How to Define More Achievable Goals

How to Define More Achievable Goals
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More Achievable Goals
Some leaders claim that big, hairy, and audacious goals are motivating.  Yes, big ambitions may be exciting and inspiring at first, but, as goals become more and more difficult to reach, employees begin to disengage.  And, if goals are perceived to be truly unrealistic, many teams do not even take the first steps.

Learn from the Experts
Let’s step out of the business world for a moment to look at the successful strategies of some experts in the goal-setting business.  Ranked #1 Best Diet for Weight Loss 10 Years in a Row by U.S. News & World Report, Weightwatchers is a prime example of a business founded on setting more achievable goals. The customized plan supports healthy eating habits learned over time by setting small goals (loss of 1-2 lbs. per week), tracking progress, and encouraging success toward a realistic and healthy weight.

Or consider language learning apps.  Duolingo, for instance, has been rated the Best for learning multiple languages.  Short, daily lessons build on one another as you increase vocabulary and verbal ability.  Lesson-by-lesson, stage-by-stage, point-by-point, improvement is earned and rewarded.

The lesson?  Big goals – significant weight loss or fluency in a foreign language – can be reached but they are often best achieved incrementally, one small and meaningful step at a time.

Back to Business
Good leaders create clear strategic goals that outline unambiguous and compelling choices about where to play and what actions to take.  Done right, a successful strategic plan sets up a team (and company) to perform beyond the sum of its parts.  When it comes to performance however, strategy is only the beginning.

For a strategy to make a true difference, the proof is in the coordinated execution.  To be properly executed, goals must be perceived to be understood, believable and implementable enough by all key stakeholders.  To be believable and implementable, you need to set more achievable goals to drive your team in the right direction.

How to Define More Achievable Goals
Here are some tips that can help you apply this lesson to the strategic goals you have set for your business:

  • Identify Small Achievable Wins
    Though big wins are splashy, it’s the small wins that keep you motivated, moving forward, and on the right track. It’s true that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Define those first and subsequent small steps that, when added together, get you to where you want to be.
  • Track What Leads You Toward the End Game
    Once your destination is clear and understood by all, set up a clear path to success by identifying visible, meaningful, and achievable milestones along the way. Are you hoping to increase your customer base by 10% this year?  Then look at adding a realistic number of new customers month-by-month.Track the team’s progress and celebrate each success.  Even if there are gaps along the way, there will be movement in the right direction and, with those small steps recognized, your team will stay motivated.
  • Keep at It
    The key is not to give up, even if you stumble.  Life happens.  Forgive the misstep, learn, adjust, and start off on the track again.

The Bottom Line
To set your team up for success, set more achievable goals that inspire your team to give their all.  Then work with each team to create the first steps required to move toward your vision of success.

To learn more about how to define more achievable goals, download 7 Immediate Management Actions to Create Alignment with Goals

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