Dr. Gail Matthews of the Dominican University of California has completed a study that shows what we at Level Up Leadership have known for years: Writing your goals down and sharing them with others greatly improves your odds of achieving the goal.
In Dr. Matthews’ study, she had different groups of people list their business goals for the next four weeks and rank them in order of importance. She found that people who wrote down their goals, shared them with a friend, and sent weekly updates to that friend were 33% more likely to accomplish their goals than people who simply formulated goals without writing them down or sharing them.
Dr. Matthews’ study underscores how important it is not only to formulate goals for yourself and for your business but to take active steps toward achieving those goals. It’s all too easy to change your goal in your mind or forget about it entirely if you don’t take the time to write it down.
Writing Down Company Related Goals Isn’t Enough
In a business environment, no matter what level of the hierarchy you’re at, you’re always accountable to someone. Whether it be your boss, your Board of Directors, or your shareholders, there are implicit goals of your business that you must make explicit to the people you’re accountable to in order to most effectively move forward. That’s why the most successful businesses have goal setting strategies and hold annual goals review meetings (if not biannual or monthly.) A business’s strategic planning simply cannot move forward if clear goals are not laid out and abided by.
Goals Should Be SMART
When working as a strategic planning consultant for a business, we recommend that company goals be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-sensitive. Our clients also need to know the WHY behind their goals: to goals need to be Written, Harmonious, and Yours. When crafting the goals of your company, everyone should be able to get behind the larger goals of the organization, but also have individual goals that are specific to their own role within the company.
Here are a few simple steps to help you get started with your goal setting strategy:
- First, write down your goal.
- Write down the rewards associated with achieving the goal and the consequences of falling short.
- Write down all the potential obstacles standing in the way of the goal. For each obstacle, write down a possible solution.
- Write down a plan of action for achieving the goal. Assign specific responsibilities for each step in the action plan to members of your team.
- Set target dates for achieving each individual step along the way. Set a plan for monitoring the progress of each step in the overall process.
- Stay encouraged! Consider using affirmations to keep the team motivated.
If you have additional questions related to the importance business goal setting or would like information on how strategic planning services may be of value to your organization, please do not hesitate to contact our team.