You have probably come across many articles, books, and audios that stress the importance of setting goals. Hopefully, you have taken the time to sit down and write out goals for yourself. But are you writing SMART goals? SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Related.
Specific goals are written out clearly and have a set time frame. When you write out your goals, state what you want, and give it a deadline. A simple goal of “earning money by working from home” becomes much more motivational if you phrase it as “earning $500 per month on a regular basis within sixty days”. Once you know what your plan is, it will be easier to achieve it.
It is important to have Measurable Goals, as they will help you track your progress. If a goal is not measurable, it will be very hard to define when you have actually achieved it. In the example above, by defining how much income you want to earn and giving it a time frame, you will know instantly when those sixty days are over if you have achieved the goal.
An Attainable Goal is a goal you know you can achieve. Don’t be fooled by the word “attainable”. It can still be a challenging goal and require effort to achieve it, but it does need to be something you can do. For instance, if your goal is to learn to build websites and you have absolutely no experience, your goal shouldn’t be to build a huge, portal website in a week. An attainable goal would be giving yourself a month to learn the software and build a small, but functioning website. Otherwise you will be putting pressure on yourself. If you are constantly setting unattainable goals, you may end up doubting yourself and become so afraid of failure that you start procrastinating on easy tasks.
While it is great to shoot for the stars when you are setting your goals, they also need to be Realistic Goals. Using the first example, the goal wasn’t to earn $500 within a week. Instead, the goal was to earn $500 per month within sixty days. If you are new to working from home, it may take some time for your business to be profitable. Instead of setting one huge goal, break the goal down into manageable “mini-goals”.
You may have noticed that the example goals were Time Related. There is an old saying that “a goal without a deadline is just a wish”. Having a defined time line will keep you motivated. If you have an open-ended goal, it will be easier to procrastinate, and therefore, harder to accomplish. However, knowing you need to accomplish something in a set period of time will spur you into action.
Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.