This is a continuation of the previous post on goal setting at http://lawrencefine.com/blog/2008/05/goal-setting/
One thing to keep in mind when discussing goal setting is that while it’s mainly talked about in a business environment, it’s important to apply goal setting to all aspects of life. Yes it’s important to have goals of profitability or goals of revenue etc but it’s also important for individuals to have goals in their personal lives. It might be to achieve a certain level of education or to hike a certain number of trails etc.. Just because most examples are business related doesn’t mean it only applies to business applications.
Once you have established your goals (using the definition from the previous post of a goal being a dream that is attainable, measurable, has a time limit and is in writing) the next step is to see if you can break this goal into smaller sub goals.
If we use the example of a non profit organization wanting to increase it’s membership from 25,000 members to 30,000 members in a five year period, one difficulty organizations encounter with this type of a goal is that it appears quite daunting. Adding 5000 members seems to be quite a significant endeavor. Rather than worrying about 5000 new members, you might set a sub goal of adding 500 new members in a 6 month period. This might seem like a much easier number to deal with. The reality is, if they were to add 500 new members every 6 months, that would give them the 5000 new members at the end of the 5 year period.
Now that you have a sub goal, the next step is to figure out a plan on how to get there. This could be a recommend a friend and their first year is half price, or added benefits or simply a better job positioning of the organization.
The key to working toward the sub goals is to realize these sub goals can’t be thought of as working in a vacuum. The things you do to achieve one sub goal frequently will have an effect on the other sub goals.
For example, if you reduce the price of membership for a 6 month period, it might increase the number of new members during that time period. However, when the 6 month period is over and the price goes back up, it might make it more difficult to achieve the second sub goal (which is another 500 member increase in the second 6 month period). This means that the methods decided upon to achieve each sub goal must take into consideration the other sub goals and more importantly, the final goal. It must always be taken into consideration that every action causes a reaction and the reaction must be anticipated to determine the effect on the other sub goals and the ultimate goal. In other words, the sub goals must be seen as steps toward a final outcome as opposed to random steps.
Now that you have your goals and your sub goals and have come up with a plan to achieve these sub goals the next step is to get to work and start toward those sub goals.
Remember, if you have a good plan, work the plan and still don’t achieve all your goals, you are still a success! It’s only those who don’t plan and don’t work toward the plan that fail.
As always, have a great day!