Just recently I created a blueprint for my online endeavor for this year where I briefly talked about my smart goal setting approach. So, here today I want to talk about what SMART goal setting is and how to implement this goal setting process on a daily basis; for both your online and offline success. The main reason why you need to be familiar with this approach is so that you would be able to know straightaway if the goals you set are smart or not.
But, what exactly is a SMART goal setting? Here’s what Wikipedia defines the criteria of smart goal settings as;
S - Specific
M - Measurable
A - Achievable
R - Realistic
T - Time bound
Let me elaborate little bit on these so you know what this is really all about.
Being specific should always be the first part of your goal setting method since this is essential for your success. The actuality of getting specific on what you want to achieve from blogging or your other online endeavors is in fact very critical. This is not only true for your online approach but is also valid for offline goal settings because it is important to know what you want and by when you want it. That way, you can devise a plan to reach the goals you set.
For instance, If you want to create 10 niche sites in a month’s time, you need to have a specific plan; something like one niche site every 3 days so that you can reach your goals in that specific time frame or try your best to get to that point.
Here are some simple questions you can ask yourself to see if your goal is specific or not:
- What do I want to gain?
- By when do I want to see the results?
- How am I going to make it possible?
A great example to this in my own context is; By December 2011, I want to earn thousand dollars a month from blogging, niche sites and creating my own products.
Notice that this goal I set has specific answers to the entire questions above. I have pointed out what I want to achieve, by when I want to see the results and how I am going to make it happen?
If your goals are not measurable, it is very hard to manage what you want to achieve.
If my goal is to make thousand dollars a month online, by the end of this year as in the example I gave above, I can check my progress every week or every month so that I can adjust accordingly as required.
Some examples of not so inordinate measurable goals are:
- I want more visitors to my site.
- I am going to make a stable income online by the end of this year.
You probably notice that the example I gave on making thousand dollars a month by the end of this year is a good example of a goal that is measurable.
Now, your goals can be specific and measurable but if they are not achievable and realistic then there is no point in setting such goals.
Achievable and Realistic:
Achievable and realistic approach sort of goes hand in hand. To achieve your desired goals you must put effort to attain them. However, if you set your goals too high, they may not be realistic. Having realistic goals that you can achieve is crucial in order to work towards attaining those goals.
You may not have the ability or skills to turn your goals into reality. Hence, you might need to work on gathering and learning the skills. So, keep in mind how long it is going to take you to learn that skill. Understand that you don’t have to solely rely on your own skills and abilities to make your goals achievable and realistic. You can take the smart approach and outsource it if you think it is going to take time or you need somebody’s help to turn your goals into reality.
Let’s look at another example here; If you want to make hundred dollars a month from your niche sites but you don’t have a slightest clue on what niche sites are, how to create them, what niche to focus on, keyword research and other various essentials to create the niche sites, your goals are not attainable and realistic.
Under these circumstances, you might need a professional help or training. Finding a mentor or a group of mentors as in a mastermind group could be your only way to attain the desired outcome.
If you are not realistic and have too high expectations, it can severely impact your self-esteem and can have a negative impact on working towards attaining them goals you truly desire. Being realistic about your available time, skills and knowledge can open up your mind into getting somebody else’s help so that you can work towards what you truly want to achieve.
I already did briefly talk about how goals need to be time bound above, as this also goes hand in hand with other goal setting processes.
Let me give you my own example here; In April of 2009, I remember setting a goal to have a hobby pet website up and running in 3 months. 3 months later I was still saying the same thing. Now, what went wrong with my goal was that it was not specifically time bound. Instead of what I said, I should have said – By July 2009, I am going to get my site up and running. This would have been my measurable, specific and time bound goal setting approach so that I could do whatever it took; the best I could, to attain that goal.
I finally said F**k it on September 2009 and created the site; wrote 45+ SEO optimized articles on various pets and pet care and was already making pocket change by the end of October.
You get my point here. Don’t you? To achieve your goals, you must have a time set; by when you want to complete it or else you will be in the same situation I was in.
In conclusion, smart goal setting approach gives you a great idea about what you want to attain, by when you want to attain it and how you are going to do so. It helps you work on your goals so that you can stop procrastinating and actually get down to it!
What do you think about SMART goal setting approach?
Here’s to your successful online endeavor!
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