A Smart Goal Setting Guide for Planning and Productivity

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Let’s chat about goal setting today, shall we?

Specifically, how to make SMART Goals.

This is one of my favorite topics to talk about, one that I will specifically be teaching about at the Conference in depth this upcoming Fall, and it just so happens to be our class we are teaching about in our Community for this month!

There’s something we absolutely love about setting goals.  We love to look ahead and dream about the future, making all sorts of plans, and by speaking it into the world, we seem to think it will automatically shift our brains into gear to make them automatically magically start to form.

Well my friends, as nice as that would be to actually happen, in order for those goals to come to fruition, we have to put IN the work in the first place.

A problem that a lot of us seem to have with accomplishing goals that we set out to do are three things:

1.  We don’t get specific enough in our goals

2. We don’t allow ourselves enough time to plan out what it is that we wanted to do

3.  We get sidetracked in the middle of them and those goals we so much wanted to do? Well, they all of a sudden go to the wayside and sit there forgotten until we finally remember “oh hey! Eight months ago I wanted to do this.  What happened to THAT goal?!”

The purpose of making goals is not only to give us something to work towards, it’s also to be continually building our business and moving our business forward. Creating a business that we love requires work, hours of energy and dedication, and consistent time spent working ON our business moreso than just working IN it.

And for that reason, the SMART method to goal setting is one of my absolute favorites.

Smart Goal Setting for Productivity and Planning with the Society for Creative Founders

 By incorporating your goals into a smart method setup, it’ll make it much more attainable and concrete simply in the way it’s laid out.

Smart is an acronym, which I've seen stand for a variety of things, but for our purposes today we are going to go with this:

S = Simplistically Written and Specific - Smart Goals should clearly define what you are going to do.

What do you want to accomplish?
Why is this goal important?
Who is involved?

M = Measurable - Smart Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal. Usually, the entire goal statement is a measure for the project, but there are usually several short-term or smaller measurements built into the goal.

How much do you need?
How many do you need to create?

A = Achievable - Smart Goals should stretch you slightly so you feel challenged, but defined well enough so that you can achieve them. You must possess the appropriate knowledge, skills,and abilities needed to achieve the goal.

How can you accomplish this goal?
How realistic is that you can achieve this goal?

R = Relevant - Smart Goals are all about ensuring that your goal matters, but that it also aligns with other relevant goals.  Does this goal drive your business forward? Or are you trying to accomplish it simply because it sounds good?

Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time to try to meet this goal?

And lastly, T = Time.  Goals should be linked to a timeframe that creates a practical sense of urgency, or results in tension between the current reality and the vision of the goal. Without such tension, the goal is unlikely to produce a relevant outcome.  We all know that we have those “goals” that we made years ago that are still sitting there with all of the checkboxes unchecked, waiting for us to move on them.

When do I want to accomplish this goal by?
What do I want accomplished four weeks from now?
What can I do today to move towards this goal?

Let’s say, for example, that you’re planning a holiday collection for a product launch for the fall.

The initial goal that you write is:  Launch a Holiday Collection

How specific is this goal? It’s not so much, is it?  Chances are that if we leave our goal like this, we’ll have a hard time planning all of the finite details that come with launching a holiday collection.  I want you to focus in on the details of each thing included with launching a holiday collection, and get smart about it.

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Let’s set this goal up the Smart Method , and this time we are going to spell it out with the goals in place.

However, instead of beginning with the S, which means it's simplistic and clearly written, this is actually the last step that we are going to do, and you’ll see why at the end.

Step One:  Is it Measurable?  For the Holiday Collection, how many pieces are you going to have in your collection?

Get specific with this in particular: 12 pieces, comprised of 4 notecards, 4 mugs, and 4 prints.

Step Two:  Is it Achievable?  How realistic is that you can achieve this goal?

Considering that you have June, July, August, and September before launching a Fall Collection, is there enough time in your schedule to create this collection with these 12 pieces without you rushing through it, to create something you’re proud of?  If the answer is yes, keep going.

