Before You Start
Keep in mind the following:
- Be ambitious: The purpose of goal-setting is to motivate us to dig deeper, achieve more, and propel our business or life forward. So when it’s time to transform the goals you’ve kept in your mind to concrete goals on paper, remember to be ambitious. While you don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your team with unattainable goals, setting one Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) can be a gamechanger for your organization, especially if you are specific and realistic about the timeframe and resources required.
- Be imaginative: Of course, you want your goals to be relevant to your business. But it’s important to keep an open mind about the possibilities for change and transformation in the future. Take some time during this process to flip things on their heads, to think in creative ways, and to bounce ideas off of people whose opinions and insights matter most to you.
- Be flexible: One of the criticisms of goal-setting is that it can be a limiting practice, forcing organizations and individuals to zero-in on certain opportunities to the point that they miss out on new ones. This is why flexibility is critical when you begin to write your SMART goals. Recognize that the landscape is always changing, customers’ needs may change, your own personal values and priorities may change, and that’s all okay. Write goals that are specific, but not so specific that they’re restrictive, and plan to revisit your goals and write new ones regularly.
- Be open: Introspection is an important part of goal-setting, but it doesn’t end there. A critical part of writing goals and achieving those goals is the collaboration and accountability you share with others. If you’re setting goals for your organization, share them widely among your leaders and team members. If you’re setting goals for your personal life, share them with the people who love and support you. Your chances of success increase exponentially when you are open and honest about what you hope to achieve.