Research shows that in addition to the 98% of entrepreneurs who never achieve their goals, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% in their second year and 60% in their fifth year. After a decade, a whopping 70% of small companies close their doors.
There are many reasons businesses fail, from neglecting the importance of constant innovation to resisting the growth mindset necessary to push through hard times. The bottom line is that these companies failed to reach their goals, likely due to problems with the goals themselves. Failed businesses didn't create SMART goals that would have facilitated success.
What are struggling business owners doing wrong, and how can we learn from their mistakes? Did they fail to grasp a key business principle or were they not in the right mindset? As Abraham has observed, there is power in thinking differently. Businesses see success when using SMART goals. It's time to start incorporating them into your business to change your mindset and achieve success.
Because of their effectiveness, SMART goals are commonly used in business, but you can also use them in your personal life, from creating fulfilling relationships to mastering a new skill. No matter which area of your life you want to improve, this tested strategy saves you the wasted time of not knowing precisely what you want or how to get it. SMART goals can help you "ladder up" to the bigger goals you set when you identify your purpose. Being purposeful and living with intention is what SMART goals are all about.
HOW TO ACHIEVE SMART GOALS
Now that we've answered the question "what is a SMART goal?" let's look at a few tips for achieving them.
Instead of tackling your most urgent or loftiest goal (like making a fortune or finding a life partner), pick something small to start with, like learning to become more organized or learning to cook. Chunk your goals into smaller, actionable items and prioritize which actions you'll take next. Not only will this make your goals easier to visualize, but it will help you create a Massive Action Plan that leads to success.
Creating smaller steps on your way to massive results will help you focus your energy. This level of clarity puts power behind your goals, giving you the opportunity to measure your progress at frequent intervals, take new actions and achieve success.
WRITE IT DOWN
According to a study conducted at the Dominican University in California, those who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them. It doesn't matter whether you write your SMART goals in a journal, enter them into an app or type them into a Word document. Just make sure they are documented. Then run through the checklist of ensuring your goals are following the SMART outline: Are you phrasing the goal to be specific, measurable, attainable and realistic within a time frame? If not, reevaluate your goals and start again.
How long will it take you to reach your SMART goals? How do you know if you're falling off track? Regular check-ins allow you to evaluate your progress and course-correct when necessary. If you're not beelining toward your goal, you need to know exactly when you made that left turn. Check in early and often to catch any changes in your progress, which will give you a chance to transform the setback into a success.
DON'T LET FEAR HOLD YOU BACK
If you're not making the progress you'd like, take a look at what's holding you back. Are you hesitant because your goal or approach is unreasonable, or are you reticent because of a deep-seated fear of failure? Finding the source of your hesitation is critical, since overcoming our fears is pivotal to goal mastery as well as personal and professional development. Once you understand your fear, do what you need to remove it from the situation as you work toward achieving your goals.
EMBRACE THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION
The good news is that hunger for a goal frees you from your fear of failure, even if the goal seems intimidating. Rather than being bound by your insecurities, you can embrace mind-body practices to master your emotions and achieve your peak state. In this way, SMART goal setting is a path toward self-discovery and, in turn, will help you achieve outcomes you never thought possible.
CELEBRATE EVERY WIN
When you celebrate wins – even the small ones – your brain gets a boost of dopamine that reenergizes and refocuses you. If you're working on professional SMART goals, celebrate small wins with your team. Not only will this help you to continue to press forward but it will also inspire your team to do the same. Personal successes? Celebrate with your friends or family. After you've celebrated, get right back on track so you can work toward celebrating the next win.
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