Setting a goal and making it happen are two very different things in business, and it takes more than wishes and hopes to be successful.
If you want to set goals and make them happen, you’ll need these five tools:
The first thing you’ll need is a method of setting the right goals, and you may be familiar with the acronym SMART objectives.
This stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. With these five elements to your goals, you’ll know exactly where you are heading, and when you’ve arrived.
Once you know where you are going and when you want it to happen, you’re going to need a strategy to get there. I think Max McKeown says it all in his book, The Strategy Book when he shares that, “Strategy is the human attempt to get desirable ends with available means.”
Very few business owners do ‘strategy’ well. They rarely have a properly written business or marketing plan, and without these, you will find it very difficult to reach the goals you set for yourself.
And that confirms our second tool, the strategic plan.
I suggest you find a template for a plan that you can use and prepare a plan for your business.
Third up on the hit parade of making your goals a reality is, action or doing something.
A goal without a plan is a wish, and a plan without action is a fool’s dream. The world is awash with gurus promising you riches beyond measure for a few hours work a week. But the reality is for most of us, sitting on a beach chair drinking Pina coladas is a nice break, but it isn’t a good plan for getting goals achieved.
I like to think of ‘action’ in the context of the Indian Proverb about the Elephant, “How do you eat one? One bite at a time!” The best way to achieve a big goal is to do something towards that goal every single day of the year. With 365 days of action, you’ll be much more likely to get to your goals more often.
You have a goal, a plan and you’re doing something every day towards it; what could possibly go wrong?
The fourth tool you’re going to need is focus.
It’s easy to get distracted and to follow some idea down a rabbit hole. You must keep an eye on the big picture and on the big goals, and be constantly vigilant that what you are doing each day is contributing to the overall plan.
And finally, after all of this, you’re going to have to be flexible.
Flexibility and the ability to adapt to change is one of the most important survival tools for any business owner. Particularly in an economy where there is rapid technological change in virtually every market. To survive, let alone reach your goals, you’ll need to keep a weather eye on the market, on the competition, and on the way, technology is changing your market.
So, there are five tools you can use to reach the goals you set for yourself. It is indeed a rare skill to project a certain goal out into an uncertain future and then put in place the plans and activity to bring it to reality. To actually pull it off regularly, will make you seem like a part-time traveller and part magician to many people.
But in reality, it isn’t magic; it is more like a mix of inspiration and perspiration.
Enjoy the journey.
Originally published on Smallville.