Editor’s Note: Grant Stanley is a seasoned Business Coach and a Sales & Marketing Expert with a 20+ year outstanding Sales and Marketing record. He is also an author on Flevy, where he has published materials from Business Fundamentals to Management and Leadership Excellence. Take a look at all of Grant’s Flevy best practice documents here.
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Goal setting and action planning is probably the most critical element of the coaching structure. By creating and writing goals down we are giving ourselves permission to make them happen. If we go one step further and articulate our goals to others we enlist their support and increase the chance of our goals happening.
One word of warning – be careful what you ask for!!…If you are focused and take action. You WILL achieve your goals – they just seem to happen around you…
When we set goals we should really consider all areas of our life as well as our corporate role – our Career, Finances, Health, Friends and Family, Significant other/Romance, our Personal Growth, Fun and Recreation and our Physical environment.
Some key points to remember when setting powerful goals:
Goals can be – short, medium or long term
- Short Term Goals! – To be achieved within a couple of months
- Medium Term Goals! – To be achieved within the next 3 -12 months
- Long Term Goals! – To be achieved anytime from 1 year to 5+ years
All goals should be SMARTER:
- Time phased
- Expressed positively
- Recorded and Reviewed
So for example you may have a goal as follows:
“I want to deliver this project on time and in budget.”
A SMARTER would be: “On March 31st 2013 our new project went live. There were no hitches and the transition was seamless. This was 12 days ahead of schedule and we are already seeing an increase in productivity as a result of the new systems. We achieved this by introducing weekly planning meetings and working with our suppliers to quickly resolve problems that were slowing us down. We also came in 3% under budget, which has allowed us to upgrade our office computers with the monies saved. I feel motivated to further increase productivity next year.”
This goal is expressed positively and in the present (i.e. as if it has actually happened) and there are also associated positive outcomes and benefits with achieving this goal.
Some Useful Tips
1. Buy a special “Goal” book to write all your goals in
2. Review your Goals regularly – at least weekly, ideally daily
3. Create a small index card note of powerful questions to ask yourself that will drive you towards your goals. Keep this card with you so that you may refer to it often.
Examples of powerful questions for the above goal:
“What improvements can I make to my time management?
“What specific actions can I take to aid problem solving with our suppliers?”
“What works well that I could do more of to deliver this goal?