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5 Tips for smart objectives and goal setting

Smart objectives
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Create a framework for smart goal setting.

Examples of smart goal approaches.

How smart goal setting feeds your business success.

Proven goal setting that works for many.

Why is smart goal setting important? Without it, you can spend hours defining and chasing targets. As a small to a mid-sized business owner, this might waste your time, resources, and end up with results you don’t even want. There’s goal setting, and then there’s smart goal setting, and the latter is a must for maximizing results.

When you’ve established smart objectives, you can help shape the future of your company and profits. Before you start writing down smart targets—and they should always be written down—let’s consider a few approaches:

Establish short- and long-term goals.

Goals should build upon one another. You should have mini-goals you can achieve daily, weekly, monthly, annually, and beyond. However, they should all support one another in some regard.

Bring in some support.

Even if you’re a sole proprietor, it’s a good idea to bring in other eyes, voices, and opinions to goal set. This can also include a life coach or business consultant. It’s impossible to see the entire big picture yourself.

Re-visit your goals regularly.

If you wrote down smart goals when you started your business, that’s fantastic. However, goals will change and shift over time. They are fluid by design. Schedule regular intervals to revisit goals, and make it a formal happening. Quarterly is great, but at least once a year is a minimum.

Be realistic yet challenge yourself.

Goals should be achievable and should require some work. Consider the common goal of losing weight. Losing 20 pounds in one week is nearly impossible and dangerous. However, losing five pounds in a year is simply too easy. Humans desire challenges and thrive with accomplishment. Set yourself up for success.

Make the goals exciting to achieve.

Offer incentives for achieving goals. When you have clear checkpoints to work toward, you’re more likely to follow through. Rewards are a great way to make goal setting fun.

Now that you’ve developed a framework for how to set your goals, it’s time to dive in.

Goals worth working towards

When you’re a small to a mid-sized business owner, it can feel overwhelming to sit down and actually get to writing goals. It can be helpful to take a look at smart goals examples:

Personal trainer approaches.

A NASM-certified personal trainer adopts a “stairs” approach to goal-setting. Every week, month, and year there are new goals that are always re-visited. They often include modifying strength-training and cardio so that the body is challenged and doesn’t get used to specific workouts.

The X game.

One of the most well-known goal-setting approaches is to create a chain on the calendar. Think about a writer who has the same daily goal of writing a certain amount of words to complete a book. For this writer, it can be very encouraging to X-out a calendar every day this is achieved. Nobody wants to break the chain.

Practice Visualization.

Adding time for visualization to your daily routine gives you a chance to settle the mind and visualize your goals. Many professional athletes envision themselves winning, and it’s been shown that visualization is a powerful success and goal-setting tool. Leaders can implement this technique in the workplace by holding periodic team meetings for visualization practice. Work together to create a vision board to bring your goals to life.

Do some research and find smart objective examples that can help inspire you to shape and define your own best practices. Not every approach works for everyone, and it will take a little trial and error. What resonates with you? It might change over time, and that’s okay. You can modify as you re-visit your past goals.

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