If I have learned one thing about goal setting, it is harder than we think. In my mind, every one of the goals is achievable, well before the scheduled completion date! But, why do I always fall short?
For many, goal setting seems to be a waste of time. Why do we need to plan where we are going when we know where we want to end up? Just think about it. Would you ever embark on a cross-country car trip without laying out a map and marking the route? Unless you like to live dangerously, there’s NO way!
So how can we make it easy for ourselves to set our goals and then achieve them every time? Achieving our goals regularly will help us build our self-esteem and live a happy and fulfilled life. Think SMARTly.
Specific: Set yourself a specific goal. If you want to become vice president of your organization, map out those goals or activities you believe are required to become a VP- level individual. Think big, but set some intermediate goals to help you see the road signs along the way. If you need to improve your speaking skills, figure out a way you can attain regular practice. If you need more education, put a plan in place to acquire the education.
Measurable: Be able to measure whether you are achieving these goals. It is not only about setting them, but also keeping score as well. Think in terms of statistics, dollars booked, speeches given, or some other metric that you can judge whether or not you are on track. If you are consistently falling short of attainment, be introspective and decide whether your expectations are too aggressive or if there are ways you can expedite goal achievement. Many of us operate from a position of perfection. The last 10% of the effort is often a giant sinkhole in terms of time consumption vs. value of achieving the goal.
Attainable: Be sure that you set goals that are attainable. Don’t be pie in the sky. Set goals that are challenging but realistic. Being consistent in achieving your goals will bring the self-confidence that will help you achieve the ultimate goal, your vision.
Relevant: Make sure your goals, whether individual or team-based, are consistent with the overall company goals. Relevancy is always important. Keep you overall vision clearly in front of you. Don’t waiver from the goals—but be sure they are relevant before you start.
Time Bound: Be specific about the date by which you want to achieve your goal. Be relentless about achieving it and apply a laser-like focus on getting to the goal. Be disciplined in your approach to managing your time and the achievement of your goals.
Goals should be part of all aspects of our lives. We should have our own financial goals, physical (exercise) goals, spiritual goals, and on and on and on. Don’t restrict this goal-setting process to just your business. Those happiest in life are the ones with a truly balanced life. Yes, there will be times when you will need to focus on business only. Perhaps when you have a major health issue or other family issue that springs up, you will need to focus more specifically on those objectives. The more often you can come back to center, the more your life will be in balance—leaving you with reduced stress. Reduced stress leads to longer and happier lives.
So as you start a new team or project, set you goals SMARTly. You will be glad you did.