We all claim to have goals, targets and a clear direction of where we are working towards. But, since action speaks louder than words, it is time to put your claim in check against a well-defined actionable claim. Namely, a SMART claim, or a S.M.A.R.T goal.
What Is a S.M.A.R.T Goal?
SMART is usually an acronym for
Specific: As the word says, it helps avoid confusing answers. I like to ask people randomly about their future plans. To something like, “how do you plan to be in the next 20 years?” And the person would be like, ” to live a good life.”
And, I come back to him or her with a compounding question. What is a good life? Can anyone tell me what a good life is like?
For what we always see, someone who got a promotion is excited and jumping up and down. They are happy. Regardless of how their financial life is like at home, does that make is a good life?
How about someone who is high after a few drinks on Christmas night, on a vacation, or family stay after pulling 11 months of 40 plus hours of work each month. Is that occasion a good life for him or her? I am sure we can name more examples here.
When I asked the person what he will be after 20 years, I wanted to hear something like this, “I will have become a doctor, for a student, or a businessperson with a six-figure net-worth”.
I will have owned a plane or skyscraper, or a spaceship for a working-class person. When the answer is that specific, it means the person has an idea of how to start working towards achieving it.
Measurable: Now, if the person can not start to conceive about how to break down the ideal project into smaller chunks, it probably isn’t a great workable plan.
You should be able to see, in a distant future, how you will establish follow-ups. Otherwise, you may be making a wish. This is not bad, though, as it takes you back to the conception phase.
Achievable: Just talked about a wish instead of planning. If the person is thinking of doing some project that is beyond the workability boundaries, it is called a wish.
We mentioned owning a spaceship. There is a say that goes like this: ” You are not too old to start your next dream”
This is fantastic. However, you cannot be making wishes after claiming that you had a plan. If you are a working-class person, as young as 45 years old; and you are still on management level, it could be a futile thought; as the time factor may not be on your side.
We are not saying that it cannot be achieved because, while it is a wish for a 45 aged person, it could be a plan for a 12-year-old person.
Realistic: Is it real, or fantastic? Owning or building a spaceship as presented in the movies may be fantastic for a person of 45 years to accomplish when there are yet to own a flourishing business.
However, that could be realistic for a 12-years-old person who is enthusiastic enough to invest their time in skills and knowledge development.
Time-framed. As you navigate through your conception phase, you should be able to envision the length of your plan. Is it going to complete in a year or 10 years?
By this time, you can see that there is no way of applying these measurements on something like ” good life, being happy, or living great…”.
SMART Goal As A Requirement Rather Than Just A Need
You cannot arrive at a place that you want but that you do not know. However, you can arrive at a place that you want even if you did not know how to get there.
I always like to use this example when talking about defining smart goal setting. If you want money, you are required to know how much if acquired would be enough for what you want to accomplish.
People will always tend to convince you that no one is ever satisfied with what they have, money, or the way they live. But this claim is only true for those who never developed. Meaning, those who never made a step forward in their life.
The Truth is, if you ever made a significant step in your life, you know that you knew that you needed A and B done in order to have C.
A SMART goal is a requirement because, you have to know what you want, way before even starting to think about how you will get it. The SMART goal then points out the route.
It is also true that if you knew the route without knowing first where you were going, you still could not have arrived there. “Where?” will still ring in your head. Where are you going?
So, don’t worry if you don’t see how to get to your desired targeted result. Because, wherever there is a will, there is a way. Then, your SMART goal is a way. You already have a will, since we are discussing this with you.
For those who are familiar with large cities’ roadways network, you know that you can take over a million different routes to move from one address point to the other.
However, in that example of roadways above, there can only be one straightforward route that can get you there faster, smoothly and with low risk.
This is to say that on your way to your target, there are more than a million ways to get there. There more you invest in your education on the subject, the clearer your route will continue to be.
SMART Goal Setting examples For entrepreneurs
I will pay for my mortgage in a few years if I work hard. What is “a few years”? what is working hard?
I will pay for my 30 years mortgage in 15 years by adding up to $500 to the principal each month.
S: I will pay, M: Each month, A: It can be done if you can have $500, R: it is a real plan, T: in 15 years.
This may not make sense right now because we have not gone into the technicalities of how to do this. Also, we did not specify how much is the mortgage itself.
More other factors for income requirements and how many working in the family play a big role. For now, let’s focus on the set up of the Smart goal.
I want to be a businessperson in any way. What type of business? Doing what, or with what? This is left short.
I will own up to $2000/month income producing online business in twelve months by learning “how-to” materials with as little as $50 investment capital per month.
S: I will own an online business, M: $50 per month for learning, A: it can be done, R: This Type of business is possible, T: 12 months.
Dead Dreams In Conceptions
It is so true that most plans die in the conception phase. Most big plans start as a pure dream. Even if it is a nightmare, as long as you can still remember it during the day, that does it.
This is so natural because we usually dream about things that we need in our lives; and that we think are beyond our reach. Also, how much you need to actualize the dream will make a huge impact on how soon you can get your hands on it.
We all have heard stories of people who come from far in remote countries who embark on a journey to their dreamland in developed countries; with no money of diplomatic paper. Most of them are even from impoverished families.
That is the power of the will. From start, they know want they want. Arriving in any developed country. They do know most of those countries.
It’s not like they can arrive there and not know that they are there. They don’t know the right way, though. However, along the way, they still try to steer in the way that seems right.
They gather information daily, look for material resources, and redefines clearer their destination as new information adds up.
Therefore, you need not worry if it is still a dream, for now. Just check if it can be done. And, don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it.
Know what you want specifically. The rest of the characteristics will flow out naturally and magically. It is like knowing the answer to the unknown question. I am sure that someone will ask the question. If you know the answer, you will stand out.
I want a big car; the thinking of how to get it starts. I want a big house; the gathering of the requirements starts. I want to have free time for my family; the management of work and other activities start. Those wants and acquisitions compensate each other naturally, usually.
There is a possibility of arriving at the place but still carry on beyond because you did not know where you were going, in the first place. You also may be heading in the opposite direction.
You will never know because you had no single indicator to tell about whether you are heading in the right direction or not. Therefore, plan big first, and the details will naturally drip out. If you need a hand along the way, then, please ask.
Please leave a comment and share it with the people you care about! This will shape my focus as I gather more material on the subject.