Break it down
No, I am not writing about a bad boy band song from the 1990s, but how we go about setting our business, personal development or financial goals (insert eye roll here). Yes, another article on goal setting. There are so many articles and experts on the subject, however, the one thing I have learnt is that most people are notoriously bad at setting personal or team goals. It’s not saying they aren’t setting goals; they are but at times they read more like a badly written episode of a daily medical soap opera than a clear precise objective.
Step By Step
Yes, that is a throwback to New Kids on the Block, but it is also how we should look at how we set our goals. The first step is identifying what it is we really want to achieve. I have worked as a coach with many businesses and individuals and the first thing they say is ‘our goal is to free up more time and earn more money’. That’s awesome but we should be looking at the way, the how and the how much. We need to be specific as to what we want to achieve, ask ourselves if it is realistic and whether we can implement the actions required to achieve this goal. One client, I worked with recently actually said the same-old, same-old time and money, but when we went deeper and looked at the ‘why’, it wasn’t about that at all, it was about spending more time with his family. So be clear on what you truly want to achieve.
At times when we set goals, we make the fatal mistake of overestimating what we can do in the short term and underestimating what we can do in the long term. I see it time and time again: we get focused on goal setting and bang, we’re off… we set 20 new goals, all to be achieved in the next quarter, which will, of course, make our life and business better. Wrong! It will cause you stress and added pressure as the majority of the time you won’t be able to achieve all of these goals and when we start to fail, it’s human nature to at times give up, procrastinate or work ourselves into the ground. Think about what is the most important goal you have right now – what is one key project you can work on over the next quarter and some quick wins you can implement to help get you started? Continue this process and you will be surprised at what you can achieve over a 12-month period.
Never be afraid to ask for help or include your team in your goal setting. I am a great believer in accountability. “If someone is waiting for you at the gym, you’re more likely to go,” they say, and the same can be said about goal setting. If you share your goals with someone and regularly update them on your progress you will be motivated to take action. Even the most organised and self-motivated person can at times let themselves off. The other reason to share and include others in your goal setting is buy-in. We aren’t in the military, so just telling someone to storm a mountain isn’t going to cut it, however, if you include them in the planning and accept their ideas they will be right beside you or even, at times, leading the way.
Don’t Stop Believing
Goal setting is a journey and if implemented correctly, it works. Set goals, share goals, review your goals and, most importantly, take action to achieve your goal.