It’s one thing to write your goals on paper (or on computer) but they need to be realistic if you want a real chance of meeting your long-term goal. Remember, setting goals will keep you focused on your business needs and will hopefully increase your productivity. Rather than wasting your time on projects that won’t help you reach your ultimate goal, follow this S.M.A.R.T. acronym for creating goals that will work.

S = Specific

Just saying, “I want to make money,” or “I want to be successful,” isn’t enough to compel you to take action. In fact, having a non-specific goal might even cause you to be unsure what steps to take next, leaving you unproductive and wasting time. Make each goal more specific, so you now say, “I want to make $5,000 per month by selling my own product line,” or “I want my company on the Fortune 500 list in 5 years.”

Making your long-term goal very specific allows you to make your medium and short-term goals very specific as well, which will give you better productivity and success.

M = Measurable

Give yourself a deadline with each goal. If your goals are open-ended, you could possibly spend the next 5 years trying to reach your $5,000 per month goal instead of reaching your million-dollar goal. However, your time deadline is not the only way to measure your success. Tracking your monthly and quarterly sales is another way to measure. If you have a sales team, tracking each individual’s sales will hopefully spur them to work harder.

A = Attainable

Is your goal within your reach, given your capabilities and skills? Do you need to invest in workplace tools or resources to achieve your goals? Do you need further training or schooling? Attainable means possible provided you have the correct and necessary tools.

R = Relevant

Do your goals match up with your personal values? Will these goals add value and enrichment to your life or to your business? Examining your short-term goals – especially when a new offer or opportunity comes across your desk – and determining whether this offer will help further your business is an important skill to develop so you stay on track with your business plan.

T = Time Sensitive

Similar to the ‘specific’ goals, setting a time frame for each goal will keep you motivated. These time frames will form the basis of your daily ‘to do’ lists and even though you want to stay motivated due to the urgency, you also need to be realistic with these time frames. For example, it’s probably not likely you’ll write a book and have it published in just a weekend. Instead, consider using 30-60 days as a deadline instead.

Excerpted from:

Starting A Business 1-2-3
The premier step-by-step interactive training system
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Module 1: Research and Development