How To Create New Year’s Goals Guaranteed To Stick
It’s not just the beginning of a new year, but also the beginning of a new decade. We’ve officially rung in 2020. Feeling the pressure to do something BIG with your life & your business?
If you haven’t already, now is the time to create and execute your vision for this next year and beyond. However, before you run and hide at the mere thought, know that you’re not alone if you’re hesitant to even start creating that expected list of New Year’s Resolutions.
Studies show that 80% of people fail at their resolutions by February. And only about 8% ever stick with them long-term. Meaning that 92% of the population falls on their face and gives up. That sounds a bit hopeless now doesn’t it?
While misery loves company, this isn’t a statistic into where you want to land. If so, this means that you are overwhelmingly likely to never achieve anything. We all know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. It’s time to do things differently.
Let’s first shift our focus from creating a long wish-list of “resolutions” to instead creating a list of focused “goals”, along with a strategy that will stick to set you up for real success.
It will be impossible to meet any goals without clearly defining how and what you hope to achieve.
A time-tested way to measure any and every goal/objective is to follow Peter Drucker’s SMART method. No, my keyboard didn’t get stuck on all caps; and no, I’m not trying to yell at you. Studies have shown that if you make sure your goals use the SMART acronym, there’s a much higher probability of those goals becoming a reality.
What are SMART goals?
Specific – clearly defined and focused objectives. You must be specific in your intentions.
For example, you could set a goal to increase sales 20% by generating solid additional leads. This goal states your intention (to increase sales 20%) and the path you will take toward that goal (generating additional leads).
Measurable – include data or numbers that will give you concrete milestones to hit as you progress toward your goal. And then have a reporting tool in place to highlight those performance metrics to easily determine whether you are meeting goals or not.
For example, if you want to increase sales 20% by generating solid additional leads, you must define what you mean by “additional”. If you aren’t currently doing this, then your “additional” maybe “2 new leads per week” or “10 per month”, etc.
Achievable – your goal must be realistic, possible and attainable. If not, you will easily become discouraged and give up entirely.
For example, is it more realistic for you to consider generating two additional solid leads per week or two every hour of every day? Obviously it wouldn’t be realistic to expect to be able to generate two solid leads every hour of every day.
Relevant – make sure your goal makes sense and is linked to the values and needs of your organization. A goal that is irrelevant won’t help drive business success or add to your bottom line.
For example, increasing sales by 20%, assuming expenses don’t exceed that increase, will allow your company to be able to invest more in its employees, research & product development, etc., thereby benefiting the company overall.
Time-Bound – you must set a time frame or deadline to achieve your stated goal. It’s easy to set goals for some time in the future, but these goals are often forgotten or put to the way-side when something of a more urgent matter arises.
For example, a complete SMART goal would be: To increase sales by 20%, I will generate 10 solid additional leads every quarter for the next 12 months.
Ensuring you create only SMART goals, you must be clear about your intentions, measure something specific, document and be able to report milestones and achievements and provide a time-frame in which each goal is to develop. When your goals are SMART, you are well on your way to achieving success.
It is important that you have a financial reporting software tool in place to easily monitor your company’s key performance indicators. And it needs to be a reporting tool that any of your managers can access and utilize without needing to depend on highly technical experts, like your IT department.
Synoptix Software falls into this category making it easy for anyone in your organization to create the critical reports they need when they need them. Without an easy to use reporting tool, it’s virtually impossible to provide clear visibility and accountability that an organization needs to monitor the results of your company’s financial goals.
One final must in order to guarantee your goals stick: Do NOT try to focus on too many goals at one time. Studies indicate that you are more likely to achieve your goals if you narrow them down to just one major goal in the areas of business, family, and your personal life.
Let yourself brainstorm as many different goals in each of these three areas. And then pick the most important one, discipline yourself to make it happen, and then celebrate the accomplishment.
Cheers to a New Year, New Goals and a New You!
Jeana has been in the software industry for 15+ years specializing in ERP reporting solutions. She has decades of experience in creative content development and marketing and enjoys exercising, traveling & spending time with her husband & twin boys.