How To Set Powerful Goals
Not having any goals is like playing basket ball with no hoops. Simply running around the court with no aim or goal to shoot for. If you’ve got nothing to aim for or your not clear on what direction you want to go then you just end up pointlessly running around in circles being busy but not actually achieving anything. If you can imagine, the basketball team would become pretty bored and deflated very quickly, which would lead to poor morale and negative attitudes. When you have clearly defined goals, as in the second picture, it’s very easy to know when you’ve hit the goal which means you can celebrate with the team, boosting team morale and inspiring them to keep going.
A goal is the object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result. There are many different ways for setting goals but one of the more common and effective ways of setting goals is to set follow the S.M.A.R.T formula.
It can be easy to misunderstand what goals are. Sometime common mistakes when setting goals is to set a goal to “Sell More…whatever” or to “Have happier customers”. Another common mistake is to set a goal that is out of their control like “To serve a certain number of customers per day” or they go for something way out of reach that has never been achieved before, or finally they have a goal but don’t set a date that they want to have it achieved by. These are all very common mistakes when setting goals, the problem is, when there is no clarity it’s very difficult to know when you have achieved what you set out to achieve. The problem with not knowing when you’ve achieved is that it becomes quite deflating for the team. The best part about having a goal is knowing when you’ve achieved it and then celebrating in style with the team.
So to avoid any of the above mentioned mistakes, follow the S.M.A.R.T model.
S is for specific. When setting a goal it’s important to ensure that you are setting a very specific goal. Rather than being vague get very specific about what it is you want to achieve.
M is for Measurable. Avoid being ambiguous and get very clear on the number you’d like to achieve. Every goal must have a number to achieve.
A is for achievable – to know what number you want to achieve you must know where you’re at now and ensure that it’s an achievable goal. This will highlight the clear gap that you need to close.
R is for realistic – looking at where you’re at now and what you want to achieve, is it realistic? Is it a goal that is going to motivate and inspire your team or will they be deflated because the goal is too steep so they feel like ‘what’s the point in even trying’.
Finally, T is for Time-lined. Set a date of when you want to achieve this by – so you know how long you have to achieve it. The best part about setting a date, is that it gives you the opportunity to work backwards. For example, If you are going to achieve X by this date – then what do you need to achieve by a date closer to now. Giving you ‘stepping stones’ to aim for. When you break down goals in this way, it makes it a lot easier to get your head around and doesn’t seem like too big a jump to begin with.
If your setting yearly goals to achieve for the financial year, it can seem like a life time from July to June the following year and it’s difficult for people to get their head around seeing into the future that far. Whatever goal you set, with a yearly timeframe, there will absolutely be no urgency to take any action right now, as you’ve got a whole year to achieve it. So it’s important to break down your yearly goals into 90 Day goals and then monthly goals, and then weekly goals. You could even go as far as breaking that down into daily goals. It just depends on the type of goal that you are going for and if it makes sense to break down into a daily goal or keeping at a monthly goal is enough.
For example – if you want to achieve a conversion rate of 60% by the end of the financial year, and you currently have a conversion rate of 20% then an even and progressive 90 day goal would be to increase by 10% every 90 days. So 30% by the end of Quarter 1, 40% by end Quarter 2 and so on. Then for each quarter you would have a monthly goal of increasing 3.33% conversion rate. For this type of goal, thats probably as far as you would take it as a conversion rate is also subject to time. Can you see how it seems much easier to wrap your head around and more achievable to increase your conversion rate by 3.33% per month than to focus on improving your conversion rate by 40%
The more clarity you and your team have around your goals the more likely you are to achieve them, because, you have to have a hoop and then know where it is in order to shoot the basketball and get the goal!