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Eight Tips for Better Goalsetting

  • March 10, 2020
  • Written by Community Futures Meridian

If you are not setting goals for your company, or for that matter yourself, you may be missing out. Goals are important if we are not going to just drift through our lives, or see our businesses stagnate through lack of attention or focused direction. There has been a lot written about making goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-dated (or time-bound) but this simplistic acronym doesn’t tell the whole story and can lead those involved to under achieve. The biggest problem lies with the “realistic” part of the acronym. Sure, it’s no good setting goals so high that they are demotivating. If no one believes they have a chance of reaching them you will fail to get buy-in from those involved, but at the end of the day one person’s “realistic” is another’s challenge. Setting stretch goals makes sense; they can be motivating and rewarding in their own right. The bottom line is, be careful about trying to over simplify goal setting. Here are seven ways you can help ensure your goals will deliver on their promise and move your business forward in exactly the way you desire.

  1. Consider who is setting your goals and question their motivation; if it’s you, do the same and ask yourself the same question. What is it that you want to happen and why? If you reach your goals what will your company look like, and why exactly will that be beneficial?
  2. It’s all well and good to make your goals SMART but consider whether they are also wise? Stand back and be sure they will move your company in the right direction. Are they going to achieve exactly what you need them to achieve both in the short-term and long-term?
  3. When you set goals do other people in your organization have to set their goals based on yours? And then do their subordinates have to set their goals based on those manager’s goals? If so, be aware of the skills required by everyone in the chain, and also whether they will all be as motivated and passionate to achieve their individual goals.
  4. Set stretch goals. Consider what you want or need the outcome to be. What will make a difference? While goals should be attainable and realistic, they should not be EASY to attain.
  5. Set goals you are passionate about. Don’t think of goals as resolutions – you’re not trying to lose weight, you are trying to take your company to a new level.
  6. Set tight deadlines. The further out the deadline, the less likely it will be that either you or your employees will reach the goals that are set. Tight deadlines focus attention.
  7. Set aside time to work on your goals. If you haven’t enough time, then break your goal or goals into several objectives and delegate some of the tasks. If you’re a single-person business you may need to hire a sub-contractor, or enlist help from family and friends.
  8. Broadcast your goal or goals widely. The more people who know you are working on a specific goal the more people there are to keep you honest and on track. And potential help.

Goals act like a road map; each destination is a step toward a greater goal. The key however is to be smart when setting and working with goals – and we don’t necessarily mean SMART.

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