How to Track Business Goals
How to Set your Goals and Follow-up
How to set your goals and follow up on your progress is a very interesting topic. It is easy to get lost in the routine and forget why we are performing the tasks we execute everyday. This being said, you must pay attention. In order to establish your goals successfully, it is critical to have a clear vision of yourself and the mission you will achieve. Starting from there, you must know the strengths and opportunities you possess that will help you achieve those goals.
Once you have organized your thoughts and ideas, write them down, read them and set a plan to execute them.
Dr. Noberto Levy, in his book: “The Interior Assistant”, defines a goal as the mental representation of a desired state. This means that certain goal has not been executed yet, and it is still in an early stage of the process. Speaking in easier terms, it is the blueprint of a house before it has been built. Goals help us take actions towards the achievement of a future endeavor or objective.
The Key to Set Goals is to Write them Down
Did you know that the most successful people write down their goals? It doesn’t matter if you do it with pen on paper or typing them in your laptop. Writing down your goals will help you visualize, reflect and nail down your ideas. This will eventually help you materialize your vision.
Objectives to Achieve Clear Goals
Objectives are divided in two categories:
- General Objective: This objective is the description of the desired situation. It emphasizes the expected outcome, expressed in a precise, brief and realistic way.
- Specific Objectives: These objectives derive from the general objective and structure the road to achieve it. These objectives are usually more than one, and the desired results must be specified accordingly.
Additionally, objectives are also divided into time frames:
- Short-term: Those goals that require between a day and a year to be completed.
- Mid-term: These are the goals that require between one and five years to be completed.
- Long-term: These goals usually require more than five years to be completed.
According to Napoleon Hill, the author of “Think and Grow Rich”, everything that has been created or achieved by humans started out with an idea or thought in someone’s head. This being said, one idea or a storm of ideas, is going to determine the foundation of our objectives.
Once you have your foundation, don’t get discouraged if your objectives are not clear right away. Identifying and defining objectives is not easy! In the beginning it will be difficult to adequately establish them but this is part of the process. This is a matter of practicing, falling, and adjusting. However, the most important part of determining and achieving clear goals is to take action. Your plan does not have to be perfect because experience will transform the implemented strategies that you are using to achieve your objectives.
How to Design and Follow-up with my Goals
There have been multiple experts who have developed methods to define objectives in a clear way. We will set some examples in this article and it is up to you to determine which method works better for you. However in our opinion, better results can be achieved when creating a mix of all approaches.
SMART Approach : Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and with a defined Time bound goal.
- Specific: the objective must respond to the questions of what, where, when, how and why.
- Measurable: The objectives must be able to be measured. This is the only way to know if they are being achieved or not. You must determine if your objectives will be measured through time, money, engagement, metrics, etc.
- Attainable: Every goal must be attainable and at the same time challenging depending on the resources and capabilities of the company. If your goals are too small, you might get too comfortable. If your goals are too big, you might get discouraged. It will not be easy, but experience will teach you how to find that happy medium.
- Realistic: It is critical that your goals are realistic. This aspect is related to the attainable manner of your objectives. Research and experience will teach you how to create realistic goals.
- Time Bound: Setting deadlines is a critical step when reflecting on your objectives. The proposed challenges must be time bound and have set dates of completion in order to avoid delaying the project.
PURE stands for Positive, Understood, Relevant and Ethical.
Positively stated is based on NLP which stands for Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP has been used since the 1970’s as a way to improve workplace performance and personal happiness. This philosophy uses perceptual, behavioral, and communicative techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions. The way this fits into the PURE methodology is by stating your objectives in a positive way. Rather than “I do not want this business to affect the environment” you could state “My business will be environmentally friendly”. In a subconscious level we are programing ourselves for success when stating our goals in a positive manner.
Goals must be understood by all members that are working towards the same objectives. In companies, it is easy to lose focus of the bigger picture and assign tasks without a clear vision of the objective of that action. With this in mind, it is important to train your team to perform tasks thinking of the company goals. This will allow your employees to have a clear vision and it could potentially give them creative wings to find better solutions.
Are your goals relevant?
By this we want to emphasize that the most successful business leaders focus on fewer priorities. When you have several priorities, your employees might lose track of your business goals and efficiency decreases.
The last aspect of this strategy is the hardest one to achieve. Having ethical goals can vary depending on each individual’s perspective. For this, think of the values that are important for you and strategize your goals accordingly.
Proposes the revision of context in which the goals for a project or business are defined.
Now let’s reflect a little. Even if I give you a thousand methods, if you don’t really know what your objective is, you will not achieve it.
According to Tim Ferris, the author of “The four-hour workweek”, a lot of people answer the question: What are your objectives? in a confused or indecisive manner. This is because a lot of them don’t really know what they want. This is why, if you have these same doubts, focus on setting your goals by responding to three simple questions: Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What do you want to have?
Who do you want to be?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself. Some people believe it is not about the goal, but the person you have to become to accomplish your goal, so who do you want to be? For example, a great architect, team leader, entrepreneur, doctor, you name it!
What do you dream of doing?
Be specific! Being specific is not only important for your goal, but it will also draw a roadmap of the actions you will need to take. Let’s talk about things that you can do to achieve your goal. For example, taking public speaking classes, traveling the world, or even studying in a different country!
What would you like to have?
Even though material possessions do not bring happiness, they do ease life. Think about the things you would like to have in life and let this be your inspiration to work hard for your goals. For example, an apartment by the beach, a nice car, financial freedom, or you could even want the respect of your colleagues.
Write down a detailed list of the objectives you want to achieve. You already have it? Now classify them in order to achieve them by a certain time. For example in a day, a week, a month, a year. Also, identify your strengths and opportunities that may help you accomplish these objectives within your timeframe.
After clearly wiring them down, establish the purpose behind each objective. Why do you want it? What will it bring you? Having motives behind the achievement of your objective is very powerful. Your goals will not only change your life but also the lives of those around you. Be brave while establishing your goals!
Break down each objective in parts. This is the strategic part of every process. Answer the question: What actions must I take to achieve these objectives?
For example: I want to learn how to speak French. In order to accomplish this you would have to: take classes, read books in French, visit a French speaking country, watch movies in French…etc.
Remember, establishing objectives without determining how or how long it will take, is the same as dreaming.
What Actions will make my Goal Possible?
The answer is any action! You just need to start moving. Start taking action on the objectives you wrote down on your list. Let yourself feel the power of crossing off tasks and adding more to your list. It feels great! And what’s even better, that first action is going to determine for you what the next steps are. It works like a snowball effect!
So if you want our healthy advice, take action immediately. Start now! It’s surprising how many people fail because they do not take action on their goals or plans and they postpone them. Procrastination is our biggest enemy. Successful people have daily routines they follow that help them focus on achieving their goals. So, what are you waiting for?
Following-up on the Process
To know if an idea is successful and has allowed for the goal to be completed, it is necessary to measure your actions. You have to analyze them following certain criteria. These are known as KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Each objective must be associated with a series KPIs that will help control the evolution of such. Ultimately, KPIs can be defined as a quantitative metric that helps ponder the results of a certain strategy in relation to the determined objectives in order to achieve the goals. These indicators must be in constant revision to be able to fix internal problems and change them when it’s time.
Besides, a lot of people claim that having someone with whom to share your progress is helpful.
Here’s the cherry on top!
Fortunately, there are software and tools created by professionals that can currently help you follow up on the progress of your objectives and goals. If you are an architect or an engineer, check out PASconcept! The company management software that will help you reach your goals and grow your firm at the same time!