Do you find it difficult to achieve set goals? The tips in this article will teach you how to set smart goals you can actually achieve as a business owner.
Here’s a fact: do you know 70% of all goals end up being abandoned or unachieved because of five reasons? These reasons include:
- The goals are irrelevant.
- The set goals are not inspiring.
- The goals are too broad.
- The set goals are too vague, and
- The goals are never executed.
Admit this: there must have been instances in your life when you were very motivated to achieve something.
But in the end, you just gave up on that something for some reasons.
However, it’s not too late.
Here are steps on how to set SMART goals you can actually achieve.
How To Set SMART Goals You Can Actually Achieve
Steps To Goal-Setting
Step 1: Use The SMART Formula
This step represents the goal-setting process.
Simply follow the formula for writing a smart goal.
SMART stands for
- S- Specific
- M- Measurable
- A- Achievable
- R- Relevant
- T- Time Bound
A specific goal is a spot-on goal. It’s not too broad, and it’s not too vague.
In fact, it is simple enough that you know what you want to achieve.
For example, ‘Buy a company car in X months’ is specific enough that you know that when X finally arrives, you should be ready or you should have already bought a company car.
So, this is one way to set smart goals.
A measurable goal is something you can measure.
In the example above, the measure of the goal’s achievement is obvious: having the company car.
An achievable goal is something realistic.
So ‘buy a fleet of cars in 6 months’ is an exaggerated goal.
Unless of course you are mega rich and you’re certain that you can achieve that in such a short span of time.
Besides, if you say ‘fleet,’ how many cars are you referring to?
A relevant goal is meaningful. It has to satisfy an intrinsic need while also appeasing something extrinsic.
So what does a company car mean to you?
Is it something you want out of necessity because you don’t have a car or because your current one has already gained too much mileage?
Time – Bound
Your goal has to be time bound.
There has to be a defined time by which the goal needs to be achieved.
In our company car example, you want to buy a company car in 6 months.
This is a better way to set goals, compared with saying you want to buy a company day someday.
Step 2: Create a Breakdown of The Goal
After you have identified a SMART goal, you need to break it down into actionable steps.
This means that you need to ask yourself, ‘How can I achieve this goal?’
Write every possible way for you to achieve it. Afterward, visualize the steps you may take from Day 1 to Day X.
Make the steps sequential. What do you need to do first? What happens next? When should these steps be done by?
In doing so, you’ll develop a visual map of your journey.
This prompts you to engage in goal-oriented behaviors.
When you are done with breaking down the goal into actionable steps, Identify the risks and issues associated with each step.
What could go wrong at each step?
What can you do to prevent it?
If you can’t prevent it how will you manage the situation such that it does not stop you from achieving your goal.
Step 3: Have A Milestone Checking Schedule
Review the list of steps you have identified in step 2.
What are the major steps involved?
These are your milestones.
Evaluate where you are periodically and always at the deadline for each milestone.
Are you moving closer or farther away from your goal?
If you are moving away, what can you do to correct this?
How can you change that so that you can steer yourself back to the right path?
This is also the step where you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
If one of your goal breakdowns says that you need to generate at least $4000 in profit to be put to your company car savings and you achieve it, you should celebrate.
Jubilation is a part of goal achievement. And every small achievement counts.
Step 4: Put Your Goals In Writing
Note that, to successfully set smart goals and achieve them involves writing them down.
Write your goals down and put it somewhere you’ll be reminded of them every day.
It may sound ridiculous but a classic and an effective way to get reminded and to eventually achieve a goal is by posting it to a wall in front of where you usually work.
Consider placing it your line of sight.
Use pictures if you may; like the make and brand of a company car that you want.
Step 5: Publicize Your Goals
This is an essential step in setting smart goals you can actually achieve.
That’s as long as other people can see them.
You don’t just announce your goals to yourself; you broadcast it to other people.
This gives you a sense of accountability.
If you don’t achieve your goal within the timeframe you set, then you have some explaining to do.
So if you’re a business leader, you should announce your goal to your employees.
At home, you should let your family know.
Outside, you should let your social circle know.
In fact, everyone. You could also consider posting it on social media.
The best thing about publicizing your goal is that it boosts your self-esteem when you achieve it.
It’s something that you can be proud of.
Now, as you set your goals, keep these tips for setting goals in mind.
GOAL SETTING TIPS
Use Positive Language
As a business leader, you know about ‘it’s not just what you said; it’s how you said it.’
The same applies to setting goals.
When you set a goal, you’re essentially talking to yourself. You’re telling yourself that by month X, you should have a company car.
Use positive language when setting your goals.
Deal with doubt and pessimism by going through the risk and issues identification steps described earlier.
Believe you can achieve your goals.
Tell yourself you can.
Back this up with a realistic step by step and actionable plan.
Highlight A Personal Benefit
What’s in it for you?
Will achieving your goal prove something to yourself, to others, or both?
If you set a goal in the context of deriving personal satisfaction, then you’ll be more motivated to work on it.
Make It Desirable
What role does desirability play when it comes to setting goals?
It’s just a company car you’re after, but why is it so desirable for you?
Is it because you’ll have an extension of your business that can actually go anywhere with your business banner?
Or because you can now deliver your services using an ‘official car?’
Perhaps, maybe because it’s something that your business doesn’t currently have, but you know that it’s necessary for your operations?
Whatever your reason for needing to get a company car is, always attach an element of desirability.
Remember: we’re drawn to whatever is desirable.
Make It Real
No goal is easy.
That’s because all goals are bound by steps – big and small – that are essential to reaching a goal.
So how do you make your goal of getting a company car real?
