In my last blog #10 – “Three steps to help you develop as a leader” I said I would write next on SMART Goals to help you create some action points to help you achieve your “DO” part.
So if you’ve not read blog #10, please click above to read this first 🙂
All of us want to be successful and achieve what we set out to do. What will aid us to be successful is to plan first. SMART Goals are a great way of getting practical. They may seem hard at first to create or even get that detailed if you’re not someone who likes details. But I promise – they will help you. Some of my current BLP students are struggling to write theirs as it’s a whole new way of thinking. But when they met with their ministry team, the team leaders said they wanted to make smart goals for this year – their response was “yeah, we know about those – good to see others want to use them too” – Seeing the practical application in real-life context made it so much easier to apply and want to put the initial work into creating.
So what are SMART GOALS?
They are smaller specific action points relating to your bigger, broader, vision goals. A vision goal is big. It will possibly take years to see become a reality. Thus you need to break them down into smaller bite-sized, manageable pieces – these are your smart goals.
In my last blog, I proposed you ask yourself several questions for each area you wanted to develop in. Now you get to ask yourself a few more questions to help mould them into SMART Goals covering each of these different aspects:
S = Specific
You need to get specific – the more clear you are, the easier it is to see if you’ve done it or not. Ask yourself:
Who is involved? Who do you need to talk to/ work with to achieve your bigger vision goal?
What exactly are you trying to accomplish?
Are there any specific requirements that you need to take into account?
What obstacles do you see you’ll need to overcome to achieve your goal? Are there some things you’re going to need to learn first to enable you to do what you want to do?
M = Measurable
What system are you going to use to determine if you’ve met your goal or not?
Examples of systems are:
- Number of pages/ chapters read (if you’re reading a book/ bible)
- Amount of time spent (e.g. if you’re increasing the amount of time you spend alone with God to develop your relationship with Him).
- The number of people spoken to (if you’re researching/ gathering responses from others to find out their needs/ wants in a specific area.
- Is there a smaller milestone (bite-size piece) you’re working towards to achieve a larger section?
- The number of times I do “x”? (E.g. I want to practice hearing God’s voice for others and give them the words of encouragement I hear God share with me).
A = Achievable/ Attainable
We have to be honest with ourselves. Can I do what I’m saying I will do? We want to set ourselves up to achieve our goals. Look at what else is going on in your life – we only have so much energy and time we can use in one day. What other commitments do we have, therefore how much do we have left to spend on this goal?
What resources to I currently have available to help achieve my goal, and what do I need to get to help me?
R = Realistic/ Relevant
How does this little goal fit into the bigger vision picture I want to achieve?
Why? What is the reason for this goal – why do it? (e.g. because I want to develop this area of my character to be able to become more secure in my leadership).
Picture this smaller action point as a little arrow – positioned alongside many other little arrows making up one big arrow. Is this specific little arrow pointing in the same direction?
T = Timely
When does it need to be completed by? Do you have a deadline you need to meet?
Do action points need to be done in a particular order? E.g. I need to learn how to use “x” before I can do “y”?
How much time do I need to be able to achieve what I’ve stated? (E.g. two weeks, one month or three months). I would suggest that if you didn’t accomplish this SMART Goal within three months, then it needs to be broken down further, so it’s achievable.
When should I do this goal? Is it for now or later this year or next year?
How do I know if I have quality SMART Goals?
For an action point to be a quality SMART Goal, it needs to tick all five of the above areas.
Don’t look for perfectly written goals. Most people struggle to make them specific enough in stating what you’ll actually do. These take practice and the reality of what you can do in the time you have available and the effort you put in. In time you’ll get better at writing goals you can do in the time you have.
Examples of SMART GOALS:
Below are some goals developed from the idea of what you want to do. You can see a pattern in how I’ve formed these examples below:
I want to… (states what you want to achieve) I will … (gives the actions you will do) By … (gives the time frame, deadline you want to do it by).
The number of times you will do something (gives you the measurable quantity)
Goal – I want to be more organised. SMART GOAL: I want to be more organised with my time before my exam season comes. I will add all my assignment due dates and commitments into my calendar with two-day reminders. I will write out how much time I need for each assignment and preparation required for my other commitments. Make a plan for what I need to work on each evening, prioritising what needs to be done by when.
Goal – I want to grow in my prophetic gift to bless others. SMART GOAL: I want to practice asking God for a word of encouragement for others. I will take fifteen minutes twice a week for the next three months. To ask God for a word for a different person, share it with them and ask for feedback so I can improve my discernment and interpretation of what I think I hear from God.
Goal: I want to be better at speaking to a bigger audience and not so nervous. SMART GOAL: By the end of this year, I want to be more comfortable speaking to our youth group of 40 people. I will ask for opportunities every month to share a testimony/ give announcements/ bring the welcome to our youth group. I will ask my leader for feedback on how I can improve. I will ask God to help me grow in confidence in myself and not listen to negative thoughts in my head.
Goal: I want to better at leading worship. SMART GOAL: I want to grow in my ability to lead our youth group into worshipping God and bring in His presence over the next three months. I will ask to lead worship once per month. I will spend two times per week in practising playing and singing worship songs myself. I will organise practice time with our worship band to play together. I will pray and prepare before with God what His plan for our time is. I will ask my leader for feedback each time to hear what I need to continue to improve.
Goal: I want to go on next years missions trip, but I need to pay for it myself. SMART GOAL: I need to raise £300 for the missions trip by June 2021. I will ask my work boss if I can take an extra shift every month and pay in £30 monthly as soon as I get my wages.
What will help you put these SMART Goals into practice?
Do you need to ask someone to hold you accountable? Inviting them to ask you every week how you’re getting on …?
Do you need to stick them up somewhere you will look at every day as a reminder?
Pray – talk about them with God, asking Him to help you make the right choices to have time and put in the effort needed to achieve your goals.
Imagine yourself doing them and what you’re like after achieving them – those changes, the better you – You can be that person.
Now go do 🙂