With your long-term goals clearly set, you can now plan how to accomplish them through smaller objectives that you can hit on a weekly or monthly timeline.
Here’s an easy-to-remember acronym to use in setting more effective short-term goals: make them S.M.A.R.T.
- Specific: Where long-term goals can be abstract, short-term ones need to be concrete and defined.
- Measurable: Place an actual value, such as a dollar amount or percentage, that this objective will add to your business.
- Actionable: Plan out the specific actions that need to be taken and by whom.
- Realistic: Though you’ll want goals to be challenging, keep your available resources in mind to make sure they’re still achievable.
- Time-bound: Set a deadline for the goal so you can stay on track throughout the year.
Here’s an example of a SMART goal:
Long-term objective: I want to increase the revenue of my direct sales business.
Specific: I will make an additional three product sales every week.
Measurable: Each sale will add $100 to my weekly revenue.
Actionable: I will improve my presentation and visit at least three more prospects every day.
Realistic: I will condense my presentation to a maximum of thirty minutes to allow for more prospect visits.
Time-bound: I will aim to hit this weekly target consistently for three months.
SMART goal: I will make an additional three product sales every week for three months by improving my presentation and visiting more prospects. This will allow me to increase my business’ revenue significantly.
The key to the SMART goal process is to be motivated to set and work on realistic and attainable goals because of the buzz you get when you achieve them.
Keep in mind the importance of tying these short-term goals with your long-term ones. If done correctly, focusing on completing smaller milestones becomes easier while you steadily progress step by step to achieving the big ones. Say you want to increase profits by 25% in 2017. The large figure may seem daunting but if you consider aiming for a 2% increase every month, it will feel very doable (again, the power of setting a Realistic goal).