Goal-setting must be an intentional activity. Be formal about it if you are serious about being successful. When you set goals, you are best to:
- Be realistic -- Setting outrageous goals merely assures that they won't be reached, and you may do more harm than good in trying (both in general terms of establishing a track record of failure and, more specifically, of taking on more than is healthy or prudent).
- Make them measurable and
- Have a deadline -- It is often helpful to break a given goal down into increments, with measurable mid-points by different deadlines. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!
- Write them down -- Writing your goals and deadlines makes your commitment real, both to yourself and others. Revisit the list often; use it for motivation if you are having trouble staying on track.
- Include rewards -- Over and above the achievement of the goal itself, other rewards keep you and others enthusiastic during the working and waiting part of the process. It also inextricably ties together, when one looks backward, the effort with the good feelings of the reward. That's healthy, particularly when you start setting the next goals!
Remember that having a group (your family, team, department or company) involved can help you realize the goals that you establish. In an environment with high levels of trust and cooperation, give others permission to respectfully hold you accountable for what you've said that you intend to do.
And, remember that falling short still usually means that you are farther ahead than you were when you began. If your goals need to be revised or re-enlisted, that may be part of "being realistic." And, just like climbing a hill, getting to the top often means you get to enjoy a whole vista of new goals from which you can choose.
Of course, when your goals are about growing your business, Write and Polish is often able to help. We'd be happy to discuss with you your goals, and your strategy for their achievement.
So, lace up those climbing shoes and start writing down what you want to achieve!