“A goal without a plan is just a wish” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
You may have heard this wonderful quote before. Brief but incredibly wise, this quote pinpoints the importance of an action plan to help make your dreams a reality.
To establish a goal and achieve what you want, you will need a solid, concrete plan. What may have worked in the past may not be practical today. Naturally, thoughtful goal-setting has evolved from simply speaking it into existence into breaking it down step by step. In this way, the goal that you are trying to achieve will be much more realistic and possible. You will be able to approach it in manageable steps and break it down, similar to chopping down a tree. You start small as you work your way up.
Using the SMART goal framework can provide you with a detailed way to approach any type of goal whether it be personal or professional.
In setting goals, you must take the time to analyze what it is that you are really trying to achieve. Rather than creating a vague goal on impulse, slow down and focus on how to take the first step specifically. For example, if your goal is to establish a personal training business, hoping for the best and waiting for a miracle will not work its wonders. Instead, start by identifying a specific goal: I will start a personal training business in Abbotsford, BC. By specifying something instead of waiting, you may not realize that you are already taking the first step.
Congratulations! You already took the first step by specifying a certain goal. Now, to further achieve that goal, you must take note of your progress. Such goals must be measurable so that you can see the progression of your results. For example, I will be ready to take on my first client within 8 weeks, and will aim to grow a minimum of 2 clients per month. Creating measurable goals will help show you your progress and allow you to measure your improvement, and act as a gauge to help you determine whether you’re on the right path, or if your plan requires adjustment.
Here comes the tough part. Most of us shy away and tend to be overwhelmed when we put a goal high up on a pedestal. Some may say ‘if your goal doesn’t scare you, it isn’t high enough’; there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious, but at the same time, you must also be realistic. Assess yourself, your goal, what do you really want and how are you going to achieve it. For example: I will investigate how to register my personal training services locally. Then, I will assess my home gym equipment. Finally, I will promote my business and grow my customer base through referrals and networking. Setting achievable goals creates an optimal environment for ‘mini-wins’, which can help propel your motivation and belief in the actualization of your goal.
Just like achieving a certain goal, being realistic works relatively the same. They go hand in hand when setting SMART goals. What makes a goal unrealistic is when you aim too high right from the get-go. Instead of doing this, try setting numerous small but realistic goals as you progress to bigger goals. For example, if your goal is to establish a business, start with your own personal passions instead of adapting trends. For example: Providing personal training services will allow me to turn my passion into income, and live my health-oriented values on a day-to-day basis while fostering good health in others.
Setting a goal comes with a start and finish line. Think of it as a marathon instead of a sprint. We all have different goals and it takes time for us to achieve them. Each of us also achieves it in a very different pace or manner. One person may realize their goal sooner rather than later compared to others. This is normal. When things don’t go your way, dust yourself off, get back up and reset. Remember, setting SMART goals is a marathon, not a sprint. For example: I will have my business plan created within 2 weeks, and my personal training business will be running within 8 weeks.
The following SMART goal example can be adapted for your own personal goals:
S - I will start a personal training business in Abbotsford, BC.
M - I will be ready to take on my first client within 8 weeks, and will aim to grow a minimum of 2 clients per month.
A - I will investigate how to register my personal training services locally. Then, I will assess my home gym equipment. Finally, I will promote my business and grow my customer base through referrals and networking.
R - Providing personal training services will allow me to turn my passion into income, and live my health-oriented values on a day-to-day basis while fostering good health in others.
T - I will have my business plan created within 2 weeks, and my personal training business will be running within 8 weeks.
With a SMART goal framework, this helps you to Specify, Measure, Achieve, and Realize your goals in a Timely manner, instead of approaching it haphazardly. By following the SMART Goal Setting concept, it will help you to dissect your goals in order to plan thoughtfully, and make adjustments when necessary.
At Vocational Quest Inc., we wish you all the best in your continued quest!