“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”— Mario Andretti
Mario has a point: success isn’t born overnight. It’s elusive and downright slow at times, as business owners, professionals and students all know. This blog is for everyone who has set goals but failed to achieve them; for those who brainstorm in the shower and keep a dream journal. This blog is our “how to” for your “what ifs.”
Establish your baseline
You need to know where you’ve been before you decide where you’re going. Conducting a baseline assessment essentially gauges your current situation and gives you a benchmark for future improvements. Baselines differ for each industry. They can be the hard numbers, like sales, but they can also be elements like customer approval ratings.
Set achievable goals
We talk a lot about goals these days… #lifegoals #relationshipgoals, etc. But let’s talk about achievable goals. These aren’t made up of tasks or low-hanging fruit. Rather, achievable goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound— say that five times fast. These components allow you to create realistic goals that challenge you to achieve a personal best.
Measure against yourself
Many of us feel like success is about beating our competition. While we all love a little salt-in-the-wound, rub-it-in victory, it’s not all about the “other guy.” The best way to measure goals is against yourself. Using your baseline data, you’re able to measure how you improved month to month and year over year. Incremental change is the only way to produce sustained growth.
Differentiate long term and short term goals
Sometimes, goals can seem unattainable. But differentiating long term goals and short term goals can help. Short term goals are more like targets to hit along the road to a long-term goal.
You can structure your short term goals that by achieving each of them means that by the end of the year, your long term goal will be achieved. Shorter timelines for goals– say, monthly– allow you to find success each step on the way, which is both motivating and essential for tracking.
Business owners may have a crystal-clear idea of what they want to achieve. But without having employees on board, they’re unable to execute. It’s important for business owners to share their vision with their employees to ensure they feel motivated and connected to the cause. In some cases, holding a brainstorm to create goals with– not for– your employees can be successful. All for one and one for all, as they say.
After you’ve created your short term and long term goals, it’s time to decide when to measure your success and who will do this. Putting a point person in place for key benchmarks, and giving them real deadlines, keeps everyone accountable. To keep moving toward success, you must check in on your goals.
Even the best-laid plans can crumble. Even if a team member lets you down or you don’t achieve a target that you created, you can still succeed. Keep in mind that deadlines can be moved and that there is usually time to get plans back on track.
Looking at the numbers, over 80 percent of 300 small businesses surveyed reported that they “don’t keep track” of their business goals. With these pointers, you can be part of the 20 percent that creates attainable goals that will challenge and further your business. And who knows, you might achieve those #lifegoals of yours.
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