Ah, the wonderful world of career and business coaching! It’s a place where dreams are turned into reality, and professionals are guided toward success with a sprinkle of kindness, wisdom, and a laugh. Today, let’s dive into the realm of “S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals,” a term coined by our witty coach to help individuals unleash their true potential. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s explore the art of setting goals that are not only SMART but, well, SMARTER!
S – Specific: When it comes to goals, being vague is the enemy. Our coach emphasizes the importance of being specific. Don’t just say, “I want to improve my sales.” Instead, be more precise: “I want to increase my sales by 20% in the next quarter.” See the difference? Specific goals help you stay focused and give you a clear target to aim for in a very distracted world.
M – Measurable: A goal without a measure is like a ship without a compass. Coaching encourages us to make our goals measurable. How will you know if you’ve achieved your objective? Make it quantifiable, whether it’s a number, a percentage, or a specific milestone. This way, you can track your progress and celebrate those small victories along the way. Can you reach your financial goal stated above of increasing your sales by 20% with your current client base buying more, increasing your prices, or do you need to find more customers?
A – Attainable: Dreaming big is fantastic, but remember to keep our goals within reach. Your aspirations should be challenging but possible. Setting goals that are too lofty may lead to frustration and demotivation. Aim high, and take the time to assess what support you need, what structure is required, or if the goal needs to be broken down into smaller sub-goals to ensure your goals are attainable with the right amount of effort and resources. When I decided to leave teaching, I knew I had very little time or money to return to school. So, I started taking a couple of classes at night that filled some of the graduate school requirements but also benefited my current position, and in time I found a role at the university and a scholarship that made full-time attendance possible. In coaching, I have helped many clients get clear about ways to use the resources at their disposal to ramp up their careers or business.
R – Relevant: Goals should align with your broader vision and be relevant to your career or business. Coaching emphasizes the importance of focusing on objectives that truly matter to you. When it comes to your success, it’s personal, like your fingerprint. Success is a term that for each client is unique and may need to be redefined as we change and grow. Your professional happiness may not look like what your parents had in mind, how your academic advisor described it, or how you defined it ten years ago. Don’t waste time chasing goals that don’t contribute to your long-term success or fulfillment. I have worked with business owners who want to get into a company and work directly for someone else (and the reverse), doctors who wish to become writers, artists who want to go into tech, and so on. Stay relevant, my friend!
T – Timely: Time is a precious resource, and sometimes we forget that. Setting deadlines for your goals creates a sense of urgency and helps you prioritize your actions. Whether it’s a short-term goal or a long-term vision, give it a time frame. A target without a time frame is like a train without tracks – it may never reach its destination. This is where the term accountability comes in, a term often misused, but that is a whole other topic. A coach assists in establishing accountability structures tailored to your needs. This can involve setting up specific deadlines, creating milestones, or implementing progress-tracking tools. The coach may also suggest accountability partners, such as friends, family members, or colleagues, with whom you can regularly share updates and support each other’s goals.
E – Evaluate: A good coach teaches us to evaluate our progress and adjust regularly. Are you on track? Are there any obstacles hindering your progress? By constantly assessing your performance and adapting your approach, you increase your chances of success. Remember, evaluation is not just about analyzing your results; it’s also about learning from your experiences, both celebrations and struggles. By fostering this form of objective observation and self-awareness, the coach helps you take ownership of your actions and outcomes.
R – Reevaluate: The journey to success is not always a straight line. Coaching reminds us to be flexible and willing to reevaluate our goals when necessary. Circumstances change, and so should our goals. Be open to reassessing your objectives, revisiting your strategies, and making necessary adjustments.
So, my fellow goal-setters, remember the SMARTER approach when charting your path to success. Be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely, evaluate your progress, and be ready to reevaluate when needed. With these tools in your arsenal, you’ll be on your way to accomplishing great things. I love being a witness, partner, and sometimes a cheerleader for my clients being SMARTER about their goals and providing a safe space for each client to navigate the sometimes winding path to a happier version of success.
Now go out there and conquer your SMARTER goals!