Goal Setting 101: Setting SMART Goals

Setting smart goals rochelle shante

We have boldly stepped into the second month of the year with all its Black History wonderfulness, and I am willing to bet there may be some goals and resolutions you’ve slacked on. (Personally, this post is coming to you approximately 4 weeks after I originally planned.) No big deal, every day is another chance to start fresh. Rather than repeat an age-old cycle of failed and forgotten resolutions, let’s make 2017 the year that they stick. Use this guide to help you revamp your 2017 resolutions in to SMART goals that will produce tangible results. S.M.A.R.T. as you’ve probably realized by now is an acronym that breaks down step by step, 5 ways to set goals that will keep you on track and allow you to quantify your success as you go! Let's get started.

Specific

There is a difference between wanting to increase the number of your email subscribers and determining to grow your subscriber list to 1,000 members. That is – the second is specific. By setting out to attain this goal, you have taken a seemingly overwhelming task – growing your email database – and broken it down into smaller, bite-sized pieces. (We’re all about bite-sized things around here.) The same applies with "I want to learn French this year" versus "I want to learn 10 new French words a week." Let’s continue with these examples.

Measurable

The next step is to make sure your goals are measurable. Quantifying your goal allows you to keep track of your success. This way, you are able to access your progress and adjust as necessary. Knowing that each week you’ve got 10 new words to learn, if you find yourself falling behind, you can increase your effort or rethink your strategy. For example, if you only organically gain 20 new subscribers per week, you might decide to implement a strategy to bring in 200 new signups in the same period of time. Maybe you offer a free e-book with signup for a limited 7-day period. When all is said and done, you'll want to be able to report on the level of success you achieved, whether you missed the mark or exceeded expectations.

Attainable

Now listen. I believe that with faith like a mustard seed you can move mountains, so let me not be the one to kill your dreams of accomplishing the impossible. However, when it comes to setting your personal and professional goals, you will want to be sure they are reasonably attainable. That’s not to say they shouldn’t challenge you or pull you out of your comfort zone. They most definitely should. They need to be goals that can be reached within the constraints under which you are operating. So go ahead, reach for the stars.

Relevant

Here’s where you really need to focus on your ultimate outcome. It’s great to set goals for every area of your life, and I encourage you to do so. But when you set your SMART goals, it is important that you make sure yours are relevant to the success you’d like to see. Be mindful of those things that are necessary for you to get where you want to go, and those that are not. Don’t get caught up in trends or what everyone else is doing without understanding how and why it is in line with your vision, makes your company relatable, and serves your clientele. One recommendation for keeping yourself on target in this process is establishing categories such as Financial, Spiritual, Career, Relational, and Business.

Time-Oriented

Last, but definitely not least, every goal you set should be time-oriented. “But, Rochelle, what if I don’t know how long it will actually take me to gain 800 new email subscribers?” you might ask. Not to worry! Decide where you would like to be and how much you would like to achieve within a determined amount of time. From here, you can work backwards and figure out what you need to accomplish on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis.

That’s why it's important that your goals be attainable. Maybe it’s not realistic to expect yourself to master the French language in 2 months. Maybe learning 10 new vocabulary words a week won’t have you speaking French fluently in time for that vacation you’ve been planning. Each of these 5 steps should be taken together to set an expectation for yourself within your established amount of time. If your aim is to be conversational within 3 to 6 months, your specific goal may become studying for ‘x’ number of hours per week over those months. If instead, you’d just like to take up a new language or brush up on your skills, 10 new words per week may be right up your alley.

Certified S.M.A.R.T.

The thing about SMART goals is that you set the pace. Push yourself and have a clear picture of where you would like to be at the end. Feel free to work backwards or mix up these steps if need be. Just don’t allow yourself to cop out. Analyze, reassess and keep yourself motivated. If you fall short, it’s not the end of the world.  Keep in mind the purpose of setting SMART goals, in addition to keeping yourself accountable, is to help you take small steps to achieve a larger task over time. Understand that every step toward this end is a step in the right direction. Don't despise humble beginnings! Celebrate the little victories. Give yourself a gold star or have a dance party while you check off that box on your to-do list. You’re closer now than when you first began.

