Performance Management

The Importance of Setting Business Goals

You would never dream of building a house without a blueprint, a plan for what it would look like once it was built. You would never hire a contractor who didn’t know the materials, workforce, and time it was going to take to make that house.

Is your business less important than the house you would live in? Why? oh, why? would you be a leader in the market and not have a clear picture of what you are building and what it’s going to take to make it?

Goals are often seen as additional work; let’s examine five reasons why goals are the fuel to your success.

1- Goals Help You Focus Your Attention

When you have clearly stated goals, preferably written and posted somewhere you can see them, your attention is brought back to what you are trying to accomplish.

Shiny Object Syndrome is common. I can’t tell you how many people I meet who believe they have a touch of Adult ADD. They don’t have Adult ADD; they’re not clear on what they should be focusing on in any given moment because everything seems important. As a result, everything gets a little bit of their attention and progress on any particular project or initiative is slow.

If you don’t state what’s essential everything will seem important.

2- Goals Give You a Clear Sense of What to Say “Yes” And “No” To

If you are someone who has a hard time saying “no,” having goals is definitely in your best interests.

Whenever you are approached to give away your time, or resources, the request is measured against the stated goals. You want to ask yourself, “Does this move me closer or further away from my goals?”

If it does not move you closer to your goal, the answer is, “no, for now.” It’s not to say you will never help the person who is approaching you; it just means that at this time you cannot commit your time and resources to their initiative right now.

We are all busy. The question is what you are busy doing?

3- Goals Allow You to Measure Your Progress

It is probably one of the most important reasons for having goals. Having goals, setting milestones and timeframes gives you an opportunity to gauge how you are doing against the target.

Rather than having a vague notion of how business is doing (I’m swamped) you have a realistic picture from which you can make decisions.

From here you can assess what’s working, what’s not working, where you may need some help, or perhaps you realize you need to tweak the goal.

Having these measurements can also give you a sense of accomplishment. Because you have documented where you started from you can also see how far you’ve come. It can keep the motivation up when working toward the goal becomes hard.

4- Goals Can Be Communicated To Employees, Partners, Contractors, and Vendors

People want to help; they want to contribute. More often than not they do live up to this desire because they are not clear on where they can make an impact. Help them help you by sharing your goals and why you want to achieve them.

If the goal is vague (increase business, improve net profits) there’s not much there for people to get inspired by nor is there a clear idea of how they can help.

Crafted goals and objectives motivate other people to see where they can make a difference for you in achieving your goals.

5- The Documented Goals Triggers the Unconscious on Your Behalf

Your unconscious mind is always working. Having defined goals allows the unconscious mind to work on them, even when you are not. Your mind will always be looking for solutions and creative ideas to move you closer to your goal.

The more the goal or the “problem” is stated, the better able the unconscious mind is at finding solutions.

These solutions usually come while doing a mundane activity like washing the dishes, brushing your teeth or going for a walk. Be ready when inspiration hits.

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