We all know that goals support forward progress, but of course, not all goals are going to have the same results. It’s not just about the goals you set, but how you set them that can influence your likelihood of achieving them. This is why having a framework for setting goals can be so valuable. The S.M.A.R.T. method for setting goals isn’t a new idea, but it’s a trusty guide that can help professionals ensure they’re setting the most effective goals possible. Here are the elements of a S.M.A.R.T. goal:
Most of us want to be successful, but if we never drill down deeper than that, we’re not likely to get there. What is it that you actually want to achieve? Put yourself to be more and more specific until you have clear numbers and figures that you can point to as your target. Without these, it can be so much more difficult to track your progress, maintain motivation, and hold yourself accountable.
Getting specific helps you to also ensure that your goals can be measured. Are you getting closer to your target? Are you moving at the pace you expected? Have there been dips in progress? When you ensure that your goals have some measurable element to them, you give yourself a way to stay tuned in throughout the achievement process.
Some professionals hear ‘attainable’ and think that means setting the bar low. That’s not what we mean by attainable, though! Attainable just means that you’re shooting for something realistic – that you’re not setting yourself up for frustration and disappointment. Sure, there’s always the risk of not meeting an ambitious goal, and that’s part of the process. But when we set goals that really don’t align with the amount of time we have available to commit to them, for example, we can zap our drive to try at all.
When it comes to goals, they need to feel relevant to you. Even if you’re setting a professional goal, it’s still important to check in with the bigger picture of your life as a whole. Why is this goal important to you? How is it connected to you as an individual? How will achieving it change your life? When you can answer these questions for yourself, you create a reserve of motivation you can tap into whenever the process gets challenging.
Maintaining accountability is essential, and ensuring that your goals are time bound is one of the best ways to do this. As loan officers, we tend to have busy days and it’s easy to let those longer-term goals fall off the radar as more pressing needs pile up. When you have a time frame outlined for yourself though, you know you can’t afford to lose sight of your goal. Even if you had a jam-packed day and can only put in five or ten minutes towards your goal, that effort and consistency pay off.
Do you have a system you use when setting goals? Are there certain elements of a goal that help you to achieve it? If you’re interested in strategies to supercharge your goals and accelerate progress, send me a message. I’d be happy to set up a time to connect!
VP – Retail Market Leader