Visioncasting 101: 5 Ways to Begin Any New Venture

visioncasting 5 ways to begin new venture balloons

New Year, New You. Or, new business, new blog, new goals, new plan. Any new undertaking originally begins as an idea. That idea, in order to see success will require intentional action. I'm willing to bet this idea is not, in fact, a new one to you. Chances are your new project, goal, or venture has been floating around in your head for some time. So what's stopped you? One thing that often stops me from beginning something I've never done before is my own negative thinking. I flirt with fear - those thoughts of 'What If?', 'How?', 'Can I really?', and 'Am I even qualified?'

What we should be doing instead is visioncasting - using our natural, mental, creative capacity to feed our new project and bring it to life! Rather than allowing our stinking thinking to kill off more ideas and businesses, let's be intentional in building them up! Here are 5 things you can start doing now to successfully begin any new venture.

1. See It

First and foremost, you've got to give yourself room to believe what you're working toward is well within the realm of possibility - even if you have yet to see it done before. Maybe you're one of those people who can look at a blank slate or open space and visualize endless possibilities. That's not me. I need to give myself creative, visual inspiration. 

My desk space is turning into one giant vision board.

My desk space is turning into one giant vision board.

Whether that means pulling photos for your #fitgoals or creating a visionboard for your business success, it's essential that we stimulate our minds by giving some fuel to our imagination, or as I love to refer to it, our prophetic reality. Take the time to imagine all that this new thing can be. We must force ourselves out of the habit of shooting down every idea before it has a chance to fly (if it's something we're serious about).

2. Speak It

Listen closely. There is power in your words. What you see is a reflection of what you believe (and therefore speak). Proverbs says the power of death and life is in your tongue. (It's interesting that death is mentioned first. What was that again about killing ideas prematurely?) 

"Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those that love it will eat its fruit." Proverbs 18:21 NKJV

Before you write (or type) a single word you have the ability to build up or shut down any plan you intend to start. Begin every morning by declaring statements of power and success in your personal life, your professional life, your business. Be so bold as to take it even further and speak these things into existence all the time! Talk about your new projects, your clients, or your weight loss even before you've begun to do the work. It takes some getting used to (read: you may feel crazy at first) but believe me it works. And besides, it's much better than complaining about what's not going to work. 

3. Dream It

There are books on the importance of dreaming. Now, while we're not completely responsible for what our mind does while we're sleeping, we've got full control of what we meditate on during waking hours. Have you ever noticed how when you think about a situation that bothered you, you get upset all over again? Yeah. Let's get that in check. Push out those thoughts that cause you stress, and think on happy things, like how you're going to rock this new venture!

4. Write It

Keep a notebook - or several - near you at all times. Writing out your ideas helps you to keep track of all the amazing things you think up and clears the clutter from your mind. Putting pen to paper is a great way to brain dump. When staring at a blinking cursor on a blank screen has me stuck, I pull out a pen and paper, and the words just seem to flow. 

Writing your thoughts also allows you to organize your idea, and adds a level of formality. (How many times have you missed an appointment or lost information you needed because it wasn't written down?) A popularly quoted scripture says, "Write the vision and make it plain." (Habakkuk 2:2). 

Her brilliant ideas notebook and pen

 

In the past when I've just happened to browse through old notebooks, I'd often come across notes I'd written months or years before. More times than not, these notes were right in line with my current ponderings. They served as a sign of confirmation that I am on the right track. Write everything down. Write it often. Write it everywhere! 

5. Share It

Lastly, it helps to share your idea with those you trust. After all, if you can't sell your new idea to good friends, chances are it'll be a hard sell to anyone else. That's not to say you need to share everything - they've got their own planning to do, but it helps to get some feedback. And if their response isn't the support you expected, consider their comments, but understand not everyone will be completely on board with your idea. And that's OK. It's your dream and it was given to you for a reason. Be open to the advice of those you trust, but don't allow constructive criticism to extinguish your fire.

