When you work from home, even though you lose the 9 to 5 schedule, you still need to be organised and thoughtful about what you are doing, why you’re doing it, and when you need to complete it by. Planning becomes important, as does measuring your progress against your goals. Which leads to a good question – what are your goals??
A really simple method of goal setting is SMART goals. “What are they?” I hear you ask.
The SMART goal setting model
SPECIFIC – your goals need to very clear about what it is you want to achieve.
MEASURABLE – your goals must be able to measured so you know if you have met them or not. This could include the number of words you publish every week, the number of site visitors you receive each week, how much your site earns per month.
ACHIEVABLE – your goals must be achievable, or you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. With that being said, they also need to stretch you so that push yourself and your business. When you are a small business entrepreneur, or anyone establishing a career from home, there is no one pushing you to succeed but YOU. You are in charge of what you achieve, so make it count.
REALISTIC – make your goals realistic, or again you are setting yourself up for failure. Don’t expect that the moment you set up a website people will magically flock to it and buy what you have on offer. It will take time. You aren’t going to make easy money, and it certainly won’t be overnight.
TIME-BOUND – put a timeframe on your goals. You need some realistic deadlines that you can measure yourself against.
Why are SMART goals important?
The importance of SMART goals should not be underestimated. They will help you clearly identify what you should be doing, how much of it you should be doing, and when you should complete it. You are also setting them up to be achievable and realistic, so tracking your progress against them is very important. You are also setting them to help take your business to the next level of where it needs to be.
Some SMART goal setting examples
Here are some examples of SMART goal setting:
1. “I will research two ‘making money from home’ ideas including publishing a post of 800-1,000 words on each, per week”
This goal is specific. I know the topic area I will be researching, and what the expectations of posting area.
The goal is measurable – 2 posts per week, each containing between 800 and 1,000 words. I will know very easily if I meet this or not.
The goal is achievable – knowing my workload, the goal is achievable, yet also represents a stretch for me at this point in time.
The goal is realistic – the topic area has an abundance of research material available, so sourcing the information I need to meet my goal will not be difficult.
The goal has a timeframe – I know what I want to achieve with this goal on a weekly basis.
2. “I will read one personal development book every month, and share a post about it.”
This goal is specific.
The goal is measurable. I will either read the book within the month or not, and I will either share a post about it or not.
The goal is achievable. For my workload this is achievable.
The goal is realistic. I have access to personal development books, and they are a pleasure for me to read and review, so this is definitely realistic.
The goal has a timeframe. I have stated that I will do this monthly.
What if I were to write the following goal:
I will be successful by December 2018?”
Is this a SMART goal?
Let’s break it down.
Is it specific? No. What does ‘being successful’ actually mean? Does it mean that I have made enough money to retire? Does it mean that I am making $100 per week? Or does it have nothing to do with money at all? Does it mean that I am happy? Success could mean anything.
Is it measurable? No. Because we can’t define ‘successful’, we have no way of measuring it.
Is it achievable? Given that we can’t define it or measure it, we will never really know if it is achievable or not.
Is it realistic? Again, depending on what we mean by ‘successful’ then we will never know if it is realistic.
Does it have a timeframe? Yes. However because the goal is so vague, the timeline is largely irrelevant.
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What is your WHY?
When you are writing your goals, I find it useful to come back to the ‘why’. Why do you want to do something, and what you will and your business gain from doing it?
The why is important. Why is it important that you can achieve those goals?
To retire early? To spend more time with your family? To help you be your own boss?
There could be a multitude of why’s.
For me, the why is my family. I want to be with them. I want to give them a great life. I want them to see me succeed so they know that dreams are possible. It’s all for them.
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What are your goals? Leave me a comment or a question and I’ll be very happy to respond.