You can do that by not simply settling with the idea of a car.
Think about the model.
Think about its features.
What is the color of the car?
What are the seat colors?
What is the size of the engine?
How many people can the car seat?
Make it real..
Make It Meaningful For Everyone
It’s not just about you.
Being a business leader often always means that you also have to consider other people.
And that’s just the right thing to do because other people are responsible for helping you run your business.
They’re an integral part of your success.
If you don’t have people helping you out, then you might not generate enough money to buy that company car.
But how can the goal be meaningful for other people?
It’s just a car.
Well, you might end up having a company car but then, you may not be the person to actually drive it.
It will be that person who works on the field for your business.
Do you see now how your goal actually becomes meaningful for other people?
Now, let’s move on to the secrets of reaching a goal.
Achieving Your Goals
Relive Your Past; Idealize Your Future
There may be times when you get discouraged.
Certain events might have caused your business to take a blow.
But one thing’s for sure: you’ve been through this before.
It may not be in the business context but it may be a period in your life when it dealt you something.
This means that you’re simply reliving a related experience.
So ask yourself, ‘how did I cope with something like this before?’
If you prevailed over dire situations before, then there’s no reason that you’ll drown now.
In addition, while you’re looking for ways to keep your drive towards your goal, also take some time to wallow in your own imagination.
How different will your business be if you finally get that car?
How will that person who will end up driving it look like when he or she sees it?
Do you see his or her face beam with pride and happiness?
Or maybe will you see him or her look relieved, saying, ‘finally!’?
What about you?
Do you see yourself driving that same car, flaunting your business as you cruise around town?
How will that car make a difference in your business?
Why will it even make a difference?
Imagine what can happen in the future if you have that car.
Be Kind To Yourself
Being a business person means that you know that different management styles work for different kinds of people.
You also know that having a company code of conduct means that there are consequences to specific actions.
But then, you also know that sometimes, you need to cut people some slack.
That also applies to you when you set out to work on a goal.
When you work on a goal, you have many ways to achieve it.
It all depends on what you’re working for, when you want it fulfilled by, etc.
But there are times when you might be short of what you can call a milestone.
For example, if your target is to save $4000 towards your company car goal and only manage to raise $3000, then you shouldn’t sulk up, face the wall, or lock yourself in your office.
The idea that you can influence everything is a farce. There are some things that you cannot control no matter what you do.
So be kind to yourself. If you haven’t met your goal this month, work to achieve it next month.
Goal achievement is like a ripple.
Additionally, there are high points and low points. But remember that there is also that part where the low point gradually goes up until it reaches its highest point.
Once you publicize a goal, you’re automatically held accountable for it.
Why? It’s because you owe it to the people you announced it to achieve your goal.
In the same way, when you don’t achieve it, you also owe it to them to explain why.
The concept of accountability in business is important.
That’s because people will look forward to something once you dish it out.
People who look up to you will now start to build their own idealizations of what can happen if you achieve the goal.
They’ll think about how their work will become easier and more manageable; how they’ll be able to do more and how they’ll be able to help you achieve that goal as well.
In case you’re wondering, the answer is ‘no.’
People who look up to you won’t idealize a situation where you fail to achieve the goal you have set.
The expectancy level always leans on the positive because the goal is something that not only benefits you but also benefits them and the company all in all.
Too easy, right?
But no. To stay motivated means sustaining that driving force to keep you going.
Admittedly, that can be challenging to do sometimes.
The mere act of preserving the right environmental conditions for you to stay motivated is hard enough. So where does your motivation come from?
Throughout this article, you’ve read about words such as ‘benefit,’ ‘goal-directed behavior,’ ‘posting on a wall,’ ‘publicizing your goal,’ ‘idealizing your future,’ ‘recalling past successes,’ ‘being kind to yourself,’ ‘writing a SMART goal,’ etc.
All these and the series of actions that you take will serve to motivate you.
Develop The Mindset For Success
The development of a success mindset is one of the ways on how to achieve your goals.
It’s also essential towards keeping yourself motivated.
A success mindset is one characterized by thoughts of actually achieving your goals; not the opposite.
This is an all too familiar concept which is akin to Rhonda Byrne’s ‘The Secret.’
Then again, success lies more on doing but having the right mind in doing it reinforces the occurrence of positive behavior.
So to develop a success mindset, you would have to unconditionally and genuinely believe that you can succeed.
If you’re goal-directed, then you’ll only focus on the outcome you want.
Any roadblocks you’ll encounter are temporary.
You know that these will be followed by the achievement of your milestones.
Be With Like-minded People
You name it.
Hanging around with people who offer absolutely no help in achieving your goal is not recommended.
The good thing about this though is that you can actually actively seek for people who are as driven as you.
And social media like Facebook and LinkedIn are perfect places to find them.
If not, you can get in touch with local-based networks.
Your local business chamber is actually a great place to start building your connections.
When you come together as a group, there will be a different atmosphere.
Business people have goals and are always looking forward to achieving them.
They engage in goal-directed behavior that radiates.
This goal-directed behavior is something you can emulate. It’s something that you can adapt.
And by being with like-minded people, you have help in keeping your spirits up. That’s because you have an assurance that you’re not alone.
Somewhere out there, someone is also working hard to make a dream come true.
Among all the goal setting tips you’ve read, this is the most critical.
What use is it to learn how to set SMART goals and achieve them, to have a success mindset, and to have a sense of accountability without the practical component which is ‘taking action?’
What binds all concepts together is that they are actionable.
So right now, you’re armed with every possible ammunition to go set and achieve SMART goals.
All you need to do is to deploy them.