During my initial study sessions with my students they will say to me, ‘I have too much to revise’, ‘I don’t know where to start’, ‘I don’t seem to have enough time’ and ‘This is all just too much’. We have all been there right? Whether it be when we were studying for exams in GCSE or now when running our businesses. Sometimes it all just seems too much!
It seems too much because we are not being SMART with our time. When we feel we have too many plates spinning and one is about to fall we can lose focus and that is when we want to give up.
But…give up no more. SMART goals to the rescue!
Why should we set goals?
Firstly, we have to understand what a goal is. A goal is a desired result that you or a group work towards and commit your time to achieve. Goals enable us to plan effectively, provide a clear structure and keep us focussed.
What is a SMART goal?
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. SMART goals will help you accurately define objectives and make them meaningful.
When setting a SMART goal, try to be ambitious, but also stay realistic. Make it as specific as possible. You will only be able to achieve your goals if you know exactly what you want to achieve.
So why should goals be SMART? Writing a goal is all well and good but goals must be broken down to help them be more achievable. By breaking your goal down into the SMART method you can clearly identify what it is you want to achieve, how are you going to do it, will it be achievable, why is it relevant for your business and when are you going to complete it by.
This method helps you focus your efforts on one clear goal that can help you reach a bigger goal. For example, ‘Make a profit of £1000 for the month of July’. You might think about making a goal on your marketing strategy, your finances, can you save money on resources etc. You are more likely to work towards smaller goals than a bigger goal as you will feel a sense of achievement throughout. Ever heard of the term baby steps? SMART goals are your baby steps.
What goal do you have in mind?
Below is an example of a SMART target for me as a tutor. You may want to start vague, for example “I want to support more students”. I would use this as my starting point. I would then go through the below stages and answer the questions according to that goal. See example below:
(What do you want to achieve? To accomplish this goal, who needs to be involved? When do you want to have your goal finished? Why should you achieve this exact goal?)
I will support 2 more students with their studies.
(How can you measure progress? How will you know if you’ve successfully met your goal?)
I know interest comes through Facebook, so I will increase my presence on my socials. More varied posts on Facebook and Instagram. I can measure reactions and messages for information.
(Are you capable of achieving the goal? Do you have the needed skills? If you don‘t, how can you acquire them?)
I have increased by 1-2 students each month, so I feel in the time frame that this is achievable.
(Why should you achieve this goal? What will the impact of it be?)
This will coincide with my mission and values and increase my profits each month.
(What is the due date of your goal? Can the goal be achieved before this date?)
I will measure this by 1 June before the GCSE exams.
SMART goal: I will support 2 more students by 1 June by creating more marketing tools for my socials and communicating more as my business page to increase awareness.
SMART goals only need to be a sentence or two. Remember these are small goals so you should not be writing war and peace. Some add Evaluated and Readjust/Reviewed at the end to reflect on the goal once complete. This is known as SMARTER goals.
Are you ready to start writing your SMART goals? I would love to know how you get on. Let me know if using SMART goals has helped you. I have created a template that may help you get started.
If you need any support just drop me a line and be sure to check out Canny Study on Facebook and Instagram for more hints and tips on staying organised and improving time management. Also to help you stay focussed you might want to check out my session on time management on the MINT website.
Speak soon and keep canny!