It doesn’t matter if you view it from the perspective of business or personal life; setting goals is crucial. Your ultimate measure of success will be your goal setting. It will allow you to determine if your actions contribute to your long-term vision.
The goal-setting process is important, but it can also cause confusion or be done incorrectly. We have seen that even high-functioning people can confuse the goal-setting process when working with companies to create and implement strategic plans.
Steps 1 and 2 are not part of the goal-setting process, but they should be considered before you begin creating your goals. Here’s a 9-step checklist to help you set SMART goals.
A clear vision of the future
While it is not part of the goal-setting process, it is an important step you should consider. While goal setting is often neglected, creating a vision for your future is crucial to achieving your goals. Your goals will be your indicator to determine whether you are moving closer to your goal or not.
The vision of the future should always be visible to all. The vision should be displayed in your office or at home to remind you daily of the direction you are trying to go.
These videos will help you learn more about developing a vision.
- Start the Vision Planning Process
- How to Create a Vision For Your Organization
After you have your vision for the future, it is time to prioritize. While prioritization is not an integral part of goal setting, it is a crucial step that must be done first. This step will allow you to choose three or four areas you wish to concentrate on. These focus areas can be vague, but we’ll soon get to the details. These examples apply to both personal and business life.
1. Revenue 1. Exercise
2. Culture 2. Diet
3. Delivery of Service 3. Family
Once you have identified your priorities, you can start setting your goals. You should make sure you have space for at least 4 to 5 goals for each priority. You risk becoming too focused on too many goals.
Download our goal setting guide & worksheet:
Download our Goal Setting Guide and Worksheet
These 5 steps will assist you in achieving your goals.
Your people and you won’t be able to make a concerted effort to achieve your goals if they are vague and unclear. They will also be susceptible to interpretation. Asking questions such as “Who is involved?” will help you make your goals more specific. What resources are available? What is the timeline? “, “What is the timeline? “, “Why is it a goal?” “Why is this a goal?” and so forth.
Make them quantifiable.
This step is where you need to establish KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), which are measurable values that help you track your progress towards your goals. You are making it easy for yourself and your team to see what success (and failure) looks like by quantifying your goals. By the end of the defined term, it should be clear if the goal was met. Attach numbers, dates and percentages to your goals. They will become quantifiable if you attach numbers, dates, percentages, dollars, etc.
For creating measurable goals, you should consider both leading and lagging indicators. Leading indicators are predictive measures that tell you how you will achieve a goal. Lagging indicators measure the final output. A leading indicator might be the number of staff who wear a mask. A lagging indicator could indicate the number of COVID-19 cases. Keep your indicators in mind when creating your goals. You want to have a mixture of leading and lagging.
Make them possible.
Achievable goals are often used interchangeably with “attainable” because they give your people a realistic chance to achieve them. At the same time, achievable goals should motivate you and your team to achieve your goals. However, they shouldn’t be so far away that people don’t want to attempt them. There should be clear steps to reach that goal.