Goals are in everyone’s mind as we move into the last month of the year. As a business owner, this is a good time to review this year before setting goals for next year.

SMART goal setting is one way of ensuring that your goals are well thought out. It’s a system that can be used in any area of your life or business.

What are SMART goals?

SMART is an acronym for:

SSpecific and Simple

MMeasurable and Meaningful

AAchievable and As if you’ve achieved it

RRealistic and ecologically Responsible

TTime-bound and Towards what you want

Most of the older definitions of SMART only have it as Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Time-bound. I’ve added the second level to give your goals a boost.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the SMART aspects.

1. Specific and Simple


Be clear and precise. State exactly what you want – the exact amount you want your business to earn per month or year.

Decide whether this is the gross or net income:

Gross = total amount you receive per month.

Net = the amount you actually take home per month after all deductions have been made and expenses paid.

For example, a graphic designer specializing in wedding cards can state, “I earn Kshs. 50,000/- net per month from my business, creating wedding cards”.

The more specific you are the greater the chance you have of attaining the goal. This is because the subconscious mind works best with a specific target.

TIP: State the currency you want to be paid in. A friend of mine once set what looked like a really large goal, only to earn that amount…in Tanzanian shillings. She got her target income, but it was way less than Kenya shillings.


Your goal should be clearly stated in as few words as possible. Make it into one sentence of about 10-15 words.

Imagine that you will pay Kshs. 10,000/- per word. With this amount in mind, see how specific you can make your goal while still keeping it whole.

2. Measurable and Meaningful


Anyone should be able to ascertain whether you attained your goal or not using the parameters you have set.

When it comes to business, the main measure of success in business is revenue. No matter how much you may want to avoid coming up with an income goal, you have to set one.

When setting an income goal, state the desired revenue (gross and net) and don’t be shy about it. If you want, you can set two income goals: one for the business and one for the amount you take home from the business.

A lot of people set general gross income goals and achieve them. But, they have nothing left over because business expenses take up all the money. Avoid this mistake by setting gross and net income goals.


Why do you want to achieve this goal? Achieving it should have emotional meaning for you.

Set a goal that is sensible to pursue. Also, get clear about why it’s important for you to achieve this goal. The more reasons you have for achieving the goal, the more motivated you’ll be to work on it.

Brian Tracy, a goal achievement expert, recommends that you come up with at least 50 reasons WHY you want to achieve any goal. These reasons indicate how much the goal means to you.

3. Achievable and As if already achieved


Make sure that this goal is something you can achieve with a little stretch. Only set goals that you will do yourself, not things that you hope other people will help you with.

Secondly, ensure that the goal is within your reach. Sometimes we set goals that are too high and therefore set ourselves up for failure or giving up when the going gets tough.

As a start, choose goals that you have some measure of comfort and control over. At the same time, don’t set your goals so low that they are a breeze to achieve. The aim here is to stretch yourself a little beyond your comfort zone.

If this is the first time you’re going into business, come up with an income figure that is about half your income as an employee. Then aim to increase this to match your employee income within 1-2 years.

If you’re already in business, set goals that are 20-30% more than what you achieved in the year that’s ending.

As if already achieved:

One important question that you can ask yourself is: “If I had already achieved this goal by now, would I still want it?”

Imagine how it will feel when you’ve achieved your goal. Evaluate all the things you have to do to get there. Also, look at the things you have to give up or sacrifice.

Don’t aim for things that you may regret achieving. So be very clear that this is something you really want to have in your life for some time to come.

There’s nothing as bad as working hard on a goal only to find out later that you really don’t like the achievement.

4. Realistic and ecologically Responsible


The goal should be within a realistic boundary. For example, say you want to set a business goal of making 2,000,000/- within the next 6 months.

How realistic is this when you’ve never earned more than 100,000/- a month in your business or even as an employee?

Incidentally, this is one area where I see network marketers setting themselves up for failure. They focus on what other people have achieved and try to match that within a short time. Many don’t think of how unrealistic such goals are for them.

Make your goals realistic so that you climb slowly but surely. Remember to set a goal that you have a chance of achieving even though it may stretch you at the moment.

Ecologically Responsible:

Will the achievement of this goal affect you or those around you negatively? Is this a responsible goal to achieve? Or will you regret it when you have achieved it and other areas of your life have been affected negatively?

For example, if you have a family and want to start a business while working full-time, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Will starting this business while still working negatively affect the time you spend with your family?
  • How will you balance between work, family and the new business?
  • Will you be able to carve some time out for your own personal growth without getting stressed out?
  • Will your family have to do without some essentials as you set aside money for the business and how will this affect them?
  • Do you have enough money set aside for 6-12 months of household expenses (including medical cover, insurance and school fees) if you’re starting the business in order to quit your job?

Ecological responsibility is especially crucial for couples and people with families. Evaluate your business goals and identify areas where the goals are not ecologically responsible.

Find a way to change these goals if you still want them. Alternatively, consider postponing or abandoning any goals that are not responsible at this moment.

5. Time-bound and Towards what you want


Your goal should have a time limit; a deadline for its achievement. Setting this limit ensures that you are propelled into action.

As Brian Tracy, a leading expert on goal setting and time management says, “A goal without a deadline has no urgency” and will lead to procrastination.

He also calls a goal “A dream with a deadline”. The deadline is achieved by making the goal time-bound. At the same time, you have to ensure that your goal is achievable within the time frame you’ve given it.

