Being a “realist” helps create worthy goals and many confuse what they wish to accomplish as the targeted goal in place of what will actually have a valuable contribution or a permanent solution to the issue. Many look at problem solving as a bandaid, as a method to get them by or kick the can rather than finding the root cause to eliminating the issue. The only real solution is to stop a problem at its source and many spend their time on goals that don’t address the problem at its source, they focus on various symptoms.
Having been inundated with blogs and newsletters since the end of December about how to manage yourself to create goals, I felt the need to tell you why most of what you have read this year falls short and that if you follow them, how your goals may fall short also.
There are really only a few steps in the process of goal setting but before any of it starts you need to ensure two things;
1) Is the person looking at the problem able to see the root cause?
2) Does the proposed goal eliminate the root cause of the problem?
If not, go back and keep trying until you can answer yes to both.
Once you have a worthy goal, use the old but proven “S.M.A.R.T. Goal” acronym for planning your goal. I am sure you know the one; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time based. It not only works, it works really well. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel looking for a quicker, easier, or sexier way. This has been used by the largest, most efficient companies throughout the world for decades, yet some blogger somewhere has come up with a new, better way? Even if it sounds boring, do it the proven way because at the end of the day (or year)
The last thing you need and the reason why your goals may fail this year boils down to one word: accountability. Who is holding you accountable for these? Yourself, a Supervisor, a spouse? While we don’t like to believe this, few of us have the self discipline to make sure we follow the plans we make to the letter. It is easy (and human) to make adjustments as you go which changes a goal and lessens the positive effect these actions will ultimately have on you, your business or your family. Some how you feel justified doing it at the time, but at the end of the year, the problem still exists. You’ve either shifted your goal or accomplished part of it and let yourself off the hook.
A partial goal should be considered a failure. If not, why set the goal in the first place?
Being accountable to someone changes that by increasing the rate of success.
Questioning someone on the progress of a planned goal makes them pay attention. It is human nature to not feel comfortable when reporting that you did not complete something. Discussing the obstacles you encounter with an Accountability Partner can help considerably to keep you on track. When goal setting with my clients or employee’s I always recommend an “Accountability Partner”(usually me, but I can be tough) someone to periodically report milestones to or be questioned by to help maintain the focus on results. A good Accountability Partner will continually ask about results even if you didn’t have any at the last meeting. They don’t need to be an expert on the subject, they just need to follow up and get you talking about it. Think squeaky wheel…
Easy right? Here is a recap-
You want your goals to work? Remember these 3 things
- Does the goal solve the problem?
- Is it planned correctly (SMART)
- Is it managed correctly (Accountability)
Click here to contact C.S.Simons Consulting for a FREE template to help you establish and organize your goal setting process.