A smart CEO understands the inherent value of goal setting in steering a growing business in the right direction. Unfortunately, figuring out exactly what the right direction is—and the road map to get there—isn't as much of a no-brainer.  – Peter Vanden Bos, Inc.

Everyone knows the importance of setting goals and most high-level business people (regardless of industry) have at least heard of the SMART objectives/goals approach.

Nevertheless, life gets busy and its surprisingly easy not to prioritise the revisiting of goals for the new year.

But never fear.

This is your gentle reminder (the one we all need at times) that setting fresh goals every year is vitally important to your business success.

To emphasize the distinction between long- and short-term goals, Baren suggests using different language. "Look at a long-term goal as an initiative," he says. "If you're constantly calling them goals, people will say they've heard it before. [To them,] it will feel like a marathon. Sometimes, a goal needs to be positioned as something bigger." – Bill Baren, San Franciso business coach.


And here is your refresher course on SMART objectives/goals/initiatives.  

Specific –

For your goals to be successful, you need to be very clear on what it is you’re trying to achieve. Be very descriptive. Don’t just say you want the organisation to be more profitable next year. Instead describe how much money you need to make in order to deliver which products/services.

Measurable –

If your goals are not measurable, how do you know if you’ve been successful? When you’re describing your goals for 2017, put a value on it. That value could be a dollar figure, a percentage or any other quantitative value.

“The 80/20 rule, or the Pareto principle, says that 80% of the results comes from 20% of the efforts. Anything that we measure, we’ll find that 80% of our results are coming from 20% of the work that’s put in. Find the 20% of your efforts that are producing the 80% of your results, and amplify them.

To do this, you have ensure that you track and analyze all of the time that you spend on your work-related efforts throughout the day.” – Mario Andretti  

Action-oriented –

What do you/others need to do and by when if you’re going to deliver the abovementioned specifically measureable goals? Spell it out and don’t hold back. And remember that we’re being specific in every aspect of this process, not just in the initial component. 

Realistic –

Sometimes we get carried away with our goals. We’re full of good intentions, we want the world for our clients. But we need to keep coming back to what our organisation has been set up to do and we need to be honest about our capacity.  Perhaps some of the things we’d like to achieve need to be registered as long-term goals while we’re only focusing here on what we want to get done in 2017.

Time specific –

Set deadlines so that you know whether you’re on track or need to adjust your plans. Milestones are important. You don’t want to get to the end of the year and realise that you’re off the beaten track. Milestones help you stay focused; they also give you little wins along the way which is good for staff morale. And don’t forget that it’s perfectly okay to adjust your plan when you need to if you’re not hitting those milestones.

One parting comment as you get ready to work on developing your goals for this year: Bring your team on the journey with you.

These folks are at the coal face everyday and they're going to have a clear picture on how realistic some of the goals are and they may also have some gems of their own to contribute.

Bringing the team into the fold as you develop your goals will give those goals a higher chance of success as well.

When your team feel as though they have some investment or ownership over the success of a business goal, they're more likely to put their best foot forward on getting it done. 

We wish you all the best with your planning and with your success this year.

We’re busy working on a big year of events, resources and blog posts for 2017 that will help you in achieving your planned success, so please keep an eye on our website.

If you haven’t yet, please subscribe to our fortnightly e-newsletter, IGNITE. 


(our awfully useful and entertaining, fortnightly e-newsletter)