Set a longer time limit for large goals and a shorter time limit for smaller goals. If you have a large goal, break it into sub-goals and create timelines for each sub-goal.

Putting a time limit also informs your subconscious mind to be on the lookout for things that will help you achieve your goal within that period or in a shorter time.

“…Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!” Anthony Robbins in Awaken the Giant Within

Towards what you want:

Are you moving towards what you want or is the goal focusing on what you don’t want?

Any goal that is framed as escaping something you don’t want will bring negative consequences.

For example, wanting to start a business so that you have enough money to leave your spouse is not a feasible goal.

It may be better to sort out your marital issues first before setting up the business. This is because your challenges in your marriage may have a negative impact on your ability to work on your goal.

Also, be careful not to take on too much advice from relatives, friends and colleagues when setting your goals. You are in control of this goal and only you should decide what achieving the goal entails.

Don’t get sidetracked and start moving away from your goal in order to please other people.

Going beyond SMART goals

SMART goal setting is not always enough to ensure that you achieve your goals. To make things simpler, you need to create in your mind a strong positive visual, emotional and physical image of having achieved your goal.

You then feed your mind this image so many times that it becomes a subconscious target. At this point, your mind becomes your ally in making your dream a reality.

SMART goal setting starts off this process. However, you need to take a step further and put your goal on autopilot in your mind.

One of the best-kept secrets of successful people is that they are able to visualise their goal in the mind so clearly until they ‘cheat’ themselves into believing that they have already achieved the goal.

The mind doesn’t distinguish between truth and reality. It just takes whatever you give it and accepts that as the truth.

Once the mind has accepted this truth, it then guides your focus to things that match what you are looking for. It also makes what you are looking for or thinking of into a target similar to the one you would find on a dartboard.

In the game of darts, there’s a circle in the middle of the board called a ‘Bull’s Eye’. Hitting the bull’s eye takes practice and focus and few people are able to hit this eye over and over again without lots of practice.

This is the same thing you need to do with your goal. You need to help your mind turn your goal into a target, into a Bull’s Eye; and then you put all your focus on this target and never let go until you hit it.

Here’s how it actually works

For example, let’s say you want to purchase a red Volkswagen Golf. You’ve checked the details on the internet.

You’ve also thought about this car so much that this thought has become normal for you. After some time, you’ll start seeing Volkswagen Golfs all over the place and soon you start seeing red ones.

Does this mean that people have suddenly taken a liking to this car? No, it just means that your mind is drawing your attention to the car of your dreams.

If you take this further and test drive the car or even go to the dealers and have a photo of you taken sitting in one, then getting the car becomes easier. The only way to stop this from happening is to change your mind and decide on another car.

The same thing happens when a woman is pregnant and all she sees is pregnant women and baby-related stuff. Once she gives birth, suddenly all she sees is women with small babies and rarely notices the pregnant women.

It doesn’t mean that women are no longer getting pregnant. Her focus has shifted so her mind brings to her attention things that are related to her new focus.

You attract what you’re emotional about

Anything you are emotionally attached to, whether the emotion is positive or negative will manifest physically in your life. This means that you have to be careful of the things you regularly feed your mind.

If you’re worried about losing your job or always worrying about money, chances are that with time, you may lose your job, make an investment that loses you money, or get robbed.

If you’re always worried about illness or talking about illness, you’ll be visiting the doctor more often than other people. It’s also easier for you to attract a life-threatening disease if you keep this up.

The more emotion you attach to the thought and the more you think it, the faster it will manifest in your life. This is why the old personal development teachers were very categorical in telling us that “…you become what you think about most of the time…” to quote Earl Nightingale in his book The Strangest Secret.

On a personal note…

On 24th August 2015, I wrote a detailed description of my 5-year business goal. At that time, I was running a one-woman coaching practice from my home in Mombasa.

My outline of the dream business was very detailed and also specific. It was 2 pages of a beautiful A5 notebook that I had purchased specifically for writing my business ideas.

Each year, I would read through this outline a few times and imagine how I would feel when I achieved the goal. I had no idea how this was going to manifest and frankly speaking, I didn’t believe it would happen exactly as I write it.

Fast forward to September 2017 when a conversation with my fellow coach Lillian Macharia brought my business dream into being.

I wasn’t ready for this to happen a few years before my ‘ideal’ date. However, it happened so seamlessly that it not only felt right but was also clearly the next step forward.

This is how I got into Biashara 360 and the story gets better as it unfolds. That is the power of SMART goal setting at the level I’ve outlined in this post!

Over to you

Now that you know what you want, it makes sense to have truly SMART goals. And it’s time to turn those goals into your “bull’s eye”.

With this in mind then:

  1. Set 1-3 business goals.
  2. Make them SMART.
  3. Come up with as many reasons WHY you want to achieve these goals.
  4. Attach a lot of emotion to the goals.
  5. Visualize success daily.

Do these 5 steps and you’ll have put your goals on autopilot.

Do you need help setting and achieving your business goals?

Now that we’re talking of goals, how well are you doing with goal setting and achievement? Book a complimentary Discovery Call and find out how a Biashara 360 Business Coach can help you achieve your business goals while reducing the time you spend working.

(Images courtesy of Unsplash)


Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I get a commission when you purchase from these vendors. However, I only recommend books and resources that have had a positive impact on my life and business.

Caroline Gikonyo
Caroline Gikonyo

Caroline Gikonyo is a Life and Business Coach at Biashara 360. She's an avid blogger and also oversees our content creation. This ensures that we give our readers quality and well researched information and tips.

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