When I talk with or coach people trying to grow their businesses and we get to the topic of goals, I ask them to get specific on what they are wanting to achieve. While some people can easily synthesize goals (usually they have been in a line of work in their past where they developed this skill like healthcare or corporate business), most people know they struggle with boiling down what they wish to achieve in written goals or they are confused about what makes for a good written goal.
Here are some commonly stated business hopes.
“I want to make _________ in a year.”
“I want to expand my offerings.”
“I want more engagement on my social media.”
There is nothing wrong with these statements, except they are not goals. They are aspirations, and aspirations are great! Everyone should have them. The problem with these statements is that they have no feet attached to them to make them move or to make them measurable.
Cue Auld Lang Syne. Think of the New Year’s “goals” we exclaimed and clinked to on the eve of 2020. The ones you wrote out a plan for and have revisited, you probably are well on your way to achieving. The gym goals, all the books you were going to devour, learning something new… Did they vanish as soon as your New Year’s hangover was relieved (Won-ton soup by the way is a great cure!)?
So, how can we make an aspiration into a goal you ask? Here’s the goal recipe.
1 part more specific behaviors; 1 part a time component; 3 parts words to define the manner to achieve by way of objectives (define at least 3 objectives to make the goal easier to bite off in small steps)
Let’s take the social media goal as an example and give it some love, so it becomes achievable.
Goal: Over the next 6 months, I want to increase my social media followers on FB to ________ organic followers who represent my ICA (Ideal Client Avatar).
Objectives: 1. I will post 5 times a week. 2. I will develop content buckets based on reviewing my engagement analytics to see what most interests my ideal clients. 3. I will create 10 branded templates using Canva to facilitate consistency and ease of posting. 4. I will increase my lives to 2-3x a month. 5. I will present 4 in-person or online workshops and script asking people to connect to my page.
Now, the goal has feet and can take off running! If you wrote this goal, you could revisit it over the period of the 6 months weekly to check your progress. You could even break this goal down into week by week tasks to make it happen using paper and pencil or an app like Trello.
What’s a goal of yours that could use a little sprucing? How could you equip it to move?