Many business owners and senior managers will have taken time to review last year’s business performance and established new or revised goals for this calendar year. Obviously goal setting is not just for business but also for setting personal targets.
We briefly look at 5 common goal-setting mistakes that lead to goal frustrations:
Setting Unrealistic Goals
Be imaginative and ambitious but also be realistic. Adopt the SMART technique to goal setting. Set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound
Not Having A Plan
Stephen Covey stated, “Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them”
Discouragement often manifests when goals take longer than originally anticipated. Goals need to be prioritised with realistic times allocated to achieve them and a plan of action for each of the goals.
Failing To Appreciate Failure
Thomas Edison remarked, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 1,000 ways that won’t work”.
Recognising that failures will occur, learning from them and trying again, even incrementally, can lead to the goals being achieved. When planning, goals need a proportion of ‘extra time’ to be allocated in anticipation of failures or setbacks.
Not Reviewing Progress
Confucius observed, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps”
As with any project or undertaking, the discipline to take stock and review progress must exist. Have priorities changed or more time needed? Are different approaches or resources required or is the goal simply too big and needs to be ‘chunked’ into smaller achievable goals.
Setting Too Many Goals
In being imaginative and ambitious when setting goals, too many goals are often set. Concentrate on ‘quality rather than quantity’. This allows for appropriate time and focus to be channeled into achieving goals.
So next year when you review and have achieved your goals, what will you do next?
In the words of the late great Muhammed Ali, “What keeps me going is goals”