Where are you going with your blog this year? Have you set SMART goals for your success?
It’s a new year and the possibilities are endless for your blog. Can you see the long road ahead of you? What’s out there?
Oh, so much my friend. So much.
Speaking of much, there are heaps of posts out there today about words and organization and goals. I love them all. But for my blog this year it’s all about being SMART I want you to be SMART about your blog too.
You can set schedules and lofty goals and dwell on single words all you want, but if you don’t have SMART goals everything you strive for will be pipe dreams because there is no substance behind them. When the going gets tough there will be no foundation and failure will be the end result.
Go ahead, choose your word, set your schedule, and write down big, ginormous goals. But don’t stop there.
Take the 5 step SMART test to make sure you are on the right road. Then apply the five SMART principles to your goals and words to make them concrete.
Give them structure and a create a plan for actually achieving them. When you look back at the end of this year you should be able to pinpoint road markers that show progress, not just cool graphics in your sidebar or a cute planner on your desk.
Setting SMART Goals
So what’s with this SMART thing and how do you do it?
SMART stands for
Every goal you set, every schedule you create, and whatever word you choose needs to have all of these elements attached to it.
So it’s time to ask yourself, “Is my goal, schedule, or desired outcome with my one word….”
This is my favorite one. Whatever you want to do or achieve has to be clear and concise. It can’t be fuzzy. It can’t be a squishy. It can’t be a mystery.
Make it specific. Give it a framework, something to hang your hard work on. Make your goal tangible in some way.
For example, if you want to write more consistently on your blog, pick a number. How many posts do you want to write this year? 52? 104? 156? Don’t say I want to write three times a week. Instead, pick a number.
This allows for life. For weeks when you are sick, or your kids are sick. It gives you 12 months to achieve your goal as opposed to 1 week to fail.
Make it specific.
Is your goal something you can measure? Say your one word is “Focused.” (Disclaimer: If this is your word I’m not picking on you.)
If “focused” is your word, how do you measure what it means in your life? Do you have criteria for what it means to be focused or unfocused?
Insert your word ___________.
Now how will you measure your success at living up to your word? I don’t have the answer for you, but you’d better be sure you know what the measurements are so you can move and change to stay on course.
Remember the road markers? This is where they come into play. Pick some road markers for your word or your goal or your schedule. Measure your progress by these markers. More importantly, make mid-course adjustments based on these markers.
Road markers encourage success and stave off failure. They show you progress, where the turns are, and whether you are still on the right track.
Can you actually do something with your goal, word, or schedule? What?
Saying you want to love more, lose weight, or wake up at 5am everyday is one thing. Taking action is another. What does loving more look like? What step can you take today to lose weight? If you need to start your morning earlier, what do you need to do to make it happen?
Look for the action step and then keep doing it, over and over and over. Every step forward counts, no matter the size of the step.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. Whatever your desired outcome, is it realistic?
If you want to write more blog posts, how many do you currently write? 1 per month? 2 per week? Every day? If you currently write infrequently it would be folly to say you are going to write a post every day in 2015. It’s not realistic.
However, if you write infrequently and you’d like to write more, start with a realistic goal. How about 2 posts in January, 4 in February, 8 in March?
All goals and dreams are malleable. Sometimes we forget this part. We live fluid lives but set goals like they are concrete blocks. Why?
Set a realistic goal today. Check your progress in 2 weeks. Do you need to adjust? Go ahead and do it.
You are the steward of your life and your goals. Do not let them rule you.
Everything you want has to have a deadline. It seems obvious the goals you set today would have a one year time limit on them. But what if they don’t? What if you set a goal today for 3 months?
Or how about this mind bender…What if your one word isn’t for the whole year? I mean seriously, who decided every One Word out there is supposed to last exactly 365 days for every single person?
A year is a long time for some goals and dreams. Sometimes you need to shorten your time span for better, more encouraging results. Go ahead, give yourself permission to do it.
Whatever timeline you choose, make sure there is an end. It’s up to you to choose the span of time. You may not reach your goal. Guess what? It’s okay. Set another goal to move forward and closer to your desired outcome.
You may reach your goal early. Awesome! Now set another goal or change another part of your schedule to help you move forward.
Whatever goal, word, or schedule you set, make sure it’s SMART. All of your success depends on it.
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