by Phil Latz
Welcome to the second blog in my personal growth series that I hope will help you to become more successful in your business. As a business owner myself for many years, I understand the challenges that you face.
Today I’ll be sharing with you about goal setting.
If you’ve done any business or personal development training in the past, I’m sure it hasn’t been too long before the discussion has turned to goal setting.
That’s because it’s a universal truth.
Life is short and it’s precious.
I’ve seen so many people passively drift along through life.
Like they’re riding on a log that’s floating down a stream, being buffeted by the rocks, dunked by the rapids, getting stagnant in a backwater.
But if you set goals then your log turns into a kayak.
You’re still in the same stream but you’re no longer at its mercy. You can set your own course.
You have something to paddle for and to steer towards.
So how do you set goals? Here are four steps.
First, you need to deliberately set aside some uninterrupted time and space to think clearly. This might be early one morning, on a weekend or even during your annual holidays. And make sure you turn off every electronic device!
Second, you have to write down the thoughts that come to you during this goal-setting time that you’ve set aside.
A goal, not written down, is just a dream.
Don’t worry what you write to start with, just get your thoughts recorded.
Thirdly you need to refine your thoughts into clear goals.
Goals need to be SMART. That stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed.
I’ll explain each of these five attributes in a little more detail.
Specific – can your goals be easily understood by others?
Measurable – what gets measured gets improved. Your goals need to be simple to measure. These measurements are sometimes called KPI’s – Key Performance Indicators.
Achievable – you can have realistic goals and stretch goals, but don’t set goals so high that that will demoralise you.
You can still have BHAG’s as author Jim Collins calls them, Big Hairy Audacious Goals, but you need to break big goals down into steps.
For example, if you want to become a world champion in any sport, your first goal might be to become a club champion, then state champion, then national champion and finally a world champion.
Relevant – for the purpose of this series, I’m mainly talking about business goals, but life goals are just as important, if not more so.
Time – be specific, when will you want to achieve your goal? Nothing focuses your attention and builds momentum more than a deadline. A classic example was Apollo moon landing in 1969. Almost a decade earlier President Kennedy said that they were going to put a man on the moon and bring him safely home again before the end of the decade. The efforts of many thousands of workers were then geared towards that deadline.
But coming back down to earth, literally, here’s a smaller scale example.
Not just ‘I want to create a great YouTube Channel’
But, ‘I want to create a YouTube Channel that is helping over 10,000 business people each month by January 2022.’
You can break this down into stepping stones, milestones, progress goals, whatever you’d like to call them.
Fourth and finally, you need to make yourself and the goals that you’ve set accountable to a very small, and carefully selected group of people. These need to be positive people who will build you up and encourage you to achieve your goals, not tear you down.
It might be that you hire a business coach like me to help you. Or you might become part of a small business group.
Whatever structure you choose, you need a safe, confidential environment in which you can drop all of the defensive walls, bravado and ego that often come with business ownership. You need to face the unvarnished facts, share your goals and make yourself accountable.
I’ve been doing this myself for years as part of a very small group of like-minded business owners. It’s an invaluable experience.
I hope that you can now understand why it’s important for you to set goals. More than just understanding, I urge you to think about and write down your goals. Why not start right now!
In the next blog, I’m going to discuss continuous learning, how to learn, what you need to learn and why.
I believe that with passion, consistent effort and wise advice you can succeed in your business.
I wish you all the best and I’ll see you next time.