How often have you set goals and seen them through until the end?
Most people struggle to set goals and even when they do, their biggest issue is staying focused. So why is it so difficult to set goals and achieve them?
In this blog post, I will provide some top tips for setting business goals. We won’t discuss the definition of business goals, but you can find out more about the support I provide by visiting my goal setting page using the link below.
Tips for setting business goals
Although business goals are a little bit different to setting personal goals, the two of them should be closely linked and actually have a lot in common. A personal goal might be focused on getting fit or achieving something on a personal level compared to hitting a sales target as a business goal, but the approach you take for both types of goals is critical to success.
I will explain how personal and business goals are more aligned later. Here are some tips for setting business goals:
Use a structured goal-setting process
Writing down goals into a document that is structured will increase the chances of being clear on what you want to achieve, and by when. On the other hand, scribbling down your plans on a piece of paper that can easily be lost is a great way to forget what you want to achieve and to lose focus!
For the best results, use a goal setting template that breaks down goals into activities and that you can refer back to regularly.
Find the WHY
You are more likely to be motivated - and stay motivated - on your goals if you have a strong reason and desire to achieve them. If you are a busy business owner, working long hours and aren’t sure if you are doing the right thing then find your “why”.
It may be that you want to retire at a set age with a high level of financial freedom or you have a bucket list including places you want to travel to around the world over the next 10 years. Having a strong personal reason to work on your business goals will motivate you to work on them.
Be specific with your business goals and objectives
:You have possibly heard of SMART goals and they possibly get overused, but that’s for good reason. Using the SMART abbreviation is a great technique if you aren’t sure how to set business goals that get results.
Business goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-related will get better results. Imagine setting a goal to grow your business without adding a specific figure or without saying when it will be done by. How do you know if or when you have achieved it?
Similarly, setting a goal that’s NOT achievable can be demotivating and will increase the chances of failing.
For more information on SMART goals, I recommend reading this article on SMART goals by Mindtools:
SMART Goals - Time Management Training From MindTools.com
Break down your goals into smaller actions
Smaller tasks are easier to do and are more motivating. Being able to quickly tick off your goals and feel like you are making progress is possibly one of the best top tips for setting goals you can have.
Setting goals can be overwhelming, but accomplishing one small task is a lot more motivating and, if you complete 10 simple tasks really easily, you will quickly find you have achieved your goal!
It doesn’t matter if you are setting personal or business goals, this top tip will help you.
Use a trigger habit to get you started
You have set your goals and defined your actions, but you just can’t motivate yourself to get started, right? As a famous quote goes, the best way to get started is, and this might seem strange, to get started. Once you are in full flow, working on your actions then you will be on a roll but the challenge for many people is getting out of the starting block.
According to James Clear in his book Atomic Habits, a trigger habit is something that gets you started. If you have a blog post, book or website page to write but don’t know where to start then just put pen to paper and write one sentence.
It doesn’t matter how good or how bad it is. You can always edit what you have written.
I have had this issue many times when writing my books on Amazon or when writing a blog post. I would spend (or should I say waste?) time trying to come up with the perfect opening paragraph when in reality it didn’t matter. Most people take value from the content that comes later on. Nobody reads a great blog post and thinks “that first sentence wasn’t worthy of being in a Jane Austen novel”!
If you have an action to make sales calls, post regularly on social media or do email prospecting, just send out one email, make one call or post one thing. Then do it again…
Shorten the goal-setting period
Setting goals over 12 months is too long. We set goals in January (or the last day of December) and by February we have lost motivation and possibly forgotten what we want to achieve. Does that sound familiar?
This scenario applies more to personal goals but the way our mind works and how we behave isn’t radically different when it comes to setting business targets.
if you want to know how to set business goals that you can stay focused on, then check out my online course on how to set goals that get results.
I use a proven formula that requires setting goals over a 10-week period. This helps massively to stay focused and knowing that you have less time to achieve results means there is more urgency.
Deadlines get things done - and the closer the deadline, the more laser-focused we are!
