Business Advice

How to set effective goals – and three steps to achieve them

- July 25, 2022 3 MIN READ

Setting goals for yourself and your business is sometimes easier said than done. Productivity coach, Chelsea Pottenger, shares some handy tips to set effective goals – and achieve them!

A new financial year is a great time to pause, review and evaluate your goals. Asking yourself and your team if you are on the right track? If your daily activities match your goals? Whether you even set up the right goals to start with?

A mistake we can all fall into is setting up big goals, only to discover we aren’t following through to achieve them. You can stop that happening by using a framework that will not only help you set up your goals but achieve them as well.

So, what is a goal?

A goal is simply a future desired outcome. Your goal could be to ‘increase yearly revenue by 25 per cent’ or ‘to create a more connected culture’.

Whatever your goal is, it’s important to consider how you want to feel, the specific action of the goal and how you are going to achieve it.

Clearly articulated goals help trigger new behaviours, which prompt new habits, allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively towards achieving your goals.

Three steps to successful goal setting

Business man in front of glass screen with words

Step 1: Start with your values

Your values are your ‘why’. They are the things you believe are important. They determine your priorities and help measure whether you are fulfilled. Your values will help guide why you are making the goals you are, and ensure they are aligned with the purpose of the business.

Write down three values and then process why they are important.

Step 2: Determine how you want to feel

This part may not seem that important, however cognitive therapy tells us that when we can harness the emotion we would feel by achieving our goals, we will better understand our ‘why’ and intrinsic motivation, prompting us to put more energy into achieving them.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you want to feel successful?
  • Do you want to feel abundant?
  • Do you want to feel energetic?

Before writing down your goals, clearly identify how you want to feel and return to this feeling when finding your intrinsic motivation.

Step 3: Set S.M.A.R.T Goals

SMART goals

S.M.A.R.T goal setting is a widely proven formula for success. The acronym ‘S.M.A.R.T’ stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound.

Writing goals in this format prompts you to be crystal clear about what the desired outcome is and how you are going to achieve it. For example, if your goal is to support employee wellbeing, we would break down the goal like this:

  • Specific: Introduce a twice a week wellbeing program for my employees.
  • Measurable: I will survey my employees on what types of fitness and mindfulness they would like to be included in the wellness program.
  • Attainable: I will outsource a fitness trainer and meditation/mindfulness coach. I will spend two hours per week working with them to curate sessions for the program.
  • Relevant: Supporting my employees’ wellbeing will increase their happiness, productivity and performance at work.
  • Timebound: I will start working on the program tomorrow and have it up and running in six weeks time.

Now you have set your goals, you need to achieve them.

Happy employees high fiving their success

Here are three strategies to help you stick to your goals:

1. Treats and rewards for the brain

Reward yourself along the way. Celebrate each milestone that gets you closer to your goal.

2. Pre commitment and accountability

Consider getting an accountability partner. This could be a spouse, friend, colleague – someone to celebrate the wins along the way and offer a fresh perspective.

3. Intrinsic motivation

Check on your ‘why’ and what motivates you. When our behaviours match our values, it means our goals are aligned with our purpose and we feel a stronger drive to achieve them.

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Now read this:

Three steps to setting effective performance goals with your team