SMART Goals for Bookkeepers
How to set SMART Goals for Bookkeepers
Everyone has moments when they feel overwhelmed by all the things they want to achieve. Or feeling like a failure because they set goals and always seem to fall short.Today we’re putting an end to this, by introducing SMART Goals for bookkeepers. If you haven’t heard of SMART goals before, read on to find out what they and how they can help your business. You can also listen to our latest podcast on How to achieve Bookkeeper performance goals where we talk about this very topic!
We’re also going to cover how to manage if you’re trying to focus on too many things at once, and why you might be finding it difficult to achieve your goals, even if they are SMART.
Let’s get into it!
What are SMART Goals for Bookkeepers?
- S – Specific: Your goals must have a clear and recognisable endpoint. They can’t be vague.
- M – Measurable: You need to be able to track your progress accurately.
- A – Achievable: Set goals that are realistic and achievable, this will minimise struggle and increase your motivation.
- R – Relevant: They should benefit you directly, or your work/business, or contribute to a big picture goal.
- T – Time-bound: Set a due date for your goals to help you focus and track your progress. Set this in your calendar so you don’t forget.
How can Bookkeepers use SMART Goals?
SMART goals can be used for everything, including bookkeepers and their businesses. Or in any aspect of your personal life. Here is an example to show you how to apply the concept:
“I want to improve my marketing strategy” is not a SMART goal. It’s a good “big picture” goal, but if this is all you’ve got to work with it’s going to be a very difficult journey for you.
“I am going to post 2 times a week to my business’s Facebook page for the next month” is a great SMART goal for bookkeepers. We use our FaceBook page a lot at The Savvy Bookkeeper!
- It is Specific & Measurable: twice a week post to Facebook.
- It is Achievable: if you were previously not posting regularly then trying to commit to every day might result in you becoming overwhelmed and not posting at all. Twice a week should be a good balance to ensure you actually do it.
- It is Relevant: It fits in with your big picture goal of improving your marketing strategy and will boost your business’s social media presence.
- It is Time-bound: For the next month, you will work on this goal.
Definition: Big Picture Goal
A goal that is achieved through completing lots of smaller goals, and maybe is never actually “achieved” as there is no easy way to determine if it has been completed!
How do you pick a due date?
I’m so glad you asked. This where we get to talk about Schedules! Really, I think we should aim to make SMARTS goals, because how can you achieve something without a schedule?
In our social media post example, the schedule is in the goal itself: twice a week for a month. For other things, it might not be so simple. Think about what needs to happen to get from where you are now to where you want to be when you achieve this goal.
Map out how long you think it will take to do all the necessary tasks (this will also be a great help each time you sit down to work on the goal) and pick a realistic due date.
When you get to the end of the month, where do you go next? When you reach your due date (that you set in your calendar, didn’t you!) you’ll generally discover one of three situations:
- You achieved your goal right on schedule, YAY! It was the perfect balance between challenging and achievable. As you’ve created a habit of posting twice a week to Facebook, maybe you could increase to 3 times a week for the next month and see how you go.
- You achieved your goal (YAY) but it was way too easy and you feel like you definitely could have done more. Perfect! Add one new thing to grow this goal (this is called Habit Stacking but that’s a whole story we’re not going to discuss here). You might begin writing one blog post a week and posting it to Facebook as a third post each week. You might add another social media platform to the routine! But don’t get too excited. Only add ONE thing, this will keep it Achievable.
- You didn’t achieve your goal. That’s ok! There are many reasons why this can happen, read on to see what you can do.
What to do when you didn’t achieve your goal
It’s easy to feel like you failed when you didn’t achieve your goal, but you shouldn’t. What you SHOULD do is think about WHY you didn’t achieve it. There are many possible reasons:
- The goal wasn’t SMART enough. Maybe too vague?
- You set unrealistic expectations over how much time you could dedicate to a certain task (not Achievable).
- You were focusing on something you thought you SHOULD be doing, instead of something you WANTED to be doing. Think about why you set this goal. Maybe you need to come at it from a different point of motivation or set it aside completely for a while until it’s more Relevant.
- It’s very possible (we’re all guilty of this…) that you set TOO MANY GOALS!!!!
Focus Gets Results – Narrow Down Your Goals
You should not have more than 5 goals at a time. You shouldn’t even THINK about more than 5 goals at a time! If you have too many things you’re trying to accomplish you will be less likely to accomplish anything as you will never be able to focus properly. Here’s an exercise to help you pick your 5 goals without forgetting all the rest:
- Write down 25 things you want to accomplish in the next year (or five years)
- Pick your top 5 (think about which ones might be connected or lead into each other to help you figure out what things logically should come first)
- Put your list somewhere safe that you know you will remember later
- Focus on your top 5 and DON’T THINK ABOUT ANY OF THE OTHER THINGS ON THE LIST!
- All you need to know is where your list is. The list can remember all those other things for you.
- If these 5 things are big picture goals you will need to narrow them down into achievable chunks (ie turn them into SMART goals).
- When you’ve finished with one of your 5 focus goals, or you feel like you’ve accomplished enough that you can take a break from it, go back to your master list and pick something else to put into your top 5 as a replacement.
And that is how you set SMART goals for bookkeepers! If you’d like even more information about this, we also talked about it back in January: setting goals instead of resolutions at New Year.
If you’d like help with your goals you can book a free initial consultation with me (Maia), or email us at if you’re interested in a mentoring session to get you on track and focussed.
That is our take on SMART Goals for Bookkeepers. Over to you…
Thank you for reading our post. By using the SMART goals for bookkeepers system that we have shared with you, your bookkeeping business will start to excel.
Does that sound smart to you?
• If you are a Bookkeeper who otherwise needs help with Savvy's Marketing your Bookkeeping services, such as; Sales, Marketing, Website, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Business Logo and more, please get in contact.
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