To ascertain achievable goals and accomplish them, you’ll have to do a little pre-analysis. If you don’t know where you’ve been, and where you actually are, then planning and implementing achievable goals for the future will be harder than it has to be.
To start, we have do an analysis. Ask yourself, “What are the current trends in my marketplace? Who is my competition? What am I doing better than my competitors and what are they doing better than me? What are my business’ strengths and weakness? What is my monthly capital outlay and profit? How much extra capital do I have? What does my business need? What do I want for my business? What do I need for my business? What are the obstacles in my way?“ This analysis gives you insight into the opportunities you can use to build and attain realistic goals.
HINT: When doing the analysis, make sure you remember there are no emotions in evaluating your business. Don’t come from your ego. Your business is its own entity. So go beyond just yourself, as well as your wants and needs. Evaluate everything from the business’ own perspective to survive and thrive.
What is a Realistic Goal
Realistic goals help you not only get what you want, but increases what you can achieve. So what exactly is a realistic goal? It is specific, relevant, achievable, able to be measured and set for a specific time frame.
Specific: You are identifying your business intention here so you must be as specific as possible by clearly and concisely defining what you want to accomplish and what the desired outcome will be.
Relevant: Remember to align your goals with your business’s mission statement while making sure that the goal helps your business grow and succeed.
Achievable: Make sure you have the resources, time and capability to achieve your goals while stretching your limits in a new way.
Measurable: Establish measurements and benchmarks to track your progress which allows you to measure your performance against your goals.
Time Specific: Set a deadline to achieve your goal and the tasks of your goal which helps you quantify results, stay focused and makes you accountable.
Here’s a realistic goal example using a weight loss plan: “I want to lose five pounds (specific and achievable) so I can look good in that swim suit for the beach party (relevant) in two weeks (time specific) and I will weigh myself every day (measurable) to make sure I am on track.”
Now here’s an example of an unrealistic goal using the weight loss scenario… “I want to lose lots of weight (unspecific), maybe 100 pounds in one week (unachievable, time specific) so I can look good all the time (not relevant) and not have to do anything to accomplish that (not measurable).” It would be nice if that could happen, but the reality is it most likely won’t. So don’t waste your time and energy on unrealistic goals.
Setting & Planning Goals
Setting goals is not only good for your personal life, but almost mandatory to breathe new life and direction into your business. When you set a new goal it helps you focus, produces new directed energy towards your business, triggers new learning and new behaviors. It also helps guides your focus and sustain momentum in life.
Setting business goals requires a conscious and subconscious process. At the very least, setting goals increases productivity and motivation to enhance your business for both you and your employees.
If you’re an entrepreneur or own a retail store and your goal is to build a profitable business, then your goal system should include the sales and marketing processes. If you don’t know about sales and marketing basics then do your research. You can even look for someone, or a like-minded community, who has already achieved similar goals and ask them for advice.
Nevertheless, to do realize goal setting requires consideration of what is around you, the resources you have and the resources you need. Many times we set the right goals, but don’t have the backend system to support it or we don’t take action. For example, you run an ad and you’re overrun with customers, but don’t have enough inventory on hand or enough cashiers to process all the orders. So a bit of preplanning beforehand helps you set achievable goals and assists you to make consistent progress towards accomplishing them – without impediments getting in your way.
Your specific goal plan is actually helping you execute your intentions. They include the what, where, when and how you intend to accomplish each goal. Then you’ll create a specific, realistic schedule with tasks needed to accomplish each of your goals. Remember to prioritize and put those tasks in a specific order.
Research has shown that you are more likely to stick to your goals if you make a specific task detailed plan. Let’s go back to the weight loss scenario as a task example…”I will do aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes on Tuesday at 7 a.m. at the gym.”
When you have set your goals and have your detailed task plan remember you want to push hard enough towards the goal, however not so hard so that you can’t continue the momentum of your overall plan.
Implementing & Supervising Goals
Using ‘strategy’ is actually the process of turning your goal and task plan into action. It’s the way you get stuff done. It’s also the way to communicate your plan and expectations for yourself and/or your team so there is no confusion and so everyone is on the same page. You can ask for your team’s collaboration before implementing your task plan.
Before implementing your plan determine the roles and responsibilities, then delegate the tasks of your goal plan to the appropriate individual. Set milestones and a timeline for each step. If you have a team, this is where you effectively communicate your plan to them and make sure you include accountability for each task.
One final thought, make sure you align your effort or your team’s effort, resources and performance to relate to your business goals so you create a shared sense of purpose.
Now it’s time to execute your goal plan. Remember to focus on one goal at a time. Here’s a story to illustrate why this principle works. I call it the hose theory. Imagine you’re trying to move a small stone on the sidewalk with water from a hose. The water’s force coming from the hose is strong, so the stone moves quickly. Now imagine that the hose is attached to a sprinkler and you’re trying to move that same stone — it moves more slowly, if at all, since the water’s force is divided into separate weaker streams. Just replace the ‘stone’ with your goal and the hose and/or sprinkler as your focused thoughts. Focusing on one goal at a time gets the goal accomplished faster.
Now it’s time to monitor and supervise your progress and performance. This gives you the opportunity to adjust or revise your tasks or take corrective action if necessary.
Constantly check your progress. If you have a team, check in with them often and listen to the results of your team’s progress. Don’t forget to ask for, and listen to, their feedback. Remember to provide continued support for yourself and/or your team and it is important to acknowledge every victory no matter how big or small.
Stay passionate and persevere – no matter what.
Working with the Universe
Now I am going to say something that will seem to make no sense, but it will if you are spiritual or seeking spirituality. There’s an odd balance to success and also in setting realistic goals.
Be careful when you put your realistic goals to work. Go through your planning stage in minute detail. However, after you are done planning and are taking action to put those goals into the Universe for actualization, try not to set expectations, significance, attitudes or feelings on the outcome because that makes even realistic goals rigid and can actually prevent them from happening. This is because it actually creates a paradox or contradiction in the brain that affects you and the energy around you which will stop your realistic goals from happening before they begin. Don’t focus on the results, focus on the supportive action steps you need to accomplish your goal. Don’t try to control the outcome – just know it will happen. If things go wrong or not exactly as you planned, don’t get negative – look for what it is trying to teach you and adjust your actions. Don’t let your ego get involved in the process thinking you can make it happen — just feel it will happen. Finally just trust in the process and it will happen.
I myself, a former engineer, make my plan in the utmost detail, including action details and all possible outcome step by step. When I’m done I put the plan aside and do the actions items while tracking my milestones. I feel, know and trust that my goals are energetically happening no matter what — and they are — and they always happen exactly the right way for me. Feel, know and trust that yours will too.