So you’ve got your equipment and an idea of what you want to stream but where do you go next? Sure, you can simply dive right into streaming and hope for the best but that may not be the best use of time. This is where SMART goals come in. SMART is an acronym that means the following:
- S: Specific
- M: Measurable
- A: Achievable
- R: Realistic
- T: Timely
Basically this allows you to focus your time and energy on areas where you’ll bring the greatest benefit. If you’re a new game streamer, for example, it may be a good idea to focus on building content to get a small, core following. You don’t have to race to the finish, a few people who love watching your streams is a worthy and important goal.
So how do you set SMART goals for yourself? At the core of it, you are going to have to ask yourself a lot of questions – about your abilities, your resources, your time, your drive etc. Depending on the goal, you may want to enlist the assistance and opinions of colleagues, family, or friends, to get a different perspective on your goals.
Essentially, you are critically thinking about each aspect of your goal to give yourself the best chance of achieving the goal. And if a goal doesn’t seem to be realistic, prima facie, you may be able to reduce the scope or approach the goal from a different angle.
So with that in mind, let’s delve deeper into each of the components of a SMART goal.
Specific is rather easy to understand but can be difficult to implement, particularly when you’re first setting goals. An important thing to keep in mind is that your ultimate goal or destination isn’t just one smooth road, it’s a series of goals that will help you get you to where you want to go. While becoming a top streamer and having over one million viewers per stream may be goals, they aren’t exactly specific as there are many variables within that goal. Instead, you may want to set a smaller goal such as trying to get 50 viewers each and every time you stream.
By setting a specific goal, and in turn, setting other specific goals later down the line, you break your overall objective into manageable segments, which can be completed in a timely manner. Setting specific tasks on the way to your overall goal functions in the same way as a video or board game campaign is split into segments. It’s all so you can give yourself the best chance of success and not lose sight of the bigger picture.
A measurable goal is, somewhat obviously, a goal you can measure. Becoming a top streamer isn’t a measurable goal, as what defines being a top streamer? Your goal should be able to be measured in order to monitor your progress or determine when it’s completed. If we return to the previous example, attempting to earn 50 viewers each time you stream can be measured. There are trackers to tell you exactly how many viewers you had/have. It’s up to you to determine the best way to go about accomplishing this goal.
A major effect of having a measurable goal is that you know when your approach isn’t working as well as you may have liked. This allows you to revisit your SMART goal and redirect your efforts or create a brand new goal.
If a goal is achievable, it is something that can be achieved given your resources, available time, and abilities. It’s no use setting a goal if it’s not something you can achieve, that just leads down a path of frustration and demotivation. The purpose of setting an achievable goal is to ensure you can reach it, which will help propel you towards your next goal, ultimately leading to your major objective. Getting a viewership of 50 viewers can be challenging but it’s definitely something that is achievable, especially over a short time while not being as daunting as say, getting one million followers.
Setting an unachievable goal can be a surefire way to lead you to disappointment and frustration, particularly if you aren’t aware the goal itself is unachievable. That being said many goals you may set yourself can be achieved giving enough time but the purpose of the SMART goal way of thinking is to put your purpose in a clear frame of focus, to see how much you want to invest in a single objective.
A realistic goal is one that can be reached with your available resources. A common unrealistic goal is to ‘get rich’ or ‘become a billionaire’, as it has no clear steps or path to accomplishing that goal. A realistic goal has to be something that fits in with your overall objective. Whether you want to grow as a streamer, develop a dedicated core audience, or become known as THE go to for a particular game, your SMART goals should be working in service to that overarching goal.
As often as reality can get in the way of chasing your dreams, being able to set a realistic goal and to be honest with yourself about that goal is vitality important. If you critically evaluate a goal you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed in both the short and long term.
How much time are you giving yourself to complete your goal, or how long do you think achieving the goal would take? If no deadline is set, there is no real imperative to accomplish your goal so it’s important to think about how long it would take. Sit down and critically think about all the resources and constraints you may have that could affect your goal. Will building up a small audience take a couple weeks? Couple months? Adding a sense of urgency (but not stress) to your goals can help drive you to accomplish them within your set time frame.
But how do you go about setting those SMART goals for yourself?
Basically, what the individual segments of the SMART acronym are getting you do is breaking down every goal, requiring you to not only think about your destination but every step. By defining your objective, thinking critically, and setting a completion date, you’re taking a decisive step towards ensuring you achieve your goal. Plus, the simple act of writing it out/planning it, makes it that much easier to envision it and ultimately, accomplish the goal.