3 Easy Steps to Setting Your 2014 Goals

The Status Quo

In December and January, most people and organizations set their goals for the new year. Their goals fall into one of two categories:

  1. Wish-list goals. ("We wish we could achieve $_______ in revenue.")
  2. Percentage-increase goals. ("Our 2014 goals will equal our 2013 results, plus 10 percent.")

In both cases, the goals sound great, but we have no idea how we'll achieve them. We cross our fingers and keep moving. Things will work out. Right?

Why Goal-Setting Matters

Shocking Statistics:

  • Only 20% of us bother to write goals.
  • Only 30% of us who write goals, achieve those goals. That's only 6% of the population.

The big achievers in life are those who wrote goals and worked to achieve them. Sometimes they succeeded. Sometimes they lost. But they always got better, and they achieved more.

It's easy to write some goals on a piece of paper, just so you can say you wrote them. It's even easier to skip goal-setting altogether. Some business leaders say, "We have great products, and we have great salespeople. We're so good, we don't need goal-setting." These are the same people who think Russian Roulette is a business simulation game. Their businesses tend to be short-lived.

A Better Way

Here are three easy steps you can use for a stronger 2014. You won't find them in a business textbook, but you will find them in real life. 

Get out a pad of paper and a pencil. When you write your answers to these three steps, you'll have a plan you can use to achieve more in 2014. 

Step 1: Review your performance in 2013.

  • What were our 2013 goals?
  • How well did we achieve them?
  • What worked?
  • What didn't work?  What needs attention?
  • What will we do better in 2014?
  • After we apply what we learned, how much more can we accomplish in the new year?

Step 2: Set your 2014 goals.

  • List your annual goals for 2014.
    • Deliverable (something you can measure).
    • Due date (12/31/2014 for calendar years).
    • Person accountable for achieving the goals (usually it's you).
  • List milestone events that must be achieved during the year, in order to achieve your annual goals.
    • Deliverable
    • Due date
    • Accountable person
  • List the steps necessary to achieve each milestone.
    • Deliverable
    • Due date
    • Accountable person

(Note: Your work today on Step 2 is the foundation for SMART goals and BHAG goals, which we'll explore in upcoming blogs.)

Step 3: Set up your monitoring system, to measure your progress throughout the year.

  • Decide what must be measured.
  • Select the measurement tools (reports, observations, checklists).
  • Choose the progress meeting dates.
    • Planned performance to date.
    • Actual performance to date.
    • Mid-course correction steps.

It's Time to Act

The reason for your success in 2014 can be found in your answers to the points above. 2014 has already begun. You don't have a moment to waste.

I wish you uncommon success!