Keep your head in the clouds. Continue believing you can do anything you set your mind to. Don't limit yourself and make sure your words align with what you want to see in your life. And don't forget to share! I'd love to hear other ways you visioncast, keep the fire going, and make your dreams a reality! Comment below.

But First God...and Why I decided to start a Marketing Blog

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2017 – a year to be filled with dreams realized, past failures turned to successes, and complete victory!  Also, welcome to RochelleShante.com. In just a few, I’ll give you a little background on me, what you’ll find here, and why you should make this a frequent stop in your weekly reading.

Because He comes first. (Seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33)

Because He comes first. (Seek first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33)

First and foremost, my reason for starting this website: God. Sound crazy? Maybe. But when God gives you an idea, you’ve got to run with it and trust that He’s going to bring you to success. Or you can run away from it, but why let the fear win? Let’s all agree to stop delaying the good things that are coming into our lives.

So here we go! Sitting in church a couple months ago, the thought occurred to me to create a simple daily post containing encouraging tips that would help creatives, non-marketers, friends, and followers alike be more intentional about building their brand. Around this time, several things happened.

  • I presented my first workshop on Marketing

Rochelle Turner 3rd Annual Brown Women in Media

I'm not going to lie - I dragged my feet in accepting the opportunity. The event was postponed and the offer came back around. Still, I was hesitant to respond. When I finally said yes and sat down to work on my presentation, I actually enjoyed getting the information together and looked forward to sharing knowledge that comes naturally to me. I even (get this) had FUN creating the PowerPoint and standing in front of a room full of people. Some of the tips I shared will make their way into posts that you'll see here.

  • I decided to create (rather than buy) my own planner for 2017

My beautiful, do-it-yourself planner. Click through to view the template I purchased.

My beautiful, do-it-yourself planner. Click through to view the template I purchased.

After kicking off my 2016 with a spiffy new customized planner (no, I didn't use it much but that's beside the point), I knew I had to do better for 2017. What I thought would be a speedy "choose, download, print and go" project turned out to be much more. (Mind you, I should have probably expected the $250 printing price tag what with a monthly and weekly calendar, notes pages, important dates, and all the extra bells and whistles.) I ran around for the better portion of a full day searching out more cost effective options that just did not exist. My quick & easy (yeah right) solution was to run back to my favorite office supply store, pick up a cute notebook, heavy duty paper, binder separators, and voila! Additional unexpected expenses? A brand new printer. Because - go figure - upgrading from my 2004 version was a cheaper option than buying ink.

  • I couldn’t stop thinking about it!

The ideas just kept coming to me. Words, thoughts, pieces of advice I'd read or overheard - inspiration was everywhere! I made sure to write them in my notebook, my phone, on note cards or anything within reach. That's the thing about our God-ordained purpose. We can delay, but God will see to it that we get there.

  • Every time I shared the idea with a friend, I got nothing but good feedback!

This is key. An idea is nothing until it is acted upon to accomplish something. The constant feedback and genuine excitement I received from friends was the encouragement I needed to get this baby underway. (If you don't have this kind of support, I suggest you find some. If you're in New York, I've got just the group you need!)

  • The tools and resources I would need to make this a reality kept showing up in my inbox

Trust me when I tell you, when God brings an idea that sounds too big or too impossible to accomplish, He has every intention of MAKING you be successful. It’s up to us to trust Him and keep moving forward. A friend from work sent along a recommendation of a digital marketing influencer she'd been following. I checked out her page and soon after came a frenzy of bookmarking, tagging, signing up, and googly-eyed can't-get-enough passion for her content. (By Regina has literally been the number 1 resource I've gone to in figuring out how to set up this website, plan and organize content, and generally get RochelleShante off the ground. I encourage you to look her up as well.)

 

When all these things kept lining up, it was as though I was seeing the puzzle pieces fall into place (and I am still far from seeing the complete picture). While the thought of a marketing tip a day – 365 tips – seemed (and still seems) daunting, packaging them into bite-sized, weekly themes made it a little more palatable. That said, life and marketing (to me) go hand in hand. There are little, often overlooked things we can do daily to do better business. Check back here each week for ways to simplify marketing principles, cut through overused jargon and amplify the impact of your precious investment of time.