Start SMART and achieve your goals

Learn how creating SMART goals can lead to effective productivity

Dec 14, 2022

Right now, you're probably taking it daily, in life, at home, and at the office. That's a great strategy, but knowing what to do each day comes from the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Yes, goal-setting gets a bad rap for being hard, and we put it off, but with a SMART process, you can make goal-setting easy.

What are SMART goals?

SMART goals are tangible targets that you set and commit to reaching over a period of time. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Each goal should have these characteristics to ensure you start out on the right foot. Carefully craft each goal after reflecting on what you, your team, or your organization want to accomplish to continue growth and success.

Why are they important?

When you follow a process of goal setting and measurement, you set yourself up for success, and you build a roadmap for the future. As we’ve seen over the last two years, anything can happen, and there will always be demands for your time and asks for resources that you’ve already allocated to other projects or initiatives. SMART goals allow you to do something significant and powerful, saying “no.” Suppose your team, another agent or even a manager asks for a project that is outside the guardrails of your organization's goals; you have the framework to articulate why you can or cannot take on the project.

What S.M.A.R.T. means

Specific
How are you going to meet your goal? Think like a journalist and use the “w” questions.
  • Who – Who needs to be involved?
  • What – What are you trying to accomplish? (Important: be very specific)
  • Where – This is not always relevant, but is there a location involved?
  • When – What is the time frame you are setting?
  • Why – Think deeply about the “why”. Often this is the driving force of the goal in the first place.

Measurable
What metrics are you going to use to define success? If you want more leads or web traffic, make sure to align your goal with the appropriate tools that will give you markers throughout the goal duration.

Achievable
This is where SMART goals are made or missed. Everyone’s definition of achievable is different. Remember that you must go outside of your comfort zone to change and grow. What you get out of your goals is what you put into them. If you want more website conversions, leads or write more business, you have to be willing to push yourself and think of unique ways to achieve your goal.

Relevant
If your goals are business-related, make sure they align with your overall business goals. Your organization's goals might be to grow market share and build an office in a new city, which means your goals should be related to writing new business, being visible in the community or other activities that relate.

Time-Based
Setting a time or a date for your goal sounds easy, right? Pick a date, start your goal and poof, magic happens. Remember that if a goal lacks realistic timing, you’re not going to succeed. Be honest about how long a goal will take, and if your goal spans months or even the entire year, create time-based checkpoints to keep yourself on track.

What next?

Now start creating the goals you're going to crush in 2023. While there isn't a hard and fast rule of how many goals you should have, three is an achievable number. You can get very specific on what you want to achieve which leaves time for the work that needs to be done and allows you time to measure and adjust.

You have the foundation to build your SMART goals and have a great 2023. For more examples of SMART goals and SMART goal templates, search online for "SMART templates" and find the one right for you.

Goal setting and achieving are rewarding experiences, and they help drive your personal and professional success. Empower yourself to move outside your comfort zone, achieve your goals and have the best year possible.

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