Make Time for a Second Look at Your Goals
It’s that time of year. The time of year when everyone has forgotten the goals they set or have gotten too busy to stay focused. We would agree that goal setting is a very important part of your year. Additionally, if you’re going to take it seriously, you need strategy setting too. Goals are just words and ideas without a solid action plan to make it happen. So, what are you doing for your 2019 strategy setting?
It’s Okay to Look Back
Look at your year last year and pick out some high and some low points. While you don’t have to focus solely on the bad, you should be able to recall the missteps of your year and more importantly, how you recovered. Set aside some time and perform a quick analysis of the actions you took to turn that misstep into a success. Did you collaborate with your team? Set aside dedicated time to solve the issue independently? Did you seek advice from someone? Making a mistake isn’t always fatal but continuing to make the same mistakes is not a good path to growth. Take a lesson from those hard moments and move on. You can learn from the successes of your year, too. Think of the highlights and remember what got you there and how you can get there again (hint: it was probably good strategy and hard work). Now is the time to remember a loss and make it a lesson.
What is the Expectation
Can you say with absolute certainty what the goal is? Not just a number or “do better than last year.” But what is your actual goal in real words and real numbers. What does your team expect from you this year? What does your company expect? Before you log off for the year, make sure you have a clear picture and not just a concept for what your goals are. This isn’t a time to guess. Have a conversation and ask the hard questions about your goals for 2019. Yes, we all should set goals for growth but what is that? Is it a sales number? Is it a goal for your team? Is it a personal milestone? Settle on some real-life goals, write them down, get comfortable with the work that is involved in getting results. Is your goal a 6-month goal? Work backwards from there to step one.
Set the Goal and then Make the Action Plan
Once you have your real goal in mind you need a plan. Motivational Words or numbers on a sticky note can’t be your plan. And there is little chance your goal will manifest all by itself. What is your day-to-day action plan to reach this goal? Let’s say your goal is a sales number, how are you going to get there? If your goal is sales, you’ll need to get customers interested, you need to know what to say to them. To speak to customers, you need to know where to find them. So, where are you looking for customers? That is the start of your action plan. What if your goal is increasing your team’s engagement and amplifying a positive culture in your office (this is a great goal, btw!!)? What does that action plan look like?
Still stuck on setting your strategy? Where do you go for help with that? Your goals won’t just happen. If your first step is reaching out for help, then have an action plan for that too. Do you have a mentor? Is there someone you highly respect and trust in your organization that can provide valuable guidance? Have you subscribed to a professional development blog that provides you quick, convenient access to relevant subject matter? Have you searched for any articles or podcasts that address your specific goal and shine light on an action plan?
Stay on Track
Get your action plan mojo working and then you can set some milestones and rewards. Where will you be by the end of the first quarter? Think about realistic targets you can set to keep you motivated all year long. Talk about those targets, get your team onboard and keep the morale up. Your company may also experience slower times in your specific market and industry. Map out these times and be ready with a plan to keep your momentum going through hiccups and diversions. Big goals are going to take time. It’s a marathon, make sure you’re fueling you and your team’s stamina with encouragement, realistic milestones, meaningful rewards and messages of acknowledgement and praise. Keeping this positive momentum will be crucial in attaining your goals.
Don’t stress, you got this. Take another look at your goals and revisit your action plan. Set the course for a great year. And don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.
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