How to Set Goals Within Reach [And What to do Next]

Setting goals is a great way to measure our improvement and to keep us on track. That’s why it’s important to set goals for yourself and your business. If you haven’t already, start thinking of a couple big picture goals. What do you believe your company is capable of accomplishing this year? Once you determine goals for the entire company, you can help each department define their goals. Then department managers can work individually with their teams to set goals for each person.

Many of us have set so many goals or New Years Resolutions in the past and failed, and we don’t really care to try anymore. It’s not you; it’s your goal setting process. Give it one more try with these tips:

  • Start with a big goal that may even seem unreachable and then create smaller goals to help you reach the ultimate goal. As you consider smaller goals, be realistic about whether or not you’re likely to reach the ultimate goal in a practical timeframe, and rework your goal if you need to. Don’t be pessimistic, but don’t set daunting goals that will take years to reach.
  • Write S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  • Be positive. You may think a negative statement will help motivate, but it won’t. It will only associate negative feelings with your objective.
  • Write it down. In pen. With a deadline. This brings your goal to life.
  • Prioritize your goals and their deadlines for efficiency.
  • Be realistic. I know I’ve already touched on this, but it’s very important for the sake of your team’s motivation (and your own). Don’t set easy goals because that defeats the purpose, but also don’t set impractical goals.
  • Regularly report on your progress to hold everyone accountable. This shouldn’t feel like punishment. It should be exciting. If it feels like punishment, don’t be afraid to rethink the goals. Don’t give up, but not everything works like we think it should.


You’ve Reached Your Goal! Now What?

  1. Celebrate your success – Don’t wait to reach the ultimate goal to celebrate—it’s no fun that way. Celebrate each success along the way in accordance to the accomplishment. Save the parties for the ultimate goal, but use small success to encourage your team.
  2. Reflect – Even though you reached your goal, that doesn’t mean you didn’t hit any hiccups along the way. Think about what went right and what went wrong. Consider what you would do differently if you had to do it over again.
  3. Move on – It’s human nature to want to go further, push harder and excel. Once you reach a goal, make a new one. Start the process over again.

Denis Coleman

Denis Coleman is the founder and CEO of Work Compass, a cloud staff performance collaboration software platform that helps teams align their efforts with strategic goals and continuously improve performance. Frustrated with the disconnect between strategy setting and day to day execution and the lack of tools available to managers to help them be great at their most important function …. Aligning their teams activities with strategic goals and actively managing for high performance Denis spent over 5 years researching strategy execution and performance management practices before founding Work Compass to create a software solution. Denis has held senior roles in Ireland, Czech Republic and North America with high performing electronics manufacturing and professional services organisations for more than 12 years. Denis has worked as Finance Director responsible for €800 million in annual revenues for Flextronics International, Key Account Manager responsible for annual revenues of more than €600 million for Dovatron International and Management Consultant for BDO one of Europe’s most successful professional services providers.

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