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November 18, 2015

Are you setting your goals the right way? Think “actionable goals.”

goal1Part 2 of the ‘retreat series.’

At our first corporate retreat a couple of weeks ago, setting goals for 2016 (and beyond) was one of the things I focused on. But I went about the process a little differently. Let me explain…

By now. We’re all familiar with the SMART method for setting goals. That is, goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-framed.

As an example, a SMART goal might be “to increase annual revenue by 15% in 2016.” It meets all of the SMART criteria. The trouble is… YOU don’t have control over revenue… your clients and prospects do. But in the goal setting process, this is where most people stop.

It’s much like another kind of goal setting done at the start of the year – the New Year’s Resolution of losing weight. You know how this goes… “I’m going to lose 20 lbs. this year” (which meets all of the SMART criteria). But guess what? It almost never works. Why? Because you can’t just lose weight

But what you can do, though, is take action… perform those kinds of activities that can lead to weight loss. Call them “actionable goals.” For example…

  • I will go to the gym 3 times each week.
  • I will stop eating desserts.
  • I will stop snacking after 9pm at night.

Define the right kind of activities (goals)… commit to them for a period of time… and you will begin to lose that weight.

And like weight loss… you can’t just increase revenues.

So, to achieve your overarching goal – like 15% growth next year – begin by setting the “actionable goals” that will help you to get there. For example…

  • I will post to our social media sites once a day.
  • I will call 1 “ex client” every week to try to reestablish our relationship.
  • I will visit every large client in-person at least 2X this year.
  • I will follow-up everyone who attends our webinars with a phone call within one week.

These kind of actionable goals “are simple… but they aren’t easy.” They require discipline, persistence and a little extra work for them to work – which may be why this kind of thing happens so rarely.

So, set those lofty goals for your business growth… and AIM HIGH! But then make sure you take that next step and break them down into the actionable goals that ensure you will achieve them.

Good luck!

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