Setting goals that you can realistically achieve requires meticulous and careful planning. You need to make sure that everything you decide is measurable and can fit within your grand plan. The more efficient you are in this process, the more effective you will be at meeting your goals. Whether it is your personal goals or something you need to do in your company, the concept remains the same. Even though the dynamics of the situation can be wildly different, you still need to go through some necessary steps. We are sharing with you some guidelines that we think are useful.
1. Quantify Your Goal
Your goals should be defined in a way that you can act on it. It should be measurable firstly to set a hard point at which you reach your goal, and secondly to allow tangible progression. Creating conceptual goals that sound abstract and open to interpretation can lead to misdirection quite easily. This is especially true if you are implementing it in an organization. For example, if you say you want to be more environmentally friendly, it will be extremely vague and not quantifiable. However, if you measure your carbon footprint in tons and then put a lower number as your target, you can easily take steps to meet that goal.
2. Assign Responsibilities
Every goal needs to have an owner allocated to it who would ultimately be responsible for its success. This is critical for ensuring that lack of performance does not lead to blame games and deflection from the team. For personal goals, that person would automatically be you and you need to figure out in both instances what the penalty needs to be in case the goal is not met.
3. Create Your Timeline
Every achievable goal needs a starting and ending point that gives you a perspective on the effort you need to make. Never set a timeline that is too ambitious or impossible to meet. Be mindful of your capabilities as an individual or an organization and decide realistic timelines. However, remind yourself or your team constantly about that timeline by either discussing it or having it displayed in an open spot. This ensues that you do not stagnate and always work towards your goal in the form of mini deadlines.
4. Work in Small Chunks
If you aim for something big, it is not such a good idea to try to achieve everything in one go. Large targets also seem vague and can easily get out of hand as well, be it personal or organizational. Divide the goal into small and measurable steps that you can attach further timelines to. This will not only make the goal a lot more achievable, but the smaller victories will also act as a motivating factor.
With the methodology defined here, you can create goals, big or small, and stand a better chance of achieving them with the right effort. All that remains at this point is your willpower to execute your plan.