Step Three:  Is it Relevant? Is this the right time to meet this goal?

Where are you in your business right now? Do you have a clear picture of where you’re going, and do you want to launch a fall collection?  Is it something that you want your business to be known for, and is something that you look forward to?

If you’re designing or creating from a place of happiness, wholeheartedly pursue it. But if on the flipside, you’re doing it because everyone else is doing it, dig in to your Core a bit more and determine how creating a fall collection is relevant to you.  Just because you CAN create a fall collection doesn’t necessarily mean that you SHOULD. You want to create pieces that you love and look forward to, so make sure that it is relevant where you are in your business right now.

However, if you want to launch a holiday collection because you want to be known for this business and know that by launching a collection in entirety rather than adding items to your shop one by one, that will help to heighten awareness for you, and will help your business to grow.

Step Four:  Is it Timebound? When do you want to complete this collection by? or more specifically, when do you want to LAUNCH your collection?

More specifically, when do you want to LAUNCH your collection?

When you’re planning out a collection, there are many factors to take into consideration - not only do you have to design the products, you have to order samples, determine pricing, take photos of the completed products, create a marketing plan, upload all of the products to your site if selling them online, and finally, launch it all.  What date do you need to complete your collection in order to sell it to the people who need it, when they’re actually looking to purchase your product?

Now, originally, we started with the S and we needed to move it to the final piece, and here’s why.  The S stands for Simplistically written and specific. If you don’t know the answers to all of the above items, it’s hard to do. So, let’s turn the original goal that we had into a smart one.

Goal: Launch a Fall Collection

Launch a Holiday Collection with 12 pieces in order to heighten awareness about my shop by November 23rd.

Is this now a SMART Goal, one where it is timebound, you know what it is, it’s measureable, and there is a date attached?  Yes.

Now, when you look at your goal, you know exactly the purpose, the reasoning for it, and then from there you can begin to create all of the tasks needed to accomplish this goal.

When you start to get used to this method, it will make all of the difference in the world when it comes to setting goals and accomplishing them, as long as you make the necessary steps to put all tasks and checklists in place into a workflow to meet that goal.

And this is where we suggest to us Trello, to break it down piece by piece and enable you to see you meeting those goals step by step. Out of everything I have tried, Trello is what I would recommend to use for this, hands down.  By laying the framework in a format where you can be moving things forward and checking off the task lists that are needed to create things, you will be able to literally see yourself move your goal from concept to completion, and we want to help you to learn how to do just that.

During the month of June, we are teaching a class all about this specific topic:

Making Business Plans + Using Trello to Implement them.

In this class, you'll make plans and set SMART goals for the next six months of the year and see how to implement Trello to keep your plans moving forward into a monthly, weekly, and daily format.  We'll chat about the first half of the year, followed by making a plan for the remainder of 2018.  Within this plan, we'll talk about goal setting and you'll set at least three big goals using the SMART method.

Kristin will also teach you how to use four different Trello boards to plan things and keep them moving forward continually in an annual, monthly, weekly, and daily format, and you'll be able to receive the boards set up for you, ready to go, right when you sign up!  We'll also talk about implementing a variety of different apps and plug-ins within Trello to learn how this incredible productivity tool can help you to stay organized once you integrate a few additional items to it, to make it work specifically for you.

This is a two week class that will take place from June 20th to July 2nd, but if you can't join us for the live class, we've got you covered with the replay inside!  Do you have questions in your own business about how to set business plans, smart goals, and how to use trello to implement them? If the answer is yes,  sign up here for our June Community Class!


This is a class that was created due to Kristin's love of teaching the Your Plan Module at the Conference, which will also be taking place at this fall’s upcoming Experience. So if you loved what you read above, and you’d like to join us for this class, we would love to have you. For all of the details of what’s included, see more information here.  We hope to see you there!