It was once said, “if you don’t know where you are going, how will you ever get there?” Setting effective goals is a requirement to be successful in business. In my own business, I set weekly, monthly, 3 month, and 6 month goals. Without these goals being set, I wouldn’t know exactly which tasks should be worked on when to make my business succeed.
Unfortunately, most people do not have experience setting goals. This can lead to vague, easily achievable, or abstract goals. Each employee should set their goals and performance plans each year. These goals should be reviewed by their supervisor and used to measure their performance for the year.
If you are a business owner, I recommend finding an “accountability partner” to help you with your goals. I have a friend who serves as a mentor and business accountability partner – he reviews my goals and tasks every two weeks to ensure I am on the right track and doing what I should be,
Specific – Goals should be specific. Example: instead of “I will make more sales this year”, the goal could be “I will sell more widgets and more whatchamacallits this year than the previous year.”
Measurable – Goals need to be able to be measured. Example: instead of “I will answer a lot of phone calls”, the goal should be “I will answer 10% more phone calls.”
Attainable – Goals need to be set within the reach of an employee. Setting a goal too high will guarantee failure, though setting one too low will not allow them to reach their full potential. Goals should be set based on past data and above what has happened in the past if the circumstances allow for it.
Related to their Job – Goals need to be set for that employees job. For example, setting a sales goal for someone in finance is not a good idea.
Time-Specific – Goals should be set for a measurable period of time. For example, “I will design a more usable time tracking application” could be “I will design a more usable time tracking application by November 30, 2010.”
Zig Ziglar commented that “Where you start is not as important as where you end.” By setting goals using these characteristics, you will be closer to succeeding in your business, career, or life.