One of the great rewards of working with owners, managers and sales professionals of emerging growth companies is having a front row seat to witness their journey from struggling to survive to succeeding beyond their wildest dreams.
After observing this many times throughout my career, I’ve come to the realization that neither long-term success nor the struggle to survive has anything to do with the economy, competition, or a specific product or service. It does, however, have everything to do with whether or not goals have been set.
Here are 3 simple steps that have allowed me to help countless owners, managers and sales professionals enjoy success by setting clear actionable goals:
1. Create balance by establishing your priorities.
Consider the seven priorities in your life: faith, family, health, work, financial, social and education. Write them down in order of importance and recognize that your number one priority automatically takes its place in the center of the others. For example, my faith is my number one priority and at the center of all the others. It’s what makes it possible for me to have balance among the other six priorities.
Before you begin writing down your goals, create balance by establishing your priorities. A tool that may help you is the Priority Stabilizer. You can download it for free from the RedRock Leadership Toolbox.
2. Put your goals in writing and make them SMART.
Your level of success will be in direct proportion to what you set out to accomplish, and goals are vital to your success. The way your goals are defined and stated will be the make or break difference. Creating SMART goals will help you establish focus. While dreams are important, they will not become reality unless they are written down as SMART goals:
Specific – clearly defined and identified
Measurable – objective, quantifiable and achievable
Attainable – within reach and feasible
Realistic – sensible and practical
Time-bound – attached to a specific moment in the future
SMART goals will provide you with a strategic foundation for success both personally and professionally. If you want a tool to help you set SMART goals, download the Annual Goal Setting Booklet from the RedRock Leadership Toolbox.
3. Hold yourself accountable.
After setting your SMART goals, make a comprehensive list of changes that need to take place in your life over the next 12 months. This list must include items, that once accomplished, will allow you to be more productive than you are today. Next, think about all that you’ll gain as you accomplish what you wrote down.
Then turn this thought process inside out and think deeply about how you feel when confronted with the opportunity to be instantly gratified. This is not a natural thought process because you must actually admit that there are many times when satisfying your short term desires is actually more comfortable than accomplishing longer-term results. When this happens, you come face to face with your future.
Consider something as simple as a goal for paying off debt:
Sam’s been waiting all year for his bonus so that he can pay off his credit card balance of $1,000, a goal he set for himself 12 months ago. He finally receives his bonus, and at the same time receives an invitation to go on vacation with his friends. Going on vacation seems more satisfying than paying off debt. So he forsakes the goal he set for himself and goes on vacation with his friends.
If you’re aware of the instant gratification trap, then you will be in prime position to hold yourself accountable to the goals you set for yourself. Keep your goals in front of you at all times, track them monthly, revisit them quarterly and reset them annually.
Setting Clear Actionable Goals
When you set goals, your life becomes more purposeful and productive. Keep in mind that goal achievement is the paramount of success. In addition, the key to growing personally and professionally is setting clear actionable goals. Those who don’t set goals ultimately find themselves struggling to survive; those who do, put themselves in a position to succeed year after year.
Founder of RedRock Leadership