Last Monday’s post outlined an easy format to write your goals. Goal clarity is such an important part of sales success and productivity that it deserves the focus again this Monday!
After your goals are written movement toward achieving them is a goal in itself. And following a good process – the 4 R process for goal clarity – will ensure your goal success.
Many people think that identifying the goals is the hard part. This is because they think that once they set a goal, it is set in stone and needs to be done as originally outlined. Not true! Every day brings new considerations that may affect the goal itself or the path to reaching it. That is why an effective goal process includes actions that let you adjust your priorities, plan to achieve goals, and time-frames.
One of my favorite examples is with my own goals. I was working through a review of my goals with a colleague years ago. I was frustrated because I had not made ANY progress on one of my goals for 3 years.
He asked me “If you haven’t done anything about this goal in 3 years, how important is it to you? Does it belong as one of the 8 goals you are focusing on?”
My response was, “Well, I guess it mustn’t have been important or I would have done something by now, right?”
He responded, “Then why it is one of your goals?”
I said, “Because someone told me I needed to learn to golf if I was going to succeed in business. So I made it a goal.” (Yes, becoming a proficient golfer was a goal of mine for a while.)
He laughed and said, “You seem to be doing fine in business, and its okay to replace that goal with something more meaningful.”
Wow! I had permission to REMOVE and REPLACE a goal! Instead of feeling like a failure each time I realized hadn’t made any progress, I got to decide that it was a goal that wasn’t that important to me. The relief I felt was HUGE. And it was great to cross “Take golf lessons and join a golf league” off my goal list!
Now of course, we can’t always just cross off business goals, but why can’t we revise or replace goals when it makes sense? We CAN and the following complete goal setting process incudes opportunity to make those edits.
To help you set reasonable and realistic goals that you will achieve, the goal setting process in its’ entirety follows.
- Set your goals. Follow the goal setting activity here.
- Keep your goals visible not tucked away in a notebook or a drawer.
- Determine how often you will review your progress, and then:
- Review – read your goals and the plan to achieve them. Are you on track? Then move to Renew. Not on track? Revise or Recycle
- Renew– Recommit yourself to the goal and the time-frame. Consciously think through the next steps and how you will feel when the goal is accomplished.
- Revise– If the situation has change – revise your gaol as needed. maybe the timing is off, or the outcome needs to be edited or the people involved have changed. It’s okay make those revisions and then you have a realistic goal based on today’s criteria.
- Recycle– Yes, recycle. Just because a goal made sense earlier, doesn’t mean it still does. It’s okay to remove a goal from your priorities and replace it with one that is more meaningful.
4. Share your goals and progress or frustration with a stakeholder. Maybe they will help you get clarity on some of your goals like my colleague did for me.
This process works. It’s 7 years later, I’m still not a good golfer and my business has quadrupled in that time. Thank goodness I had someone who was wiling to ask me questions to help me clarify the why and what of my goals.
I’d like to hear how you achieve your goals. Send me a note and I’ll be happy to celebrate your goal successes with you too.