Goal Setter = Goal Getter
That fresh-start-feeling of a new year can make the world feel a little more open with possibility than the day-to-day grind. Take advantage of this natural momentum, and decide what you want to have on your To-Done list 12 months from now. Don’t worry, we aren’t here to say in a super artificial voice “new year, new you!” because, as you know, you don’t necessarily need a brand-new version of you. We ARE here to encourage you to start SMART. As in, SMART goals, smartie pants. SMART-structured goal setting can help bring to life any of the changes — both professionally and personally — that you’re ready to conquer.
First, let’s lay a few ground rules about goal setting. We don’t believe in unattainable goals that are a high-achieving recipe for failure. We do believe in coming up with attainable action plans to accomplish goals that take things to the next level. We do believe goals need to be set from a place of empowerment, a can-do attitude, and a foundational belief in your abilities. We do not believe goals are set to fix what is “broken.” Ya with us?
Keep reading to learn more about the building blocks of SMART goal setting, or skip ahead and download our Goal and Intention Setting Journal below.
Goal Setting + Marketing
Here’s the deal, marketers are often held accountable to metrics — like open rates, impressions, and downloads — and then asked by their CEOs to use these metrics to show impact for your marketing strategy. Did the new website increase the number of signed leases or phone calls? Did offering virtual tours increase occupancy? To know if our actions have an impact, we need to set measurable benchmarks, and periodically check in to see if we’ve accomplished what we set out to. In other words: we need goals in order to assess progress.
More than just having goals to know what to shoot for, science also shows that if you write down your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them. How much more likely? 1.2-1.4 times. When was the last time you skipped out on something proven to increase your success? Not today.
Skip Small, Set Big Audacious Goals
Goals have the power to change our brain. You read that right. According to Inc., there are three things that happen in your brain when you set a goal:
- Your amygdala (the part of your brain that creates emotion) evaluates how important the goal is to you.
- The problem-solving part of your brain (frontal lobe) identifies the specifics of the goal.
- The emotional and rational parts of your brain team up to keep you focused and progressing toward the achievement of your goal.
When you’ve set a goal, and are diligently working to achieve the desired outcome, your brain literally functions differently.
Ok goal-getters, here’s where this gets really cool. Not only do goals change our brain, but research shows that ambitious goals are far more motivating than small goals. According to the Journal of Experimental Psychology, “In 90% of the studies, specific and challenging goals led to higher performance than easy goals, ‘do your best’ goals, or no goals. Goals affect performance by directing attention, mobilizing effort, increasing persistence, and motivating strategy development.”
Which is all to say, feel empowered to set big, audacious goals. You’ve got this!
While there are several structures or formats to setting goals, the format we la-la-love is SMART goals. When we say SMART we mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Vague language tends to confuse rather than clarify. We know, we know, this isn’t new news to marketers and communicators, but it’s worth repeating all the same. So, use precise language to describe what you are trying to accomplish. If this is a collaborative or team goal, consider who needs to be included to make it a smashing success.
The ability to quantify your progress toward a goal is vital to identifying if and when you’ve achieved your goal, or where you are in the process of achieving your goal. Choose an applicable metric for success to make your goals measurable. As we covered earlier, “Doing your best,” while applaudable, isn’t motivating.
And… not to be rude, but “best” isn’t a measurable outcome. Best looks different for all of us. So, be specific on how you’re measuring this goal, and your success.
It’s important to dream big, so please do that. And, at the same time be honest. Bottom line: set achievable goals because there is nothing more disheartening than working toward something that is always juuuuusssttttttt out of reach.
Your goals need to be applicable and impactful to a facet of your job, life, or interests.
Procrastinators and goal-getters unite! Deadlines help motivate action. So, set a date, or line in the sand of when you want this goal accomplished.
Now, to put this all together…instead of saying “I want to do my best at marketing,” a SMART goal would give you metrics to know if you’ve hit the mark or not. A SMART goal might be, “I want to increase our Google My Business review ranking to above 4-stars in the next six months.” To be a more empathetic human, your goal might be, “I’m going to read five memoirs in 2022, written by authors who have a different background and worldview than myself.” Make sense?
Goal Setter = Goal Getter
^ that’s you! High five for taking the hardest step, the first step, in figuring out what your “big rocks” or goals are for the year ahead. Whether you’re coming across this post in 2022, or 2045, we’ve got you. Download our Goal and Intention Setting Journal, and walk through the prompts to unpack last year, leave it behind, and set new #goalz.