On Wednesday, we talked about Vision Statements and Mission Statements. In a nutshell, your Vision Statement is what you want to accomplish in the long term, or could also be called your big picture goal. Your Mission Statement is your purpose.
To fulfill your purpose and become what you envision, you need to determine the milestones and major resources that will assist you to achieve your big picture goals. You use your milestones to create steps that you need to take to fulfill your mission reach your vision
Building the roadmap to your success starts by listing the major milestones that will enable us to reach our big picture goals. They are simply steps we need to take and the resources we need to acquire.
We then break down our milestones into the things we need to do to take those steps and what needs to happen to get the resources we need. These are our goals.
Creating SMART Goals
So, how do we create goals that we can actually accomplish and that will keep us on track to achieve our big picture goals? Remember the acronym SMART:
Specific – Ultimately there will be a number or something that can be measured. It should be large enough that it is a challenge, but not so large that you will not achieve it (more on this later)
- A non-specific goal might be: “Make more prospecting calls”
- A specific goal might be: “Make 25 prospecting calls each day”
Note: The numbers and goals I use are simply examples. Only you can determine the exact details of your goals.
Manageable – Be careful to set a goal that is a challenge but not so overwhelmingly that it becomes daunting.
If you find yourself in this situation, make that overwhelming goal a milestone and break it down into smaller goals.
- A non-manageable goal: “Increase sales by 10% over last year”
It is something that almost everyone needs to do and it is measurable, however it is too large to be manageable goal. This is a milestone wearing goal clothing.
So, make “Increase sales by 10%” a milestone and now set up several SMART goals that will help you accomplish this.
For example some goals to achieve the milestone of “Increase sales by 10%”:
- Research 3 new prospects each work day
- Call 3 customers during the first 15 minutes of each work day
- Call and qualify 3 new prospects during the first 15 minutes after lunch each work day
None of the above taken by itself is overwhelming. And once all three have been made a daily habit, you will be well on your way to increasing sales.
Turn a goal into a milestone whenever need to. There is no rule that your roadmap has to have only 4 layers. You may need several layers of milestones. Some underlying milestones, when taken together with other milestones, will achieve some really big milestones on your way to your vision.
Attainable – The measurable part of goal should be something larger than what you are currently achieving but it should also close to what you are achieving. This helps you to avoid setting yourself up for failure. We are here to achieve our goals; and growth is something achieved with effort.
- A non-attainable goal might be: “Calling on 50 customers each day” when what you are currently able to do is call on 10 customers in a day.
- In this example an attainable goal might be: “Call on 12 customers each day.”
Realistic – Your goal should be something that is not out of the realm of possibilities.
- A non-realistic goal might be: “Attend 21-25 networking events a week”. Working seven days a week, you would need to attend 3 or more networking events every day.
- A realistic goal might be: “Attend 3-7 networking events a week”. This goal requires you to network every week, however, it also let’s you spend time with your family and friends.
Timely – each goal should have a due date or some time frame involved with it. If your goal is “call on 12 customers”, you don’t know if this is a daily, weekly, monthly or even an annual quota. Having an ending date or recurring time period will allow you to set due dates into calendars which will help keep you on track.
The best goals are created using this acronym. This ensures you are setting specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time targeted objectives that are designed to reach your vision statement.
Using the acronym SMART helps you to quickly identify milestones from goals. Once you know your milestones and have your plan for achieving them, you have created your roadmap to making your vision a reality.
Creating goals should be taken seriously. The better thought out a goal is, the more attainable it will be. Goal planning is not an isolated activity. It should be done in conjunction with your team. First, this ensures that your team knows the goals for the upcoming year and when they help to set the measurements and due dates, then you also get their commitment to achieving the vision statement.
It is essential for every business to set goals that will take you into the future. This year sit down with your team and create a plan. In doing this all employees will be on the same page and focusing together to reach the same vision.
And don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishments. Set high goals but don’t forget recognize when you achieve or exceed them. Each goal that is conquered or made a habit should be recognized and rewarded. This will keep your motivation and your team’s motivation high.