Adjusting your goals and expectations to what’s within your possibilities will ensure your success. Not to mention, it can help you avoid unrealistic planning frustrations.
Having reasonable goals can be a driving force behind individual, team, and company success. If you precisely determine what you’re aiming at and do it early on, your efforts will have a clear direction and appear more meaningful.
However, setting goals isn’t without its challenges – poor orientation, succumbing to perfectionism, and lack of motivation are among those that are quite detrimental.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of steps that will help you determine and set optimal goals while avoiding the common pitfalls.
Step 1. Back Your Goals Up With Solid Planning
The importance of thorough planning can’t be overstated.
A goal without a plan is, in essence, just an abstract idea you can’t act on. That’s why the first thing you should think about is exactly how you’ll achieve your goal.
The most effective way to make a plan is to start with the big picture in mind and go more and more into details.
Start with a general road map – setting a certain finish line and marking every bump and turn down the road. Then take a look at the individual stages of the journey and define the challenges you could encounter.
Keep in mind that this is a crucial step – if there are too many obstacles requiring more energy and resources than you can expend, you will do well to reconsider your main goal immediately.
Finally, once you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there, start preparing contingencies.
A good plan will take you a long way, but it would be wise to expect something to go sideways. Prepare to adjust your tactics accordingly.
Step 2. Be Clear and Specific
Setting goals includes envisioning a certain point in the future. However, it would be best if you didn’t stop at a general, low-resolution picture.
You must define all of the details of what you want to achieve.
For instance, aiming to increase your company’s sales is a low-resolution goal. It could be a good starting point, but if you want to ensure you’re progressing in the right direction, you should consider the specifics.
Exactly how much of an increase would you like to see in your sales? How would you want your business to change before and after you’ve reached that goal? Would you be willing to make sacrifices to get there and what would that entail?
There’s plenty of details to flesh out when setting your goals. If you do it right, all your efforts will become focused on the specific necessary tasks and the progress will become apparent.
Step 3. Establish Milestones
A common mistake in planning goals is that people tend to aim for the grandest achievement, disregarding the smaller but vital victories.
This approach can become draining very soon – you might be overwhelmed by how unattainable the set endpoint seems. To avoid the fatigue and discouragement, make sure to have several smaller goals set as milestones.
Reaching the milestones will give you that precious sense of achievement and progress and motivate you to keep going.
Good Goals Are the Way to Success
Aiming for something you can realistically achieve and having a good plan of getting there will set you on the right path.
When you’re convinced your goals are the right ones, pursue them with determination. Great results will follow.