The SMART goals approach is a great way to establish manageable goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based. Inbound marketing agencies use SMART goals to keep everyone on the same page and working towards the same goal. The new year is a perfect time to evaluate the previous year and determine the results you’d like to see and objectives you want to accomplish in 2018.
Go through each SMART category to evaluate your goals. If any goal doesn’t quite fit in, then make the necessary alterations so it meets the SMART criteria. This is the best way to ensure that your goals are realizable.
Here’s an example that fits in each of the SMART categories:
Increase organic traffic on my website by 15% by the end of 2018.
This is a specific goal that can be easily measured by pulling new data from HubSpot each week to see if the team is on track. I know it’s attainable based previous years’ traffic increases, and it’s relevant because it relates directly to the success of the business. Finally, the deadline makes it time based. Let’s break down each category below in more detail.
Setting specific goals helps you in the long run because it focuses your team’s energy on what you most want to achieve. Making goals explicit ensures there’s no confusion among team members about what they need to be working toward.
When you make measurable goals, you can check in on your progress throughout the year. Document relevant data so you have record to form the basis for future SMART goal planning. If you find that you’re not on track, you have time to alter your strategy and/or adjust your goal to make it more attainable.
You don’t want to have a goal for your business that’s so ambitious that it’s out of your team’s reach. It’s helpful to use data from the past to see if a proposed goal is realistic for your business.
Being relevant means that a specific goal is a worthwhile expenditure of resources in the context of your business’ overarching goals and current circumstances. To be relevant, a goal must be set at the right time, assigned to the right person or team, and harmonize with your company’s other efforts.
This might be the most important category because deadlines allow you and your team to stay on track. Without a deadline, nothing would ever get done. Some also find it helpful to set a calendar reminder with the different milestones that need to be hit in order to complete the goal.
Start by stating a goal you want for your business or team members, and then ensure that it meets every item on the SMART list. This is also a great strategy for teams within your organization to implement their own goals.Igoals. I challenge you to set a SMART goal now for your business or in your personal life so you can get a sense of how to build them and how simple it is to stay on track. I promise it will be rewarding when you reach your goal because you’ve put so much time and effort into it!