Get help with setting business goals
If you aren’t sure how to set business goals or you need help focusing on business goals then get someone to help you. This could be a colleague or friend who keeps you accountable or better still, it could be a business coach who has experience in setting goals.
If you would like help with setting goals then let’s talk! Use the button below to set up a call and we can discuss how to set business goals that you want to and can achieve!
Many thanks for reading this blog post on how to set business goals. I hope you have found them useful. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Long-term goal setting can be hard to achieve. Here’s a different approach to help you achieve success.
Despite continued research and evidence that setting goals work, I hear many excuses why people don’t set structured goals for themselves or their business - and one of the biggest excuses is “I’m just rubbish at setting goals”.
There are many reasons behind this justification (which I’m not going to go through here) but here’s the thing… if you are using this excuse, then your excuse might not quite be true.
When was the last time you set goals?
… and the answer to the above question is…?
Your most likely response might be “in January as a New Year Resolution” or “Quite a few years ago, but it failed, so I gave up setting goals”. In reality, you are setting goals every day. You just don’t realise it.
Throughout the day, you are setting goals, many of which you achieve regularly. Here are some simple goals and targets you might be setting:
Any, many or all of these sound familiar?
You might have read the above examples and thought to yourself that these aren’t really what you consider goals.
A personal goal might include career progression, or it might be based around when you retire while a business goal might be to reach a sales target over 12-months. That argument is understandable, but they are still daily goals and targets that many of us set every day AND achieve on a daily basis.
So, are you still rubbish at setting goals?
You might try (regularly or from time to time) to set long-term inspirational goals but find it difficult for various reasons. The main problem with long-term goal setting is the way we approach it. We treat it (and act) differently compared to the targets and tasks we automatically set on a daily basis.
Perception also plays a big role. We often perceive long-term goal setting in a way that makes it harder for us to achieve those goals. We see long-term goal setting as a lot of work and something that puts pressure on our daily lives when we already have enough to do.
In reality, effective goal-setting can be the opposite. It can help make our daily lives easier, more productive and more enjoyable.
Based on our ability to achieve smaller daily goals, here are some tips to help you achieve more success with long-term goals that involve changing your approach and perception.
Break down goals
Daily goals are easier because they are broken down. Getting to a set location by a set time is much easier than a goal that says “retire wealthy with x amount in the bank” or “write a book”. Knowing where to start with these bigger goals can be daunting and can create demotivation before you have even started.
Don’t set a goal to run a marathon or to run every day for 30 minutes when you haven’t run at all in the last 2 years. Set a target to do a single run, or to just put your trainers on.
That might sound crazy setting a target to just get your running shoes on, but once you tick the box on this simple task, it’s the starting point that gets you going. You might as well go for that run.
If you are presenting in a networking event (like in the earlier example), you might set various targets without realising it. One target is to create the slides for example, while another target is to turn up to the event on time and so on.
Breaking down goals into bite-size chunks increase the chances that they will be achieved.
Change your language and tell people your plans
Research shows that you are more likely to achieve something that you identify yourself with, or as.
If you tell yourself “I’m rubbish at setting goals”, then you are more likely to fail. If you tell yourself that you are a goal-setter and achiever then you are much more likely to achieve success.
As well as thinking about what you tell yourself, think about what you tell others. Telling people that you are going to achieve or do something means you are more likely to hit your targets.
In the previous examples, you are likely to turn up at the restaurant on time to meet your friends because they will, in one way or another, hold you accountable. They might not put pressure on you, but knowing that your friends are waiting for you will actually make you hold yourself accountable!
If you are presenting at an event then the attendees and the organiser are also holding you accountable.
If you decide to set a target but don’t tell anyone, then you are less likely to focus on it. For more information on using accountability for success, read my previous blog on accountability.
Set goals you want to do, and will enjoy
There is a lot to talk about in this area so if I could summarise, it would be this - if you set goals you want to achieve then you are more motivated, inspired and more likely to work on them.
