Goals, goals, goals! I love having goals! There are the thing that motivates me to get things done. I don’t create craziness if I am a day or two behind, but I do set forth to get it done.
You’ve probably heard the old adage many times before: “He who doesn’t plan, plans to fail”. For any business to succeed, you need to have very specific plans and goals that you want to achieve. They can and will be revised over time as things change, but you need to start somewhere. In addition, your goals need to contain a few different elements to be effective and you need several types of goals that are SMART. I always teach these methods when I am coaching clients, it is the best way to really focus in on the results you are looking for. This allows you to stay on track rather then getting distracted with other things that may or may not be important.
1. What’s a SMART goal?
A truly effective goal meets the SMART criteria, as follows:
Specific. Make sure you are very specific about what you want to achieve in your goal. Saying you want to create more infoproducts is vague. Instead, you might set the goal of writing 3 new infoproducts, including 1 ebook and 2 ecourses with video.
Measureable. How will you know whether you have achieved your goal? Say you want to grow your email list. One way of measuring it is to look at the number of subscribers you have and specify that you want to grow that number by 50%. If you want to increase your conversion rate of prospects to customers, make sure you can track each part of your sales process so you know exactly when and where the prospect becomes a customer.
Action-Oriented. Your goals need to be something you can attach specific actions to. Can you create a step-by-step plan for achieving the goals? Is it something under your control? For example, setting a goal of moving up to the first page of search results in Google is highly desirable. However, there are no actions involved and it’s not under your direct control. Instead, you could say that you will implement 3 new SEO tactics over the course of the next 3 months to move up in the search engines. Then list out the detailed actions for each tactic, such as submitting 1 article per day to 5 article directories. You’ll be able to measure the results and then determine your next actions.
Realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by setting goals that are unrealistic or impossible to achieve. For example, if you are a complete newbie in internet marketing, it’s probably unrealistic to think that you can build a network of 100 minisites in the space of 3 months. People in internet marketing often think they can achieve a promised $10,000 in 3 days. That’s just plain naive. Also, make sure you have access to the resources you need to achieve your goals in the first place.
Your goal should be just out of reach, but not out of sight.
Denis Waitley and Remi Witt (Click to Tweet)
Time-based. As with any of your plans, put a timeframe around your goals. You could set a goal of doubling your traffic in the next 6 months, or writing 1 infoproduct per month for the next year. You will then be able to set up specific tasks to make sure this happens, and you’ll be able to measure the results.
2. Types of goals to set
Long term goals: It’s easiest to start with your biggest goals and work backwards to figure out what you will need. Long-term could mean a 10 year goal, and you should definitely dream big. Maybe you want to be a millionaire, or live and work in New Zealand. Now is the time to put that dream down on paper as a real goal, not just a vague dream. You can also break this down into 5 year goals.
Short term goals: Create goals that are 1 year out, 6 months out, and monthly. Your 1 year goals should be based on your ultimate 5 and 10 year ones. The monthly ones will then be based on what it will take to achieve your 1 year goal. For example, you might know you want to be able to live and work from anywhere in the world in 5 years, when your kids are out of college. What does that mean you need to be able to do by the end of 3 years, 1 year, 6 months? How much will you need to earn and what will you need to have learned? Break it down as much as possible.
Immediate goals: These are the goals that you set for yourself every week and every day. You can have a goal that is the same each week, such as posting to your blog 3 times per week. Then you will also need to sit down once per week to set goals for every day of that week to come. These will likely change from week to week based on what else is going on, but it will ensure that you make progress towards your longer term success.
Your goals are your roadmap to your online success. Every successful business person, online or offline, sits down and goes through the process of defining their goals not only yearly, but monthly and weekly as well. Setting and meeting goals will show you just how much you are achieving and will keep you motivated along your path to success.