Around this time every year, we all know that it’s time to start planning for the next year. We do New Year’s Resolutions that we never stick to, we make Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that we never reach, and in general we do things like budget and set modest goals that we sometimes kinda use. And every year we forget 90% of this by the middle of February, and we end up wherever we end up because we worked hard (mostly) although not always in a focused way.
What if there was a better way? What if there was a simple 3.5 Step process for Goal Setting and Achieving that actually worked? Well, I am here to tell you there is, and that it works for dozens of my clients every single year and quarter.
Step 1 is defining your Top 5 Priorities for the year, both Personal and Business. Priorities are usually 1-3 word phrases that are sometimes also called Themes. For example, “Increase Sales” might be a Priority for your business, while “Dinner with Family” or “Family Vacation” might be personal Priorities/Themes.
Step 2 is defining your Top 5 Personal and Business Goals, using the SMART Goal approach: Specific, Measurable (or Observable), Attainable, Results-Oriented, in a Timeframe. Your Goals should be specific outcomes or results, and not actions you want to take or things you want to do – those are step 3.
Step 3 is picking Strategies, and planning the implementation of those Strategies. Each Goal should have one or two Primary Strategies you intend to implement to achieve the desired outcome/result (Goal). You may also wish to think through the potential obstacles and roadblocks you anticipate encountering on the way to the goal and make sure the Strategy implementation takes them into account.
Step 3.5 is the simplest yet often the most important. Share your Priorities, Goals, and Strategies with your family and your team. Let them know your priorities for the year, help them understand how they can help achieve them. Make talking about your Top 5 Priorities and Goals a regular part of the daily conversation.