The champagne is gone, the party is over, resolutions have been set; 2018 has arrived. With the new year comes a long list of resolutions that everyone will be trying to keep. However, as most of you know, our resolutions tend to be broken rather quickly. According to Business Insider, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. This is because a new year’s resolution is only a hope. You’re hoping to lose weight or you’re hoping to break that bad habit. It is something that you keep in mind but if you fail, it’s no big deal and there’s always tomorrow to try again. If this sounds like you, read on.
Making any serious change is going to take more than just a resolution; It will require you to think critically about what it is you want to achieve and to break down the main objective into smaller pieces. One popular method of doing so is by setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals for yourself. S.M.A.R.T. Goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives. One of the major keys to success, for any aspect of your life, is effective goal setting. Using this strategy, you can set goals that you will actually achieve throughout the year. A goal gives you something to work towards. Without a goal in mind, it can be hard to find a purpose for your daily tasks. With a goal in place, it will keep you heading in the right direction for success. But not all goals are created equal and in order to create effective goals, you should follow the steps below.
Specific and Measurable
When you’re setting a goal, the objective should be as specific as possible. After you have set a goal, ask yourself these questions: “Who is involved in the goal?”, “What would you like to accomplish with goal?”, “When do you want to accomplish this goal by?”, “What is the benefit of accomplishing this goal?”. If you can answer all of those questions then you most likely have an effective goal.
An insufficient goal will not be able to answer all of those questions. For example, “I want to lose weight”, is an inadequate goal. Sure, it has good intent, but there is nothing specific about it. A sufficient goal would be, “I want to lose 20 pounds by July 4th so that I’m ready for my long weekend at the beach.” That goal answers who is involved, what you want to do, why you want to do it and when you want to do it by. Being able to measure your goals is very important. So, a goal like that is great because it is measurable throughout the entire process of completing it.
Attainable and Realistic
Every goal you set for yourself or your company should be attainable. You want to have the confidence to achieve your goals. Setting unrealistic goals that simply can’t be met is only going to hurt you. You’ll spend too much time and effort trying to achieve the impossible and it can have a negative impact on your confidence and motivation to work hard, possibly causing you to give up on the goal entirely. Imagine you are just starting to practice yoga and you set a goal to master poses that are far too advanced for you right now. Not only will you lack the ability to master those poses, but you could hurt yourself attempting them, causing you to get so frustrated that you give up practicing yoga completely. So what’s the point? Set goals that you know you can achieve.
While you want your goals to be attainable, you don’t want them to be too easy either. If your goal does not take time, focus, and a lot of effort to complete then it really isn’t much of a goal. A challenging goal is much more motivating than an easy one. It can inspire increased performance and productivity. The more challenging a goal is, the more inclined you’ll be to put in your best effort to complete it. And the best part about achieving a challenging goal is the rewarding feeling of satisfaction that you get when it’s done. Not only have you just achieved your goal but, by doing so, you have now increased your confidence and can start striving for even more challenging goals in the future.
Every goal you set should have a specific end date or due date. However, you should never just set a goal and forget about it. Not tracking the progress of your goals is one of the easiest ways to forget about them. Try to schedule regular check-ins for your goals to keep yourself on track. These check-ins could be once a week or once a month, depending on the type of goal you set and the time frame in which you wish to complete it. Getting feedback throughout the progression of your goals is a great way to keep yourself accountable. It’s one thing to keep yourself in check, but having someone else give you constructive criticism along the way is a huge plus. Sometimes, you hit a bump in the road and an outsider’s point of view is exactly what you need to push forward. So, get feedback from your peers or coworkers and make adjustments to your strategy as you go along.
If you find yourself getting frustrated and overwhelmed while trying to complete a goal, it may be too complex. Managing the complexity of your goals is important. When you set a goal that requires various steps to achieve over a long period of time, you should break it down into smaller sub-goals. Today, there are many apps to help increase productivity and goal setting. At Creative Click Media, we use project management Basecamp to help with this process. Using Basecamp, our entire team can have their goals and to-do’s organized in one place and we can check off smaller to-do’s, or goals, as we’re making progress with the overall goal. Create a specific plan for how each of your subgoals will lead you to completing the overall goal. Planning like this will help to keep you organized throughout the entire process and will eliminate some of the stress that may come from an overly complex goal.
Effective Goal Setting for Success
Effective goal setting is the key to success in any part of your life but it is especially important for business owners. Creating and setting effective Goals for your company will help you grow and succeed down the road. If you’re not sure whether you’re creating effective goals or not, take this quick and easy quiz to find out!
This guide will give you a solid foundation for setting effective goals for you and your business but it’s not the only effective goal setting method out there. Please feel free to leave a comment about something you agree with, disagree with or share something you would like to add. Business consulting is an important part of my job so, if you need help setting goals for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out.