Most of us want to be challenged and develop our skills and abilities. When we are unsatisfied, unmotivated, or burned-out we might become apathetic and stop developing professionally. You can set SMART goals to keep you on a path of development and improvement.

SMART is an acronym that helps you outline and define your goal.

  • S – Specific – if you want a raise, be specific with the figure in your head. If you’re wanting to scale your business, don’t just say you want more business, but look at your data and pick an attainable percentage, then create a plan of action.
  • M – Measurable – track your progress. Being able to look at your data, make an informed decision, then look back at your work in a measurable way, allows you to objectively say that you’ve accomplished your goal.
  • A – Achievable – set a goal that you can actually attain. If the goal is too far out of reach, it’s going to feel impossible, and you’ll likely give up. Tangible progress helps maintain motivation and drive.
  • R – Realistic – like achievable, you want to be realistic when setting your gaol. It wouldn’t make sense to say you want to make $1 million in a year if you’re currently earning $50,000. A more realistic goal would be to earn $55,000-$60,000 in a year, then setting smaller actionable goals to reach the overall goal. Like increasing work hours, getting a promotion with a pay increase, or learning a new skill or side hobby that produces additional income. A realistic goal is one that you’ll be more likely and willing to accomplish.
  • T – Timely – set a realistic deadline for when you’d like to have your goal completed. The time frame should be clear and reasonable and will allow you to check and track your progress over the course of your goal.

Setting SMART goals are a great and easy way to help you continue developing your skills and challenging yourself. Goals helps take large, lofty achievements and breaks them down into bite-sized chunks that don’t feel as overwhelming or daunting. As you progress, you’ll be able to track your progress, evaluate if your goals need to adjusted or continue on. It helps to start with a small and easy task that might be urgent or easy to completely. Then write it down. Check-in regular to evaluate your SMART goal, the timeline, is it realistic and achievable. Is anything going to cause your deadline to be pushed back? Whether simple or lofty, establish accountability with a partner. Inform a friend or colleague of your goal(s) and check-in with them often to report your progress, discuss potential speed bumps, collaborate, strategize and have someone in your corner to cheer you on and motivate you.

Sometimes setting goals can be scary. It means you’re willing to acknowledge that there is something more you want, and now you have to put in the work to get it. Don’t let your fear stand in the way of your success.