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Victoria Munro of Make-it-FlyHow to Use SMART Goals to Get Ahead
By Victoria Munro

Printable version

We have watched many small business owners steadily grow their businesses to new levels as they have regularly set SMART 30-day goals. The results have been remarkable, and we found that consistency is key. If you’ve set goals in the past, we encourage you to consider making goal setting a regular part of your schedule again.

The acronym below gives the criteria for a SMART goal. By using this goal-setting process and the downloadable Make-it-Fly® Goal Worksheet, you can create meaningful goals that you are much more likely to achieve.

  Time Deadline

Specific: State precisely what you want to achieve. For example, “Make 25 sales calls from my prospect list every week,” is a specific goal. Vague generalities like, “Make more sales calls,” won’t prove very helpful.
Specific answers the questions: What? Who? Where?

Measurable: Make sure that you have clearly defined criteria to measure whether or not you achieve the goal. In the above example, you will know if you achieved the number of calls or not.
Measurable answers the questions: How much? How many?

Attainable: You are the best judge of this. You know your own limitations, tendencies and abilities. Set the bar high enough to stretch you a little beyond your comfort zone, but to a level still within your capacity. Be realistic!

Relevant: Keep your big picture in mind. Ensure that your goals are in line with your short-term goals and are compatible with your values.

Time deadline: Set a clear target date or time frame as to when you intend to achieve each goal (i.e., 25 calls each week).

Setting SMART goals significantly increases your chances of achieving success in your life and your business, yet studies show that only 3 percent of people actually have written goals. Writing and following through on these goals will enable you to move your business ahead in the direction you want to go. In addition, SMART goals will:

Motivate you to action
Keep you on the right track and moving in the direction you want to take your business
Enable you to easily identify and avoid distractions
Encourage you as you’re able to measure progress
Create incentives within you to think, feel or act in certain ways
Help you to write motivating daily to-do lists

We recommend that before working on goals, you take a serious look at where you want your business to be five years from now. In light of that, what will you need to have accomplished in two years’ time? Then, in order to keep you moving in the right direction, what will you need to have in place 12 months from today?

Long-range goals should be reviewed frequently. Circumstances will change, and as you move forward, gain new information and insights and grow personally, you may wish to modify or change your goals.

Six Steps to Achieve 30-Day SMART Goals Using the Make-it-Fly® Goal Achievement Plan:

We chose 30-day goals because this gives enough time to make significant progress, yet is short enough to keep you motivated.

Step 1 Express a clear intention by beginning each goal with the words
I will…
Step 2 List all the potential benefits you’ll enjoy as a result of achieving your goal. If you’re not excited about the potential payback, consider a different goal.
Step 3 Record all possible obstacles to reaching the goal. For example, if your goal is to make 25 sales presentations, but you will be out of town for two weeks and you haven’t yet refined and tested your presentation, these obstacles could sabotage your success.
Step 4 After each of your possible obstacles, note a possible solution. In the above example, perhaps adjust the goal to 15 presentations and block out time to refine your presentation.
Step 5 Break your goal into smaller, specific action steps, set a target date for each, and include each one in your electronic or paper time management system.
Step 6 Find someone to regularly hold you accountable and keep you on track to do what you have committed to do!

If you don’t achieve your goal, take time to evaluate why. Consider what you could have done differently.

Don’t forget to reward yourself for your successes!

(708 words)
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.

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About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at:, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.

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