Remember at the start of the year when everyone is excited to set new goals? And then fast-forward to the end of the year when everyone looks back and suddenly remembers they set that goal in the first place. As it is approaching the end of the year, it is a time when many companies and individuals take the time to reflect on how far they have come. Now is also a good chance to not only to reflect on if the goals themselves were accomplished but also the effectiveness of the goals themselves.
Here are some tips on setting goals for both you and as an organization:
Make the goals something you actually want to achieve
This may seem counter-intuitive, but many set up goals that they do not actually look forward to achieving. Be real with yourself and your organization and the people in there. Also take the time to brainstorm the kinds of goals that you would be happy to fulfill. If you set too many goals with too many objectives, it will spread your energy thin and you will not be able to accomplish what will make you feel fulfilled and engaged.
Check in on your goals often
Many organizations set goals once a year, but do not regularly check in on their goals. One of the keys to maintaining goals is to maintain flexibility. Sometimes individuals and organizations get frustrated in the process because the goals are not flexible to accommodate changing opportunities or realities. Goals can be assessed every quarter, when employee reviews are done, to maintain currency and a sense of achievement at the end.
Focus not just on the end result but also on the process
Many companies focus on the goals but then do not set themselves up for the proper daily-life processes to make the goals a reality. Sometimes setting a goal makes you focus on the future, and can actually paralyze your action in the process by making you become a perfectionist and afraid of making mistakes. To use the weight-loss metaphor, instead of only setting a goal of losing a certain number of pounds, focus instead on actually going to the gym a certain number of times and the food you eat. Then, the pounds will naturally come off because you are taking the appropriate actions that contributes to an end result.
Overall, in setting new goals it is important not only to set them to start with, but to think about the the ways that they are achieved. Then, when you look back at the end of the year, you will be able to feel the sense of accomplishment that you can look forward to when you first set them.