The first month of the year is a classic time for business owners, and sales professionals, to identify and focus on their most important personal, and professional, goals. We’ve noticed, though, that the goal-setting behavior of an organization’s leaders during the month of January tends to have the biggest bottom-line impact on the year, as a whole.
When you set goals for yourself, do you follow a clear process—one you can perform repeatedly? Do you document that process in written form with measurable metrics? Many leaders—and their people—do not and, as a result, their ability to act on and achieve their goals is diminished.
Here is a defined process—and five essential metrics—you and your people should incorporate as you create your own personal goal-setting playbook:
• How many core values have you identified? Start with what is called a Value Audit. A value is a standard that expresses how you operate—a standard from which you will not deviate. Identify at least three values that will allow you to clarify what matters most to you. Your values should guide both your business life and your personal life, and they must align. For instance: Spending quality time with my family and maximizing my income, no matter what, do not align. Determine your priorities and create a value set that aligns with those priorities.
• How many personal goals will you develop? It’s important to start with your personal goals and identify at least three you can work toward. A common goal-setting mistake people make is starting with their business goals. If you first prioritize your personal goals, you will find it much easier to identify business goals that support, and align, with them. Ask yourself: What do you want your life to look like five years from now? What do you want your retirement to look like? You can create personal goals in any number of areas: financial, family, social, hobby, health/fitness, spiritual and so on.
• How many business goals will you develop? Once you have identified your personal goals, you will want to determine what your business and professional goals need to be in order to support those goals. Make certain your business goals stem from your personal goals.
• What specific behaviors support and lead to the achievement of your goals? Create a behavioral plan (also known as a “cookbook”) to establish, and track, the activities that directly affect your ability to achieve your goals. Identify multiple activities, not just one. Schedule time on the calendar to do the behaviors. Keep track of your record in executing these activities, over time, so you can evaluate your progress.
• Get an accountability partner. Identifying someone who will hold you accountable should be part of your goal-setting playbook. This must be someone you trust and respect, someone to whom you can make a clear, impossible-to-misunderstand commitment to take regular action on your behavioral plan. Then, schedule weekly discussions with this person. If your behavioral plan dictates that you are going to do X, Y and Z this week, and it turns out that you do X and Y but not Z, a conversation needs to take place. Your accountability partner must ensure that you take some kind of action to restore your accountability. If this person lets you off the hook by allowing you to simply assume responsibility for not doing what you said you would do, and there is no action taken to remedy the situation, there is no accountability. (Note: If you agree, you can also serve as their accountability partner.)
Follow these simple steps to incorporate all five of these critical elements in your goal-setting playbook … and be in a much better position to achieve your goals in 2023.
Jim Marshall is owner, and president, of Sandler Training of Tampa Bay, which provides sales, corporate and management training to high-achieving companies and individuals. Contact him at 813.287.1500 or email@example.com.