We’ve all set goals for ourselves at some point, from weight loss to work promotions. But how many of them can you honestly say you’ve stuck to? And if you have, did you ever take time out to reflect on your success or progress? Goal setting is one of the areas covered extensively in our time management course.
With clever planning and organisation time can be your friend when you are setting goals.
If you use it as a measurable tool instead of worrying how little of it you have, you are much more likely to achieve your goals.
Now that you are a manager you need to learn to set goals for yourself, your team and the individuals which make up your team.
Having goals means deciding exactly what you’re aiming for and planning timescales to keep yourself on track.
What Makes a Good Goal?
At heart, a goal is something that you want to achieve over a period of time. You should see having goals as a powerful way to focus your mind on doing something positive.
For example, an agenda is a key part of ensuring that a meeting is an effective use of time. At it’s simplest the agenda for a meeting is a written statement of what you would like to achieve by calling a meeting (assuming that you are the organiser) and so focuses everyone’s mind on the business at hand.
Without challenges, our brains become disengaged, so it’s important to set goals that energise you.
Always think about what the motivation is. Is it the end result, the skills that you’ve acquired along the way or a combination of the two?
There are three types of goals. The type of goal that will work best depends on the situation.
These are results-driven but provide no direction in how to reach them.
E.g. Your goal is to increase sales by xx% by the end of the financial year.
Here, you have a goal for business success but need to find your own way to get there.
These are similar to outcome goals but include some ‘how’ in the target. These are about setting a measurable standard and detail how that standard should be reached. You are not left to figure out how best to reach the goal.
Here, you have a specific strategy with mini-goals that will help you reach the final outcome.
These are about changing habits and behaviours in order to reach a goal.
E.g. Your goal is to implement sales coaching to increase sales engagement by the end of the year.
Here, you have an idea for best work practices to reach your goal. These are usually components of a larger goal, in this case growing sales, where you want to improve the process to try to ensure that you improve the outcome.
The importance of a goal comes down to what you want to achieve. Whether it’s the outcome, the process or the performance, each needs a structure in order to achieve it.
This is where S.M.A.R.T goals come in. This kind of goal planning is applicable to personal and business lives and is a great way to keep you on track.
It is easy to lose sight (literally) of what you are trying to achieve if you don’t have a plan or think about potential problems you might encounter.
So, what are S.M.A.R.T goals? Well, quite simply it is an acronym that defines exactly what you want to get from your goals. Use it as an insightful guide to help you see goals through to completion.
Know exactly what you want to achieve and what you will need to achieve it whether it is something you will be doing or something you will be handing to your team to accomplish.
Don’t leave things to chance, planning is crucial.
This is the difference between ‘I want to get fit’ and ‘I want to be able to run a mile in under 8 minutes’. When delegating to your team be sure to ask if they any questions and be sure that you’ve communicated what you’re looking for very clearly.
If a goal is trackable you can measure your progress. This helps you to stay motivated and feel the excitement in getting closer to your goal.
Specific targets are very useful when reviewing team performance in year-end reviews and setting targets for the coming year.
Set realistic goals that you know are achievable while still challenging yourself. If you set the bar too high you’ll give up feeling that the goal is not achievable. Conversely, if you set a goal too low it doesn’t really offer a much benefit or feeling of achievement if you reach it.
Think about how relevant the goal is to you. It might be an aspiration but not relevant to where you are in your career. You don’t want too many goals so only take on relevant ones.
Deadlines give you something to work towards and keep you focused on getting there. .
Final Goal Setting Tips
Now that you have the tools to set you up in planning your goals, it is up to you to make sure you reach them. Use these helpful hints that are proven to work in achieving goals.
A goal can be a great way to make sure that you are learning to make best use of your time as they ensure that you are focused on the right things and making good progress towards your key goals.