I’m not saying that if you love chocolate then set a goal that involves eating lots of chocolate (unless you have a really good reason that I can’t think of). I’m saying that you shouldn’t set goals that you really don’t feel motivated to work on.
If you set sales targets for your business, then there are different ways to achieve this - some you might like doing while others that don’t appeal to you. Similarly, there are various ways to achieve a fitness goal. If running isn’t your thing then try regular countryside walks or fitness classes.
Only doing what you want to do isn’t an excuse for not pushing yourself to new limits. It’s important to push the boundaries of your comfort zone but if something really doesn’t appeal to you then chances are, you are unlikely to stay focused on it.
Need help setting long-term goals?
My online course Setting Goals that gets Results uses groundbreaking practices to help you achieve the success you deserve. The course is full of templates and advice for how to set goals and stay on track.
You can find out more by clicking the button below.
When it comes to staying focused on achieving results, having some form of accountability is a powerful way to keep you on track but, for many people, even the slight mention of accountability stirs negative feelings and a shiver down the spine.
In many corporate settings, accountability is seen as a case of joining meetings or having discussions around the topic of ‘why did we do this wrong and who is to blame’ or ‘whose fault is this?’.
This negative approach to accountability isn’t just confined to corporate work environments. High profile positions including CEOs, national football managers and high-stake industries are all positions where questions are asked if results aren’t achieved, and this form of accountability serves a great purpose.
It’s important to learn from mistakes, and that can only be done by understanding what went wrong and how a process or decision can be done differently to achieve better results. But it can also de-motivate and discourage individuals from taking brave actions or calculated risks that could yield great results.
It shouldn’t be about blame, and it should be positive
Unfortunately, the way many people and businesses approach being accountable has left the word ‘accountability’ with a negative perception that it doesn’t deserve. When supporting my clients I refer to ‘Positive Accountability’ which is about encouraging, supporting and motivating them to achieve their goals.
Positive accountability is less about blaming someone for what has happened (or not happened) and more about providing inspiration and celebrating success, no matter how small that success or achievement is.
It still holds individuals feeling responsible but in a positive ‘you’ve got this! way. Positive accountability, when focusing on achieving goals, involves having a single person or group of people that you share your progress with, and they support you as you progress towards your desired results. There are various ways you can do this which I will discuss later.
So, does accountability work?
Yes, it does. There is plenty of research and evidence that having someone hold you positively accountable when trying to achieve your goals increases the chances of success.
It’s worth pointing out that it’s important to have the right goals first. If your goals aren’t challenging enough or are too challenging, then success is a lot harder, no matter whether you use accountability or not.
According to a study by The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), the chances of achieving your goals increase by up to 95%. When I first saw that statistic, I had to re-read it. It’s not a 30, 40 or 50% greater chance… it’s 95%, and even if everyone reacts differently to accountability, the chances of it helping create success are massive.
How will you use positive accountability?
There are many ways you can use accountability to achieve success. Here are a few ideas to consider:
Buddy system: partner up with a like-minded individual and share your goals and progress. Make it a social event and meet up regularly (remotely if necessary) and inspire each other.
Weekly Accountability Sessions: Meet up weekly with a group of individuals on a group call and share your inspirations. These sessions are short and focused, with each session lasting up to 20 minutes. If you would like to know more about weekly accountability sessions, get in touch.
A Mastermind: These sessions tend to take place once a month and bring together like-minded people with similar challenges. They aren’t solely focused on accountability but can be inspiring and motivating as well as providing support for solving specific challenges your business might have.
Coaching or mentoring: Having a coach, whether it’s a business coach, life coach, lifestyle coach or career coach - you will get personal support and motivation with achieving your tailored goals. If you are looking for individual support for business growth then get in touch.
Accountability works! It’s proven to, but it must be focused on being positive. To achieve real success it must be coupled with properly thought out goals. Find out how to set the right goals with this free eBook - How to set goals that get results.
The author Darren Hignett has a wealth of experience and knowedge on effective sales and marketing with 7 different books on Amazon as well as experience running a digital marketing business.