I love setting goals.
I’ve got them for the year and we’ve got them as a team. I even do a simple exercise on Sunday nights to set them for the week.
But most goals, even smart goals, are usually missing one very important thing. When it comes to setting goals, here are some practical tips.
#1 – Good goals are specific.
“Eat better” isn’t a good goal because it’s not specific enough. Consume less than 2,000 calories a day is much more specific. “Save money,” isn’t really going to help you much. You’ll probably just feel guilty or ignore it. “Add $25,000 to my online savings account by the end of the year” is much better.
#2 – Good goals should be measurable.
If you set a specific goal, you’re already a step ahead here. Your goals need numbers in them. It could be a date or it could be some other number. But you should be able to instantly look at the goal and look at where you are and see the gap.
#3 – Good goals are impactful.
Too many times, I set goals that don’t really matter. They aren’t tied to a greater purpose or a deeper mission. They are just good ideas or helpful things. But for goals to really matter, they need to be impactful. The question here is “What’s at stake?” If it doesn’t really matter if you don’t reach the goal, it’s not a good one.
#4 – Good goals are regularly reviewed.
This is the often missing ingredient. Most of the time, people set goals and forget about them. But your goals aren’t like a “set it and forget it” infomercial. In order for you to reach them, you have to create a simple system to regularly review them. Whether it’s the Sunday night exercise, a monthly meeting, job evaluations or all of the above, set a time to regularly review and measure progress toward your goals.
That’s the missing ingredient.