Last week we talked about Preparing for 2012 and in that post I talked to you about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. Today we will talk about that in depth. This post doubles as an exercise, so I encourage you to stop reading right now and grab a pen and a piece of paper.
OK, are you ready? Great, because we are about to jot down the goals you want to reach. I mean each and every goal. Don't take short cuts on this one. Be honest and elaborate. This is your future we are talking about. So, what are you waiting for? Starting jotting and come back when you are done. I'll be here, I promise. =)
*cue the music from Jeopardy
Now that you have finished writing down all of your goals, we are going to look at each goal and evaluate it, making any changes necessary to ensure it meets the criteria for SMART goals.
- S = Specific
- M = Measureable
- A = Attainable
- R = Relevant/Realistic
- T = Time-Bound/Timely
Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to force our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do. Specific is the What, Why and How of the SMART model.
- What are you going to do? Use action words such as direct, organize, coordinate, lead, develop, plan, build, etc.
- Why is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
- How are you going to do it? (By...)
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. In the broadest sense, the whole goal statement is a measure for the project; if the goal is accomplished, it's a success. However, there are usually several short-term or small measurements that can be built into the goal.
Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! "I want to network so I will take 20 vendors for coffee before summer" shows the specific target to be measured. "I want to meet more vendors" is not measurable.
Establish concrete criteria for measuring the progress toward the attainment of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to keep up the effort needed to reach your goals.
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop attitudes, abilities, skills, and financial capacity to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals.
Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won't commit to doing. Although you may start with the best of intentions, the knowledge that it's too much for you means your subconscious will keep reminding you of this fact and will stop you from giving it your best.
A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to book every bride you meet at a bridal show, we all know that isn't attainable. But setting a goal to book at least one bride following the show who meets your client profile and then when achieving that, aiming to book another, will keep it attainable for you.
The feeling of success which this brings helps you remain motivated.
This is not a synonym for "easy". Realistic, in this case, means "do-able". It means that the skills needed to do the work are available; that the project fits with the overall strategy and goals of your wedding planning business. A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the people working on it but it shouldn't break them.
Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. Be sure to set goals that you can attain with some effort! Too difficult and you set the stage for failure, but too low sends the message that you aren't very capable. Set the bar high enough for a satisfying achievement!
Set a timeframe for the goal: for the next week, in three months, by the end of the year. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards.
If you don't set a time, the commitment is too vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now.
Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.
Everyone will benefit from goals and objectives if they are SMART. SMART, is the instrument to apply in setting your goals and objectives.
We want to offer you an opportunity to put your SMART skills to the test. Attending Backstage Bridal Pro Academy is a goal that you can achieve. Register TODAY and invest in your future today and be the wedding planner you always wanted to be!