3 Reasons Businesspeople Don’t Set Goals – Part 1
One of the quickest and easiest ways to doom yourself or your business is to avoid setting goals. I constantly talk to people who refuse to complete this vital step in planning for their business. They most often give one of these three reasons:
“I know what I want and that’s good enough.” Many people don’t know what a goal actually is. They settle for wishing and wanting rather than planning for success.
“Goals don’t help. I’ve set them before and still failed.” Setting goals takes thought and maybe some practice. Falling short of your goals in the past is not a reason to quit doing it. Instead, learn how to set goals that motivate you to go beyond your comfort zone.
“If I set a goal, someone might hold me to it and that takes work!” Most people want to be successful, but many don’t want to take responsibility for all that entails.
There are many more reasons, but these are some of my favorites. All of them are real issues. All of them are hard to overcome. All of the people giving them just need a little push.
Today, let’s look at the first reason and how to overcome it.
I call this reason “ignorance is bliss.” The people who use it have either never been taught or refuse to remember and utilize good goal-setting strategies. The low-hanging fruit for them is the tried-and-true SMART goal system. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented,Realistic and Timed. Few people really understand how to use it and, in fact, it can be difficult to use on yourself. It is much easier for someone else to look at your goal and tell you whether it is truly specific, for instance.
Here are some keys to using the SMART system effectively.
One test of a good goal is if you will know without a doubt whether or not you achieved it. For that, it must be Specific (so you know what to measure), Measurable (so you know if you’ve succeeded), and Timed (because without a deadline, you won’t have any real incentive to move forward).
Not specific, measurable or timed: I want to grow my business. Better: I want to grow my business by 50% in revenue in the following 6 months.
The second example states what will change (revenue), by how much (50% increase) and by when (6 months from now).
The next component of a good goal is to make it Action-oriented. This means outlining the steps you need to take to make it happen.
Not action-oriented: I want to grow my revenue by 50% in the next 6 months. Better: I want to grow my revenue by 50% in the next 6 months by calling every past customer in my database over that time at a rate of 20 per week.
In the second example, your next steps are clear – you know exactly what to do.
I hope you are beginning to see that you don’t have to settle for wishing and hoping. Implementing these first few tips into your goal-setting process is sure to lead to big results.
Next week I will talk about Number 2 on my list of reasons people don’t set effective goals. For this, I will get into the R of the SMART system – Realistic.