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The Purposeful Entrepreneur

SHARP: An Easy Recipe To Crush Your SMART Goals

March 24, 2020

By Mariana

The article is the second part of two on setting yourself up to achieve more. 

Here’s the full first article, “Goals vs Outcomes vs Objectives: Which one is right for you?.” 

You might be wondering why I’m talking about recipes. Fair question.

The truth is that goals tend to sit around and collect dust. There, I said it.

You know that if you decide that eating a batch of perfect chocolate chip cookies is your goal, you aren’t going to eat those cookies unless you take action to make them (or drive to the store and buy them if you’re not a baker).

There’s an understanding with a recipe that you need to DO the things like gather the correct ingredients and follow all the steps to get the yummy goodness.

Sticking with the whole cooking analogy, if you look at a recipe that includes ingredients that make you dry heave, fancy equipment you don’t have or complicated steps that make you want to back out of the kitchen, do you think you’ll actually make them? 

Nope.

The same thing applies when you set business goals for yourself. Knowing this, we want to make sure you have a recipe for success.

The great thing about recipes is they set the stage with what you need and walk you through a logical series of actions to a predictable outcome. 

We’re going to cover a process you can use to turn your SMART business goals into easy to follow recipes. 

You’ll be baking up business success in your Easy Bake Oven in no time. 

Ready? Good.

Introducing SHARP: A recipe to crush your SMART goals

I figured the best way to crush your SMART goal is with an equally witty acronym, hence SHARP. 

Note: To review a SMART goal is one that is Smart, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based. Here is a quick video that explains SMART goals.

Here’s what each letter in SHARP represents:

S – Schedule it

H – Have what you need

A – Anchor it

R – Reduction

P – Persistent action

We want to crush goals not just dream them up, right? 

That means actively taking action to achieve them.

The aim is to get you going on making things happen so you can experience more progress and success.

The process isn’t complicated but it will take some effort. However, if you invest your effort now, it will save you wasted time and frustration later, plus yield tastier results. 

Choose your SMART goal (AKA What are you going to cook up?)

Let’s say your goal is to run a workshop to teach entrepreneurs how to use LinkedIn to get more clients. 

That is pretty broad and is like a 5-course meal, it’s too much to try to do all at once. 

Creating the slide deck for the workshop would be a good example of a SMART goal. It’s one course of that larger 5-course meal.

Schedule It

Business owners often talk about quarterly goals or a 30-day goal, and it’s a vague time period for successful completion to materialize.

The first thing you need to do is give this goal a due date and schedule it on your calendar, all your calendars. In permanent ink.

Take a moment to check in here. Are you arbitrarily picking a date, but deep down aren’t committed to crushing it?

You need to be committed to crushing this goal by the due date. This can’t be an “oh, it would be nice to have it done by then date,” it must be non-negotiable. 

If you aren’t, you might as well eat the chocolate chips and forget about trying to bake up that delicious batch of cookies. 

Have what you need

Taking stock of what is needed to get to a successful outcome is often overlooked. 

If you don’t have the key ingredients for your recipe, proper tools or the time needed to actually bake the cookies, once again, we’ll end up without the cookies. 

Make a list of the time, energy, and resources required to ace this goal.

This is your chance to take stock, find anything that’s missing and get ready to get your hands dirty in the kitchen. 

Anchor it

Are you setting this goal based on a should that will quickly turn into a could have, that won’t get done?

Goals are often suggested or chosen a little willy-nilly. << Not all SMART goals are smart.

This is another opportunity to take stock before mixing things up. 

Do you actually want cookies?

No really, take a moment to anchor this goal in why you want to achieve it. 

What will the outcome of this goal mean for you or your business?

Don’t just read that sentence, really think about it. 

It’s okay if you pause here and realize this isn’t the right goal for right now. Go back to the beginning of the SHARP process and pick a goal that is the right one. 

Now for a sneaky question that can shine a light on why you may not crush this goal.

Are there any underlying payoffs to not accomplishing this goal?

I know it may seem counter-intuitive, but often the biggest thing standing in our way is US. 

For example, if you have an issue with being visible, although you know a workshop would grow your business, you may benefit by not completing the slide deck so you can stay safe behind your computer. 

Make sure you’ve unpacked any resistance you have to a successful outcome.

Reduction

Now it’s time to break this goal into the individual bite-sized pieces needed to get it done. 

For our friend with the slide deck, this could be a list that includes items such as:

  • Images
  • Text for the slides
  • Title
  • Create an outline of the presentation
  • Hire a VA to put it all together
  • Run through it with a friend
  • Make changes
  • Time a practice run
  • Celebrate completion

You’re essentially creating the task list to get from A-Z that you’ll work through to get you to the finish line. 

Persistent action

The truth is none of this will matter if you don’t take action and do so consistently to completion.

This is the mixing and baking period. The other steps lead here, but this is where the real magic happens. 

Accountability through a mentor, friend or fellow business owner can help keep you on track if you’ve struggled with keeping yourself accountable in the past.

The Association for Talent Development (ATD, formerly ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that if you commit to someone you have 65% of completing a goal. 

They found that if set accountability appointments to followup with the person you’ve committed to, your chance of success will increase by up to 95%.

Share your goal to increase your chances of success.

How are you going to ensure you persist and crush this goal?

You need to dig into the nitty-gritty of what you’re going to do when procrastination pops up or life gets busy. 

I know you can do it, but you need to be 100% committed to doing it. 

If you hear a “yeah, but” coming up, you better deal with that now or all the prep work you’ve done for this recipe won’t matter. 

That’s the truth. 

It may mean you need to anchor this goal a little deeper. Go back and work to deepen your why.

Stay SHARP and keep crushing your goals

Now that you have your recipe, you’re ready to tackle SMART goals and get them done. 

There is a resource with a printable worksheet that I recommend you print, fill out and put up somewhere you’ll see regularly to keep you focused.

Remember, SHARP or any other strategy for achieving your goals won’t work unless you work it. 

You’ve got this. 

Snag a copy of the SHARP Workbook (includes printable worksheet)

It’s not like you’ll be done with goals forever once you crush the first one.

Keep this workbook handy and print out the SHARP worksheet any time you’re tackling a new goal.

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Hi, I'm Mariana.

Hi, I'm Mariana.

As you've probably guessed already, I'm the heart and brains behind The Purposeful Entrepreneur.

Supporting entrepreneurs and business owners while teaching and sharing lessons learned brings me joy.

I love family time and do what I can to make the world a better place.

I'm very fond of coffee and puns. I strive to live life to its fullest, grow a little bit every single day, and inspire others along the way.

How I can help you...

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