Productivity coaches and the seminars and so on always tell us we should set goals; they always have all kinds of high-minded reasons why it will boost productivity, etc. Wouldn’t it be easier and more productive to just get going?
Well, that’s sort of like deciding you want to go on vacation and then getting in your car and driving. The odds are when you stop driving you won’t have a clue where you are. You also won’t know what to pack to enjoy the vacation.
To be most effective, we should set both goals and objectives. Goals are a method of deciding where you want to put your energies and resources. Setting goals focuses yourself. Think of a goal as a destination. Once you’ve determined the destination you’ll need a road map and directions. We set objectives as the road map. Goals are more general and set the general direction. Objectives are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timed (SMART). When you’ve achieved an objective you’ve reached a milestone on the way to your destination.
An easy way to set goals is to think about where you want to be, or where you want your company to be in one year. Write a paragraph of that description. If you prefer you can also use bullet points.
Here’s a business example:
Goal: by Dec. 31, 2008, our company will have increased our revenue by $1M for the year.
* Mail 2,000 direct mail pieces each quarter
* Do follow up phone calls to that list
* Set at least 200 appointments, which will lead to at least 50 proposals, which will lead to 10 new contracts of $100,000 each
Here’s an example that’s not business related. Goal: by the end of 2008 I will be thinner and healthier. Objectives:
* lower your cholesterol by 10 points
* stop smoking, and lose 25 pounds.
* lose 5 pounds per month by cutting out all sweets from your diet
* walk for 30 minutes each day
You can see that the goals are more general and that each objective is SMART. This is how we can be sure that we have actually achieved the objective. Without using the SMART system, we have no way of knowing if we are achieving the objectives or not. This is where many individuals and businesses fail, and give up on goal setting. The conclusion becomes, “Goal setting didn’t work…”
However, all performance experts agree – setting clear goals and breaking them down into SMART objective does work. If you further break down each objective and schedule those steps into your daily life, then you will see unmatched results.
If you have in your objectives to make 10 phone calls a day to prospects, then put an hour in your calendar to do it. Make appointments with yourself! If you have 30 minutes of exercise 3 times per week in your plan, put the dates and times into your calendar.
Goals can help you get where you want to be in your life and in your business. Try it, you’ll LOVE IT!