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We hear it at the beginning of every year, new year, new you. Suddenly, everyone has a blast of excitement and motivation to improve themselves by setting resolutions and goals. We pledge to work out, eat healthier, perhaps lose a couple of pounds. Companies are no different when it comes to setting goals. They aspire to increase quarterly sales, gaining new clients, or growing their following on social media platforms.

Now, stop right here, ask yourselves if, after the first thirty-one days of 2021, you have stuck with your goals/resolutions. If the answer is yes, great job, keep pushing through. If the answer is no, ask yourself why? Is it because you lack accountability, time, motivation, a combo of the three? Perhaps, you bit off more than you can chew, and you might as well throw the towel in on the remaining eleven months. But there is still plenty of time to revive that list of resolutions!

The objective is to accomplish your goal(s). The strategies are: performing a SWOT analysis and writing down S.M.A.R.T goals for yourself or your company. The SWOT is a two-by-two grid that identifies an individual or organization's: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Once you have examined your internal and external environments (SWOT), your S.M.A.R.T goals should come easy.

S.M.A.R.T is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Each goal should fulfill these requirements. Be specific, goals that are vague are less likely to be achieved. Can you measure it to keep track of progress or the lack thereof? Is it attainable? It needs to be reasonably challenging. Do not take on more than you or your team can handle. Relevancy, is it a priority for what you want to achieve? And most importantly, make sure it is time-bound. Set a target date to keep you motivated and disciplined, but remember to be realistic.

Here is an example of how you can improve what you already have. Your company is three years young, with a social media following of about 9,000. You told the team, I want 25,000 likes on our Facebook page. Although the goal is measurable and relevant, it is unrealistic, not time-bound, and too vague.

Instead, set a goal that fits your pace of growth and is detailed. Luckily for businesses, Facebook provides insights throughout the year. The insights reveal the page was growing at a rate of about 250 new likes a month, 750 quarterly, and 3,000 annually. Knowing the rate of growth will set the stage for a more realistic goal. I want us to increase the number of Facebook page likes to 350 every month. The goal is now specific, attainable, measurable, and time-bound.

If you choose to make new goals, prioritize the SWOT analysis, and use it as a guide. If you see a weakness you listed that you would like to improve on, make it a goal. If you see an opportunity that seems attainable with the strengths you possess, strategize and make it a goal. If cauliflower can become pizza, then you can achieve anything!

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