how to set great goals

This year, I’ve been setting myself monthly and weekly goals, with the aim of improving my business, my home life and this blog. So far, this approach has really been working well for me; I’ve been bringing more money through the door in my business, there’s floor space in my house (in some rooms) and the blog is better than ever.

I have just started up my own weekly goal setting linky which runs from Monday to Wednesday each week and I would love if you would join in with that.

Setting goals can be a tricky business. How do you set something you know you’re likely to achieve, without making it so easy as to be pointless as a goal? And how do you know you’ve definitely achieved it?

Anyone who’s ever had a quarterly appraisal in a job will have heard of SMART goals.

The idea is that you set a goal that is:

SMART goals

What does that mean?

Here’s an example. I want to set a goal to attract more web traffic.

Specific: What does “more web traffic” mean? More page views? More unique views? On this blog? On all of my websites over all? Am I including Facebook interaction? Be specific about exactly what you want to achieve. So my goal becomes “I want to get more page views on Single Mother Ahoy.”

Measurable: How many more page views do I want? And more than what? I could say “I want to get 20,000 page views on Single Mother Ahoy” – that way I’m giving it a clear measurable element. Using a figure rather than simply saying “more” means there is no question as to whether I achieve this goal.

Achievable: Is it likely that I could get 20,000 page views? If I’ve just started my blog and don’t have much of a following – or the time to spend promoting my posts on social media, it’s not terribly achievable. If my blog has been going a while, and my page views are already fairly good – and I have time to put in the extra work promoting them, it could happen. There’s no point in setting a goal you can’t achieve; it will serve only to make you feel crap!

Realistic: I want to get 20,000 page views, and I’ve extablished that’s achievable – but is it realistic? I might have a reasonable following and an established blog, and I might even have time to put into promoting my blog – but is that a realistic aim? Am I likely to spend extra time on it, or would I rather be spending that time playing Lego with my child or painting my nails? Do I have something big coming up in my personal life that is likely to distract me from promoting my blog or writing good posts?

TimeGiven enough time, even the smallest, least publicised blog can hit 20,000 page views given enough time. In order to make a goal relevant, most of them will require a timescale. Instead of saying I want to get 20,000 pageviews on Single Mother Ahoy, I would change my goal to “I want to get 20,000 pageviews on Single Mother Ahoy by the end of May.”

Using this system means you can set goals that are well thought out – and you will definitely know whether you’ve achieved them – so will the readers of your blog!

Lots of “experts” suggest that when you set a goal, it’s a great idea to tell someone about it. That way you’re accountable, and more likely to follow through with it. That’s why I started writing about my goals on my blog; having to come back every Monday and report on whether I achieved my goals means I am more inclined to set goals that are measurable – so that I can clearly tell whether I achieved them – and I’m more likely to work on them through the week.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


Thismummylark · 24/05/2015 at 14:26

The SMART goal setting method breaking goals down to achieve them deffinetly trumps my post it note to self method. I shall try and apply the SMART goal :)

    Vicky Charles · 24/05/2015 at 15:43

    Ha! Post-it notes to self are how I used to do everything… until I realised they kept falling off wherever they were stuck, and I was missing things!

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