Most business owners acknowledge the value of setting goals and measuring their progress.
But many of those same owners complain of not setting the ‘right’ goals OR say they have trouble achieving the goals.
Here are 5 methods to help you make goal setting (and goal achievement) a more productive exercise.
See yourself in the future
What will things look like in the future (say, after 1 year) when you have completely achieved your ambitious goals? What’s the status? How do you feel?
It’s OK to dream… and imagine the practical AND emotional outcomes of hitting these goals. Get into detail because the more vivid your dreams, the more likely you are to get inspired and motivated.
Then write it all down. That brings clarity and precision to your thoughts.
Everyone is different… but consider:
- Giant, transformational goals. Maybe these will take ten years and put you in a fundamentally different place
- Foundational goals. These are the building blocks for the giant goals and may take 2 to 4 years to accomplish
- Tactical goals. These are the priorities which may take one year and enable you to achieve the foundational goals
- Tasks. These are critical action steps which move you closer to longer-term goals. They may take 30 to 90 days
Milestones help the giant, transformational goals feel more achievable and clarify what you need to do next. And when things get tough – and they will – you’ll be able to persevere, knowing you are on track.
Clean up your environment
It’s tough to succeed when held back by limiting beliefs or highly unproductive relationships.
Remove obstacles which keep you from getting where you want to be. This may mean ending negative relationships, changing behaviour on social media, setting aside time to accomplish specific tasks without distraction or eliminating activities which get in the way of your task list.
Recognise that your environment has a big impact on outcomes.
Shift your mindset
A mindset which is inconsistent with your goals inhibits progress. For example, if your goal is to “be an innovator in your industry” but you fundamentally believe you “lack creativity”, something needs to change. Otherwise, there is no realistic shot at achieving your goals.
Make a list of identities you want to embrace and ask others to affirm these identities. Self-persuasion is incredibly powerful. We become who we identify as.
Engage with accountability partners
Even the most astute leaders need to be held accountable. Coaches, mentors, mastermind groups, friends and family members help keep you on track and change course, if necessary. External validation also accelerates results.
What are your goals for the coming year? And how are you giving yourself the best chance of achieving them?