As we wrap up 2018, it’s a great time to think about what you want to accomplish next year. Many people make New Year’s resolutions as a way to focus on personal growth, but it’s also a good idea to take inventory of your professional goals. What do you want your business to look like at this time next year? What do you need to do in order for that to happen? Goal setting is a great way to get you there.
When deciding on what you want your goals to be, keep in mind the SMART method. SMART is an acronym that says goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. It can be an effective tool that provides clarity, focus, and motivation to achieve your goals. SMART goals can also be useful frameworks for teams and can help your employees accomplish specific goals and achieve results. It can also improve your ability to reach them by encouraging you to define your objectives and set a completion date.
For business goals to be successful, everyone in the organization needs to share the same vision. Make sure you communicate clearly what your goals are and why they are important to the business. It is much more motivating to work on something if you can see how it contributes to the end goal. In order for everyone to make progress, you need a structure with clear targets and milestones to meet along the way. Think of it like a map: it’s hard to get somewhere if you don’t have directions and points of reference. A plan of action will keep you focused and let you know if you get off course.
Make sure the goals you set are achievable alongside the day-to-day tasks everyone has with their jobs. You don’t want to overwhelm anyone—goals should be a stretch, but not an impossible one. And you need to ensure that your environment supports your goals. For example, if one of your objectives relates to employee wellness, make sure the break area isn’t stocked with junk food. Or if you want to encourage additional training for your employees, make sure they have time in their schedule to do it. Goals are much more likely to be achieved if everyone has the support they need.
Goal setting should be fun and rewarding, even if it is hard work. Recognize your employees’ efforts (and your own) and celebrate the milestones together. If you can find inspiration in the little things consistently over time, that will help you build momentum as you work toward your goals. Best wishes for 2019!