Goal setting is as important in business as it is in life, and it is the most common subject written about in books on business success. Most business books touch upon setting both long-term goals and short-term goals for business, as well as specific personal and life goals.
Goal setting is a powerful process – one that turns vision into achievable, actionable things. The numerous benefits of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results oriented, Time-framed goals (S.M.A.R.T goals) have been written about for years. It’s is often recognized as the common denominator of successful businesses and successful individuals.
Even though we recognize the obvious value of goal setting, experience shows that some people are good at setting goals and sticking with them to achieve great results, while others struggle to set goals and can’t seem to keep on track for more than a few days.
Failure to set goals can come from a fear of failure. If the goals are not set, than there is no let down when goals are not reached. Achievement boosts confidence in the ability to make and keep commitments. When a person does not achieve a goal, there is a loss of that confidence. When someone makes and keeps commitments, such as setting and achieving goals, it reflects a certain amount self-trust and integrity.
There are many reasons why a person fails to achieve set goals. Sometimes, the goals are unrealistic. Sometimes, the goals are not clearly understood and are based on an illusion with little regard to natural growth and the work required to achieve them. You must crawl before you start to walk.
What are the best ways to set and achieve goals? As Stephen R. Covey writes in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: “To begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of one’s destination. It means to know where one is going so that the person can better understand where he is now and so that the steps he takes are always in the right direction.”
Focusing on smaller, short-term goals and achieving success in those areas will give an individual the confidence to set other goals. And it is important to set new goals based on the S.M.A.R.T. principle to have the best chance of achieving success.
YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: Write down your goals for the next 30-60-90 days, make sure that they are SMART, and then post them in a place where you will see them each and every day.