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How to Create SMART Goals

Set and meet your goals like a boss.

For the longest time (I'm talking years here), one of my goals was to learn how to produce videos because videos were quickly gaining ground as the best medium for storytelling (and sharing food porn). Plus, I had a DSLR with video capabilities and Adobe Creative Cloud, so I knew I had the basic tools to make videos, which seemed like a good place to start.

However, even with these tools, I didn't truly work on, or even think about, accomplishing my goal until I started watching Spoon videos every day. I was inspired by Arden and Paige's videos and wanted to create drool-worthy recipe videos too. So, over winter break, I sat down and took time to think about it.  

I ended up turning my general goal to learn how to produce videos into a SMART—specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timed—goal. I love using and creating SMART goals because it forces me to think clearly about what I want to achieve. It breaks down a daunting goal, like learning video production, into bite-sized steps.

Knowing how to set reasonable, realistic goals is a skill that everyone should have, yet is rarely taught. Here's how I made my goal SMART, and how you can do it for any of your goals too.

Specific

Camera, film, broadcast, equipment, videography, video, len, person, microphone, movie, film maker, film making, filming, focu and bokeh HD photo by Laura Lee Moreau (@laura_lee) on Unsplash

laura_lee on unsplash

My goal of learning how to produce videos is extremely broad; it doesn't give me anywhere to start. I knew I wanted to make videos like Arden and Paige, so I decided that I would learn how to produce Spoon recipe videos by looking through Spoon's videographer training. My goal instantly became more intentional because I specified a type of video and a way to learn the skill.

When creating goals, you can make it more specific by thinking about who, what, when, where, and why. Specificity is helpful because it grounds your goal and gives you a place to start. You're more likely to achieve your goal when you have a better idea of what it really means.

Measurable

Man looking at marketing analytics photo by Olu Eletu (@flenjoore) on Unsplash

flenjoore on unsplash

It's hard to measure learning, but if you think hard enough, you can measure anything. In my case, I decided that I would measure my success by my training completion rate. I would only consider my goal complete if I completed all of the videographer training and created a video.

I read through all of the training before I started making my video. While I was filming and editing, I ended up referring to the tutorials over and over again. It was really helpful to have Secret Sauce open as I tried to navigate Adobe Premiere. My training completion rate was easily over 100%; it was honestly probably closer to 200%, with the number of times I re-read sections.

Measurable goals are so important because you determine the extent of your success with data. Add numbers and statistics so it's clear what your goal is measuring. It can be as simple as saying you'll try something once.

Attainable

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My original goal of learning how to produce videos wasn't attainable because I didn't know where to start. There are so many different types of videos. As a Spoon contributor, it was possible for me to learn how to make Spoon recipe videos. I had access to Secret Sauce trainings, and I could look through the videographer tutorials and learn how to make Spoon videos.

If I decided that I wanted to learn how to make animated videos, my goal would be more specific, but it wouldn't be attainable because I have no idea where to learn that. I don't have access to resources to help me achieve my goal.

Creating a goal that is attainable means that it's realistic to accomplish your goal, but that doesn't mean it should be easy. Think about what you're already doing, what resources you have at hand, and what you can reasonably accomplish.

Relevant

juice, quince, apple
Vivian Dang

Every goal that you set should be relevant to what you're doing and what you hope to achieve in the long-term. I wanted to learn video production because I could see that video was taking a bigger role in media, and I had a camera with video capabilities (Might as well use it, right?). As a Spoon contributor, learning how to produce videos through Secret Sauce was super relevant.

When creating goals for Spoon, think about what you and your chapter wants to achieve. Are you hoping to learn more skills or develop skills you already have? Do you want to create more content or create higher quality content?

Timed

HD photo by Jazmin Quaynor (@jazminantoinette) on Unsplash

jazminantoinette on unsplash

Last, but certainly not least, your goals need to be timed. You should set a deadline for yourself, so you know when you can check back on your goal and see if you've accomplished it.

It took me a long time to achieve my goal because I didn't set a timeline for myself. I just kept saying "I'll get to it eventually." Finally, over winter break, I added a stipulation; I would learn how to produce Spoon recipe videos by looking over Spoon's videographer training before school started again.

I wanted to finish over break, so that I'd have time to play around with my camera and my new skills before heading back to school and starting my new goal: publishing a Spoon video, specifically a toffee recipe, by the end of the month.

After going through this exercise, my goal was more clear and made more sense. I knew what I had to do to achieve my goal, and I did it. You can watch that very first recipe video below #success.

It took me years to finally learn how to produce videos, and I really wish I had started earlier. I try to keep that in mind whenever I create other goals (New Year's resolutions included) because I don't want to waste time with vague dreams when I know I can achieve my goals if I just put a bit more thought into them and make them SMART goals.

#SpoonTip: What are your SMART goals? If you need help thinking through your goals, feel free to contact me at jocelyn@spoonuniversity.com.