Recently I read up quite a bit on goal setting. The elusive process of crafting the right set of objectives which move you and your team forward, make you reach for the stars and drive success.
I have never seen a successful company (or individual for that matter) which didn’t set goals for themselves. And I have seen plenty companies which set goals for themselves and yet don’t seem to make any progress towards them.
After reading a bunch of case studies and scientific papers on the subject I believe the answer to great, useful goals is this:
- Create a manageable set of goals (three seems to be a great starting point, five feels like the upper boundary).
- Set your goals high. Reaching them should be a stretch; it should not be obvious how you can reach them (otherwise they are todos, not goals).
- Define a series of first steps (todos) to reach those goals. The steps need to be formulated as SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic, Time-related).
Once you have this — and this is most important — get going. Move, step for step, toward your goals; defining the next set of tasks which move you closer to your stretch goal as you go.
What are your three main objectives for the rest of the year and what are your initial set of SMART goals to get there?