Setting goals is essential in life and business as they provide you with direction.  Several people lately have said that they struggle with setting goals, so we have put together a list of our top tips and methods for setting goals.  

Method 1 – SMART Goals

smart goals

The SMART criteria has been around since the early 1980s and is the optimal way to set goals.  

Specific – A specific goal should answer questions like what needs to be accomplished?  Who is responsible for it?  

Measurable – Quantifying your goal, it allows you to track your progress and give you a measure of success.  

Achievable – Is your goal achievable?  Goals should be a challenge or a stretch from where you currently are but they also should be attainable.  

Realistic – Is your goal realistic?  Having unrealistic goals can create unwanted stress and frustration.

Timely – In what time period are you going to achieve your goal? 

An example of a weak goal is “I want to increase my monthly customer retention rates”.  However this can be made into a SMART goal “I want to increase my monthly customer retention rate by 10% in the 6 months from February”.  

Method 2 – PACT goals

PACT goals focus more on the output.  Some people have found that PACT goals allow them to track progress towards achieving a goal and creating new habits. The PACT technique works especially well for long-term, ambitious goals because they are focused on continuous growth.

pact goals

Purpose – A purposeful intent speaks to your values and vision for the future.  

Actionable – Your goals should have outcomes that you can focus on now.  Actionable steps allow you to be present and not just planning to do in the future. 

Continuous – This is where you can focus on continuous growth and improvement towards your goals. By using repeatable and straightforward routines, it helps you to avoid analysis paralysis and build healthy habits.  

Trackable – This is more of a “yes” or “no” approach – tracking whether or not you’ve completed the actions you needed in order to achieve your goal.

An example of a PACT goal is “I am going to email 15 and call 5 existing customers each week for 6 months with the specials to increase the monthly customer retention rate by at least 10% from February.  

Tip 1 – Write your goals down

Writing your goal down helps you clarify them, particularly if you are following one of the methods above.  A US study showed that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals if you write them down.

But don’t write them in a notebook that you’ll never look at again.  Keep them handy and refer to them regularly.  Your goals should influence your decision-making.  

Tip 2 – Break down the steps

If you have used the SMART methodology, you may need to break your goal down into steps or even subgoals to allow you to achieve it.  For example, if you want to run a marathon you don’t just go out and run one.  You need to break down the steps first.  The steps could be hiring a running coach, buying new shoes, eating a particular diet, running 5 days a week, and competing in a 10K race.  All of these are steps that are going to allow you to run a marathon.  

Business goals are exactly the same.  Your goal could be that you want to achieve a million dollars in sales for the year.  Some of the steps you may need to complete could include preparing a budget (read why every business should have a budget here) and a marketing plan, reviewing your manufacturing processes, hiring a new team member etc.  

These steps can be both internally focused as well as customer or externally focused, but they all should be helping you to achieve your overall goal.

If you need some help with your business goals, book a discovery call with us.