Anyone who works from home knows how important it is to set goals. However, many home-based business owners fall short of their goals. They work through goal setting, creating SMART goals but not everyone knows how to set SMARTER goals.
Like SMART goals, SMARTER goals stands for
But it ads two extra steps:
The first part of SMARTER goal setting is the S, which says you need to be specific in your goals. Vague goals don't inspire and can make it difficult to know if you achieved them. Saying you want to make more money in your home business is vague. If you make 1 cent more this year, technically, you achieved that goal, but that's probably not what you meant. Instead, be specific by indicating an exact number you want to make.
The M means to make sure your goals are measurable. Measurable and specific often go together, although not always. The important point to remember here is that you need a way to know your end goal so you know if you're progressing and if you reached it. Note that goals doesn't just have to be big. You can have daily goals, such as working on a particularly project. When making it measurable, don't just say, "Work on Project A." Instead, make it a goal to "Spend two hours on Project A." You can measure if you spent two hours or not.
It's good to stretch and set challenging goals. Chances are you can do much more than you might give yourself credit for. With that said, watch that you don't set an impossible goal. If you can't actually attain your goal, then you're just going to bring yourself down when you fail. It's important that you set goals that you can actually accomplish so that you're not ruining your morale.
Your goals should also be relevant to the project you're working on. It's okay to have a few goals for another project, but the majority of your goals should be focused on the main project you need to accomplish. The point of this aspect of goal setting is to make sure your efforts are actually moving you toward your ultimate goal. If your ultimate goal is to make more money, having a goal to clean your office isn't really relevant to that. Sure, organization can help you, but it doesn't make money.
Making progress on another project is good, but not if it comes at the cost of not making progress on the more important project.
Goals need a deadline or they may never be achieved. Don't set goals for ages down the road. Instead, set smaller goals more frequently. If your goal is to finish Project A by the end of the month, then that gives you plenty of room to slack off. But if you have smaller goals that are milestones of that the month-long goal set throughout the month, you won't be able to slack off. For example, if your goal is to have a website up in 30 days, set a goal to have your domain and web hosting by the end of the first week, your theme and customization done the second week, and so on.
Making Your Goals SMARTER
The above SMART goals are sound, but too often people still don't achieve what they set out to do. Part of the problem is that they don't make a sound plan to achieve their goals or take the appropriate action to reach goals. But many who do make a plan and take action still struggle, and that's because they don't take time to figure out what's working and what isn't. That's were SMARTER goals comes.
As you work on your smart goals, you want to evaluate whether or not they're working to get you what you want. Are the tasks you're doing moving toward success? If not, why not? What can you tweak, change or get rid of to make them work?
What is working well and can you do more of it.
Obviously, when your deadline for achievement is up (Time), you need to figure out if you reached the goal. But depending on how far off your goal is and how many tasks are involved, it won't hurt to do mini-evaluations along they way to make sure your efforts are moving you in the right direction.
A monthly evaluation simply to see what happened in your business and get an idea of what's working is helpful too.
At the very least, you should do quarterly evaluations for goals that set for months ahead.
When you make an adjustment to your tasks and goals, don't assume that it will fix the problem, or boost success. Your fix could make things worse. So could doing more of a good thing. Sometimes too much of a good thing is bad.
Re-evaluating goals is also a good thing to do because times change, and what works today, may not work tomorrow.
If you follow this path of SMARTER goal setting, you'll see a huge increase in effectiveness and results of your efforts. You'll save time and money because you'll be focused on what works, and not wasting your time on things that don't work.
Deb Bixler is a direct sales trainer who used a party plan business to her corporate job position. She now teaches wanna-be direct sellers how to start a party plan business and work at home.