I have never been a good goal setter. I was always a little afraid to reach too high and fall short or didn’t want to commit to anything because I felt my future looked too murky (don’t ask me where I see myself in 5 years in a job interview). For many years, especially right out of college, I didn’t have a direction for my life or my career, so goal setting seemed nearly impossible.
Now that I am many years out of college and several years into my business, goal setting doesn’t feel scary anymore. Creating goals for myself is now really exciting and using the SMARTER goal setting system has made lining up my professional and personal goals that much easier. Ever since I welcomed goals into my life, they have provided much needed clarity and focus when business feels overwhelming. My goals now inform important decisions and guide my daily action.
1) Do you know your WHY? Have you taken the time to write out the reasons you work so hard to build your creative business? ...the reasons that keep you going on tough days and the reasons you have chosen THIS to spend your time on, rather than anything else?
2) Write them down. Speak your goals into the universe. Share them with a friend. Do something that will help make them feel real in your life. If they just sit around in your head, they are easy to neglect or give up on.
3) Break each big goal into smaller, ACTIONABLE steps. Make an individual list of tasks for each goal, so you can methodically work down the list and closer to achieving your goal.
The SMART goal setting system has been around for nearly 40 years, but in his book, Michael Hyatt expands on that framework and has created his own SMARTER goals system.
The 7 attributes of SMARTER goals are…
Specific – create goals that are more likely to engage your focus, your creativity, and intellect by being specific about what you’d like to achieve.
Measurable – the goal should have “built-in criteria you can measure yourself against”; set markers and milestones so you can track your progress.
Actionable – when writing out your goals, use strong verbs that will help prompt the actions you should be taking [to achieve the goal].
Risky – your goals should challenge you and encourage you to stretch outside your comfort zone. Research shows that the more difficult a task or goal is, the higher the performance will be.
Time-Keyed – you should include a deadline, specific frequency, or time-trigger to help create action.
Exciting – your goals should inspire you. Internally motivated goals are more likely to get your attention than externally motivated ones.
Relevant – your goals should “align with the legitimate demands and needs of our lives”. They also need to align with each other, otherwise you’re fighting yourself and they fight each other.
Dreams stay dreams until you choose to act on them and turn them into intentional goals, so let's set ourselves up for success NOW! Grab your planner and colorful pens - let's get to work!