What are your goals? 🎯
Yes, it’s a bold question with which to begin an article. But one of two things will have just happened:
1) You know your goals and instantly recall them.
2) You stop and think – what are your goals?
Around 80% of businesses are at #2. If that’s you, then this article is here to hammer home the benefits of defining, setting, and writing the goals of your business in a similar way to the most successful companies on the planet.
Let’s dive in…
Why an Outcome Mindset matters
In the pursuit to become the best version of myself in life, and create a business that allows me to live that life, I realized that the first place to start was by setting goals. Otherwise I would just be flopping around like a fish out of water.
So I became a certified goal setting coach to give me an understanding of how to both set and achieve goals at the best rate possible.
One of the most important things I learned on this journey was that you must be extremely intentional with your goal writing process.
You must shift your focus to an Outcome Mindset.
This means that, before creating your goal, you must determine exactly what the best possible outcome of that goal actually is. By doing this, it becomes easier for both yourself and your team to understand exactly what you are all working so hard to achieve.
When outcomes are clearly communicated, it makes it easier for your team to contribute. It also makes it easier to continually assess whether or not you are making the progress you need to achieve the outcome.
The Outcome Mindset in action
Let’s look at an example:
As you release a new product, you may choose to implement some content marketing to promote the product and drive sales. As a manager, you probably tend to focus on output, so your goal may be to ‘Write 10 blog posts each month’.
This is not a bad goal!
However, when you have an Outcome Mindset, you look deeper at what the best outcome of these blogs would be. What actually matters? Will having 10 articles on your site drive sales? Unless the articles are actually read and really resonate with people, then probably not.
So, you shift your goals to focus on the outcome.
This may be to ‘Increase unique monthly viewers from 5,000 to 10,000 viewers’, or ‘Increase average time on page from 40 seconds to 1 minute’, or ‘Increase email open rate from 10% to 20% over the next 90 days’.
Now you instantly have more effective goals, and a way to measure the success of your marketing team. In the past, you may have patted their backs when all 10 posts had been written – now they have some more tangible results to achieve.
What’s ‘The Secret’ to achieving your goals?
You have your goals? Excellent.
Now… WRITE. THEM. DOWN! ✍️
I cannot stress this enough. I genuinely find it insane that so few people actually take the time to write down their goals.
Ask yourself: If they are not worth writing down, are they even worth achieving?
You may have heard of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne? It’s an international bestseller based on the Law of Attraction and how to use it in your life.
There may be something in the mystical idea that you only have to ask, and the universe will respond by giving you what you want. But regardless of whether you believe in the concept of manifestation or not, writing your goals down is undoubtedly a step closer to having them turn into reality.
By writing your goal on paper (or digitally on a Word document), you force yourself to see these goals clearly.
You may initially think ‘I want my business to make more money each year… maybe increase my revenue from $250,000 to $350,000’, but when you write it down as ‘I want to increase my revenue from X to Y by December 31st’, then you are clear on exactly what you want. You have a clear starting point and end point.
It gives you an end goal and will motivate you to take the action required to see these goals become a reality.
In short, by committing your goals to writing, you:
- Show yourself and your team that the outcome actually matters
- Force yourself to clarify the outcome you want
- Put the wheels in motion for them to manifest
Three Quick Steps to Setting Great Goals
Setting and writing your goals does not need to be a long and complicated procedure. In fact, I recommend doing it in three steps:
#1 – Decide on your goals, write them down, and keep them in an accessible place
Ask yourself whether you have used an Outcome Mindset? Are the goals ambitious, but achievable? Are they time bound?
Next, determine who is responsible for achieving these goals. Then write your goals down and ensure you and your team have easy access to them at all times. They are best kept in you rwell-organized digital filing cabinet.
#2 – Share your goals with your team
In addition to being easily accessible, you should physically (or, at least, digitally) put these goals under the noses of your team so that they know how important they are.
Don’t be shy – email them out or arrange a team meeting. Your goals are the heart of your business, so ensure everyone knows about them.
You can encourage feedback, as coming up with goals together with your team can result in more motivation for the team to achieve them.
#3 – Check in on your goals frequently
How frequently will depend on you, but consider meeting your team at least once a week and discussing progress reports.
You will soon find out whether or not you are moving towards your goals. Do you need to refine your approach?
Getting serious about your goals with OKRs
I will be the first to admit that I am not breaking new ground here. It turns out the top companies in the world already figured all this out back in the ’90s!
Enter, OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) – a collaborative goal-setting framework that facilitates the setting of ambitious goals with measurable results.
We have already written a detailed guide to OKRs and how you can use this goal-setting system to revamp your company. It’s used by the likes of Google, Amazon, and Facebook, and it can definitely work for you.
If you take your goals seriously, then make OKRs a staple of your business.
The Final Word
The teachings in this article are applicable to both your personal and professional goals, no matter how ambitious.
Whether you are relying on universal manifestation or simply want to define an end result for your team to work towards, if the outcome is important to you, then goal setting is critical.
If you have any questions on how to set goals and then achieve them, please reach out at: firstname.lastname@example.org.