you would like to.
You know how to set goals- but there’s more to it than just setting a goal and sitting back to watch. You must put forth the effort to make that goal come to fruition.