I started golfing a long time ago.
In fact, the first time I went to the driving range, I was 15. I remember it because it took me a good 10 whiffs before I touched the ball for the first time. I can’t say I hit it… my club barely touched it.
Since then, a passion for the dimpled white ball has grown in me. I really like golfing. It is the only time when I can think of nothing else but me, a ball and a hole that is far, far away. No job, no business, no wife, no kids… I’m all alone in nature. This is why I like golfing so much.
But I realized something; I can’t become a better golfer. No matter what I do, no matter how hard I practice, it’s impossible to become a better golfer. It’s not only me, it’s everyone, you just can’t become a better golfer just like you can’t become a better investor or a better blogger.
The reason is quite simple. In fact, it is quite obvious: you can’t become a better golfer because your objective is too vague!
I’ve already discussed the importance of setting up SMART GOALS. Becoming a better golfer can’t happen. However, I can average 2 putts max on each green or use my drive to reach the fairway 90% of the time (instead of 50 yards deep in the woods or killing fowl in the lake!). Here again, these objectives will only happen if I use the full SMART method. I’m going back to this principle because it’s the basis of anything you want to achieve in your life. Someone from the Yakezie group reminded me of this earlier this month. I asked the group what they would like to know about my blogging, about my business. Someone answered: learning how to increase traffic and revenue. This is like trying to become a better golfer… it won’t happen if you look at it this way.
SMART Goals for SMART People:
Here’s a quick resume of how you can use the SMART goals method:
S for Specific
This is the mother of all achieved goals: being specific! As mentioned previously, you can’t become a better golfer but you surely can set an objective of never needing 3 putts on the green (this will certainly help your handicap 😉 ).
If I take another example related to my business, increasing my monthly income would be a poor objective. I would need to state something like: Going from an online income of $7,600 per month to $10,000 per month. This is clear, easy to understand and very specific.
M for Measurable
How can you measure your objective? In project management, we say that you will obtain what you measure (and in sales we say; you get what you pay for 😉 ). Going back to my golf example, I would take down the number of shots I spend on each green during a game. Then, I would compile them and see what my average is (definitely over 36!). After this, I know where I am stand now and where I want to go (below 36).
Going back to my online company example; it’s quite obvious: we are talking about money. But then again, I will be even more specific; I want to increase my gross monthly income to $10,000 per month. Therefore I know exactly what I am looking for in terms of results.
A for Achievable
Setting up goals is easy; I want to become a millionaire! But is it attainable? The idea behind this is linked to the level of motivation a goal should generate. If it’s too hard (using only 18 strokes on the green each game), I will be discouraged pretty fast. However, averaging a maximum of 36 shots is a good and challenging objective (choosing very easy objective doesn’t boost motivation either).
This is why I have chosen to increase my monthly income by about 33%. This is quite a challenge while it seems possible. This will keep me motivated throughout the year.
R for Relevant
It is very important to have goals in life; however, if they don’t serve you much, there is no point to achieving them. When we say relevant, it means that achieving the goal must give you something. It can be rewarding or result oriented (in order to become a better golfer 😉 ).
My income objective is quite obvious; making more money will obviously be a good thing for everyone in the company!
T for Time-bound
A goal is not a goal without a time frame. If you don’t set an “end date” to your goal, you will never really work on it. A deadline brings pressure and insures that you will actually setup a plan to achieve your goal.
In my situation, I aim to make $10,000 per month by the end of 2011. This leaves me 11 months to achieve my goal. Now, I have to work seriously on my plan to get there. Because it’s one thing to have SMART goals, but you also need a SMART plan ;-).
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