Are you solid with your resolutions and business goals for the coming year? If not, the problem could be because of the nature of your resolutions themselves. The solution: Use the S.M.A.R.T. acronym to raise the likelihood that you’ll achieve your goals.
The S.M.A.R.T. method of planning business goals or individual goals is popular among leading businesses, and there’s no reason not to capitalize on this methodology for your own life planning or your class-based business planning.
Businesses often use the word COMMITMENTS, rather than RESOLUTIONS, but it’s essentially the same thing; commitments or resolutions are what you (as an individual or as a business) will do to achieve certain standards or improvements in your life or work.
What getting S.M.A.R.T. means
Each letter of S.M.A.R.T. is the key to planning goals and actions that you’ll actually get done. Here’s how.
S is for Specific
Define specific results you expect as an outcome for the commitment. Example: “Losing 10 pounds” and “Add at least 50 new students” are specific. “Be uplifting” and “Be a better coach” are not specific, which means you can never be entirely certain whether to consider your resolution resolved or not. Being specific solves that.
M is for Measurable
Make your actions measurable as you progress toward completing your commitment. Can you measure the quantity and/or quality concretely?
Example: “Increase attendance rate to 90 percent” or “Improve customer service feedback scores from Good to Very Good” are measurable; you can measurably check your progress quarterly or monthly to ensure that you’re on target.
A is for Achievable
Create commitments that are challenging, sure, but make sure they are achievable. If it’s too lofty — “Grow my revenues fourfold in 2016” for instance — you’ll only get frustrated or unhappy when it becomes evident that it’s not realistic.
R is for Results-oriented
Measure success on the results you achieve, not just on the steps you take. So, “Reduce my body fat from 25% to 23% is about results, while “Eat healthfully every day” is not.
T is for Time-specific
With each commitment, establish milestones, checkpoints, and a completion date. If you want to add, say 80 new students by year’s end, then consider setting quarterly review sessions to see if you are one quarter of the way toward meeting your goal— 20 new students by the end of March, 20 more new students by the end of June, etc.
How to get S.M.A.R.T. in your goal planning and achieving
To stoke the fires of success:
- Set no more than 5 to 7 commitments — enough to make a measurable difference by the end of the year, but not so many that the commitments are competing with each other for your time.
- Make sure your individual work commitments align to your overall business vision and that, likewise, your personal commitments align to your vision of who you want to be. For example, a goal to run your first marathon can be good if it’s what YOU want, but not a good goal if you’re only doing it because your friend wants you to do it with her.
Once you’ve set your commitments, also identify how you will achieve your commitments. Plan key milestones — the evidence that you’re executing your plan.
The SMART method works!
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