Defining Goals in Business
What are your goals?
How do you define your goals?
How do you measure your goals?
Ever heard of the SMART system? This system helps guide an entrepreneur when creating goals and objectives for his business. This is one of the most helpful tools in creating such. But before taking this topic deeper, defining what goal really is and how to create one should be the first on the list.
There are a lot of different ideas that can be associated with the word “goal”. These differences depend on what kind of goal is needed to be achieved. For an entrepreneur, this could mean “target”. This can either be a short term goal that usually takes around an hour to a full year to be achieved or a long term goal that could take many years in the future before they can be fully achieved. It can also be a combination of both goals.
Probably thinking of creating short term goals right now?
No matter what kind of goals you are working with, it is most important to set goals that can easily be tracked by all members of the team in order for them to align their thoughts about what success really means.
Success is being able to achieve the purposes and goals of the business. But how? This is where SMART goal setting comes into play. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. This SMART goal setting does not only help entrepreneurs create goals, but also helps in ensuring that the goals created can be achieved in the set period of time through setting clear timelines and tracking progress to identify important milestones related to the business.
Now curious how this SMART goal setting is done? Let’s check the guide below.
Starting and creating goals should be specific, well-defined and clear. Stop creating vague goals. Instead, create exactly what needs to be achieved in a set period of time. Goals that are specific and significant would greatly help in achieving the set goals. Having these types of goals would make one feel more motivated than usual.
Create goals that could measure progress towards the accomplishment of bigger goals. Note that if goals cannot be measured, it cannot be improved nor achieved. Humans can only do so much when it comes to tracking goals. When tracking them, comparison of accomplishments against the previous month or year could be done easily. And just like being specific and significant, goals should be measurable and meaningful. Having a meaningful goal could be of great help in achieving goals.
Goals should always be achievable. Having unachievable goals could make one feel less motivated and give up on achieving it easily. Goals can always be stretched but remember to not bite off more than what can be chewed. Take into consideration all the resources and things available as well as the time into account. Achievable goals should be agreed-upon by the entire team, in order for them to take these goals into account and achieve them together.
If all possible goals have been created so far, check on them once in a while to see if these goals are still relevant to the business. While checking on these goals, there will be some that will clash against each other while some of them are already done. There will be some irrelevant goals at the time but no worries, do not disregard them. They can be very helpful sooner or later with the right resources.
Creating goals does not end up by writing them down, as discussed earlier. There should be a specific timeline as to when the best time for these goals should be achieved. This timeline should include the start date as well as the target date of accomplishment. In other words, goals need a deadline. This will help create that sense of urgency in achieving the desired outcomes.
In doing this list of target dates per goal, make sure that spaces are included between these deadlines, so there won’t be a need to feel short-handed and time-restricted when all these goals need to be done on the same day. This will help in the achievement of goals regularly and would make one feel more motivated than usual.
Having talked about SMART goal setting above does not mean that there is nothing more to learn in achieving these goals. Certainly, dreaming big is a positive way forward but the process of realizing those dreams can be incredibly overwhelming.
Intriguing right? Let’s learn more.
SETTING UP GOALS
Setting up goals is one of the hardest parts in doing business. Goals can seem obvious at first, but until it is written down, it is difficult to understand the scope of what really needs to be achieved. There are few times when entrepreneurs tend to give up before everything is set up in their business. But it is always important to consider that setting up these goals could help one get where he wants to be.
Napoleon Hill, founder of The Napoleon Hill Foundation that presents and examines the principles of success, once said that “Some people dream of success while others wake up and work hard for it”. True enough, there are a lot of people who keep dreaming of becoming successful but do not have the courage and the discipline to work hard for what they want.
Being motivated in doing something could be a lot harder than what we think. Yes, not everyone can be motivated. But motivation does not only come from one’s self, it can be from things that give happiness or people that could be a source of energy in doing things. There are different reasons to stay motivated. If the thought of being able to achieve goals brings happiness and contentment, then there is no need for more talks. Keep going!
Stay on track
Running a 5k race would be hard without taking the smallest steps first. No matter how fast the runner is, he still needs to do jogging and exercise every day in order to finish the 5k race without any problems after.
This is the same in doing business, goals cannot be achieved without having to divide it into smaller ones – all achievable. Staying on track requires planning and creating strategies to ensure closer look into the finish line.
Writing down goals every day, reflecting on them, being realistic, being creative and trying new things could be some of the ways that could help one to stay on track.
Being positive all the time is not something bad after all. Staying positive is being able to think of the world optimistically. Constantly thinking of positive things could bring positive energy in both life and business. Even scientific studies claim that positive thinkers suffer less with depression and other negative thoughts.
Thinking of being able to achieve all of these goals would greatly result in achieving all of them in no time. But we cannot be winners all the time. Appreciating all the small wins can help in overcoming even the biggest setbacks in life.
When life is giving too much to handle, try looking at it in a smaller perspective to realize that no matter how big problems are, it can always be addressed little by little.
COMMON PROBLEMS WITH GOALS
Well, setting up goals is easier said than done. Just like any other ideas, thinking about them is easy but creating them and doing them poses a lot of problems. Some of which are discuss in this section:
Without focus, it is really hard and impossible to achieve these goals. And having too many goals could result in getting overwhelmed and confused where to actually start with all these created goals. Having too many things to focus on would make the brain look for ways to avoid and resist all of these and eventually shut down.
As common as it is, humans tend to focus less on the things that were actually done and were able to achieve. Getting all guilty thinking of the things that could have been done but were left instead.
This is the usual problem when trying to go back to the to-do list created earlier. Focusing more into those left pending instead of appreciating things that were done for the day creates an illusion of actually failing to do what was necessary when in fact more than what was expected was done for that day.
One-time goal review
Sometimes, forgetting what is really necessary in order to achieve these goals is one of our common natures. Having created a list of goals to be achieved seems enough but this mindset is what creates failures.
Creating a to-do list does not mean stopping there. It should become a habit to regularly check on the list in order to check on the progress. Yes, tracking one small goal is easy but it is not the same with tracking the entire goal list created for the business.
No sense of meaning
Oftentimes, creating goals are done just for the sake of creating goals. The things written down on the list are not the exact goals that need to be achieved but just a list of ideas dumped that were thought could bring happiness in doing business.
Having a long list of goals is not all there is. Creating this list with the thought of being attractive, successful and happy is what needs to be taken into consideration. Because achieving these types of goals would bring all the positive emotions there is and would become an inspiration to continuously do better.
In a nutshell, achieving these goals requires focus, motivation and staying on track. But no matter how good the goals are set up, there is always a need to check on other factors such as their common problems and how to do the SMART setting. Creating the best goal for the business starts from how the owner perceives his business to be in the near future. Note that all business starts at being small and goal setting would help the business grow and become even more successful.
Now, are you ready to achieve your goals?