Setting Goals for Business and Life
Goals are vital for knowing what should be achieved. There are many different approaches to setting goals. All approaches have some benefits and some room for change. It’s worth including the best bit from every goal setting technique.
SMART Goals are methods often used by management in organisations. They create tangible benchmarks for employees to be measured against. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. The University of Virginia provides examples including one about measurability, “The essential metric is whether or not the system is operational by August 1st.” SMART is a framework which helps quantitative measurement of contributions to organisations.
Goals can be set for different time frames, according to California Polytechnic State University. Some goals take more or less time. This is important and often overlooked.
The long term could be a broader life goal for an overall career or journey. Individuals often want to realise financial independence decades away. Or they might want to write memoirs when they are older. It’s normal to think about the distant future, and hope to realise dreams.
Business goals in the mid-term could include anything that will be built up around a few years. CPSU gives the example of degrees as something which could be looked towards in the mid term. Authors can have mid-term goals to finish writing a book. Shop owners might aim to open a new shop in three or five years. It’s important to look ahead and see our reasons or motives for what we do.
Short term goals can be up to a year. The general idea of a short term goal is a sense of immediacy and instant action. It can be something that needs to get done today, this week, month, or year. Perhaps a long project is finishing now. So it’s gone from long to short term. Or maybe it is a one-off edit to some content, which needs to quickly get sorted out. As great as it is to dream big in the long term, don’t forget to look and see what is happening right now.
So short/mid/long term goals are really important for getting a time frame set up. There are other types of goals which help just as much.
Goal Plan Action (GPA)
Goal Plan Action (GPA) is another concept for goals, featured with educational institutions such as the California Polytechnic State University. The goal should say what you want. Perhaps you want to sell a certain quantity of something, attract a number of downloads, or get so many customers. Then the plan is for figuring out what will be done to achieve the goal. The final step is action. Do it. This one feels obvious. But so many people say they want to turn their creative passions into full or side careers, or try a new experience like creating a new product. But they feel too uncertain to actually do it. Nothing will be achieved unless actions are taken to work and build towards those goals.
Fitting goals around strategies
Yale University has a goal setting program for itself. And it is a great example of how smaller goals have to fit into a bigger picture. This Yale HR quote sums it up perfectly, “Higher level strategic priorities that have been communicated through all levels of the organization can be used to inform the individual’s goals.” The little things need to be consistent with the bigger picture.
Entrepreneurs can also fit their daily routines around business goals. Networking is the sort of personal goal which can serve the strategic purpose. Say an entrepreneur is considering starting up a new restaurant. It would only make sense to mingle with the Restaurant and Catering Industry Association of Australia. Every profession has an association or professional body. These groups often represent the professionals, bring the members together with social events, and gather the latest industry information. An entrepreneur might network during spare time, or bring the company into the social circle.This is one of many situations where smaller goals can be consistent with big strategic goals, such as growth in an industry, and all strategies.
Now is the time to set goals. Now is the time to work towards them. There truly is no time like the present. Goals can be related to profitability or also enjoyability. Read up on what your industry role models worked towards. Check out examples of relevant goals on LinkedIn. Take steps along the way to gradually progress along your path. Most importantly, reach high.