Business, and life in general, is all about setting and achieving goals. When we have a goal to aim for, we become more focused and are able to recognise our success once we achieve it. Setting a goal that is ambitious but achievable helps to boost performance. If you achieve an ambitious goal, there will be a sense of real satisfaction in your job. The best way to ensure you meet your target is to put it in writing, that way you can be held accountable (by yourself or your colleagues) and then continue to track the progress you make. By doing this, you can develop your goal if needed and you’re able to see if you’re taking the right step to achieve your goal.
Successful goals start with how we set them. The better we set a goal, the more likely we are to achieve it. In the 1980s, a theory called SMART goals became very popular, and a lot of research since has shown that setting SMART goals is an effective method to achieve success.
SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely – the steps you should take to create a really good goal.
Specific: By creating a really specific goal, it will be much easier to have focus and clarity on what your goal is. If you create a goal that is too vague, it will be more difficult to achieve it. When a specific goal, you should add in the five ‘Ws’: Who, What, Why, When and Where’, this will ensure you’re not being too general.
Measurable: When setting a goal you should include a defined measurable, this way you will know when you have reached your goal. For example, increase sale by 20 per month or produce 25% more.
Achievable: While you should challenge yourself and set an ambitious goal, it’s not going to be helpful if you set a goal that you can never achieve. Always make sure that your is attainable or achievable.
Relevant: Set a goal that will add value to the business by achieving it. You should also make sure that it’s important to the person set with obtaining the goal.
Timely: Set a time limit on your goal. By having a deadline to work to, it will help motivate the efforts and it will be easier to prioritise your time.
So, the next time you help to create goals for your business, be confident and set SMART goals.