Achievable goals are the pinnacle of a smart goal-setting strategy. Sure, you should be able to achieve your goals, generally speaking. Yet, there is a lot more to achievable goals. This is because goals are high-productivity enablers. By itself, goal-setting provides structure to individual or team efforts.
And making sure that goals are achievable builds on that. Most of all, achievable goals motivate. They become a milestone. One that requires resilience. To put it simply, achievable goals are something people feel. Achievable goals reward because they feel like the achievement that they are.
Achievable goals put things in perspective. They ensure you and your team have the right focus. Two main reasons. They feel like the right place to reach. And the right place to be. To set achievable goals, you need to make your goals smart. Or maybe even smarter. Here are 5 steps to do so.
1. Be specific
Making goals specific means you need to give values to the X of the equation. Make the goals clear, easy to understand. In addition, include all the elements of a proper definition. Focus on everything that defines the goal, and nothing extra. Merely state what is necessary and sufficient to precisely describe the goal.
There are some tricks that ensure achievable goals are specific. Do not let your goals sounds like a bold, open-ended statement. Instead, flesh them out properly. Better yet, use the 5 magic W’s:
- Who, as in which roles or which people are involved. “Who” can also relate to functions or capacities.
- What, as in what the end result is. What should be achieved. If possible, include what is necessary to achieve the goal. Especially what needs to be done.
- Why, as in why the goal is a focus point. Why it is a milestone and why it is important to your team or strategy. Moreover, why it is a goal in the first place.
- Which resources are necessary? Whichever resources that you control are to be involved.
- Where is it? Most things have a location. Sure, many things are in the cloud these days. Nonetheless, the location is everything. So, always include the location.
This trick enables your goals to be specific. And when you set specific goals, you set achievable goals.
Specific goals become much like a list. In it, you cover what needs to be done. That is because strategic choice in itself leads to boosts in performance. At least when compared to merely accepting goals.
2. Measure your goals
A journey of one thousand steps starts with the first step. And typically continues with a second step. The point here is simple. At any moment, on your way, you can tell how many steps you have made. And how many will follow. This provides clarity. To some extent, it tells you where you are. And that ensures you can strategize your energy. Either push forward, full-steam ahead, or cautiously wait.
Achievable goals are measurable, precisely because humans separate work in chunks. Attention spans and productivity both happen in cycles. Being able to measure goals means you know what you need, and how and when to deliver it. How many weeks until completion.
To determine measurability, consider quantifiers. Moreover, verify if the goals you set can be evaluated with parameters. To clarify, think about how much of X is needed to achieve the goal. Or how many cars should Tesla produce to meet the market demand.
Besides, according to this study, measurable goals truly make a difference in rehabilitation. And it seems the notion is tested in the best possible sense.
3. Make your goals attainable
Many dreams seem impossible until you set your mind to achieving them. Yet, some things cannot be achieved no matter how hard you try. The unattainable is a perpetual struggle. The point here is not to be a Sisyphus.
Make your goals attainable. It should be possible to reach that goal. And you should set goals so that it is realistic to reach them. This does not, by all means, imply you should not challenge yourself. Quite the opposite. When you challenge yourself, you can take better care of all opportunities.
To make goals attainable, you need to be aware of your limitations. And of how you can stretch past those limitations and beyond. Making goals attainable encourages resilience. Here is how you can be more resilient.
4. Make them relevant
Goals matter. There is no point to setting goals that do not matter. Yet, making goals relevant is a different challenge.
You need to target precisely those goals that you need to focus on. Moreover, explain them to your team. In effect, everyone flies on the same flight schedule.
Relevant goals are easier to control. Why? Because all through reaching set goals, you can maintain that relevant goals are worthwhile. That they fit well with the schedule. That they echo your organization. Relevant goals are proportional with your resources.
To make goals relevant, ask yourself what is most appropriate. Firstly, consider internal and external elements. Secondly, weigh potential outcomes and consider where you stand. Setting relevant goals is, above all, strategic thinking. Reconsider anything similar to launching the new coke or the Facebook phone.
Lastly, you should also consider aligning goals to other objectives. Or to broader objectives in larger-scale projects. After all, everything should fit just right.
5. Set a time-frame
Goals are a lot like deadlines in this respect. Deadlines are set times at which projects must be finalized. Achievable goals have target dates. And target dates are different. Because target dates offer deadlines to more than one person, or even more than one team.
Above all, target dates are a reference for any team. Hence, they transform goals into actionable content. You now need to act on what needs to be done. Because there is always a date that goes with what needs to be done.
Overall, make sure you stay positive when setting achievable goals. Positivity ensures that everyone welcomes the goals you set. The minimum you can do is to rephrase goals in an affirmative way. Avoid formulating them in a negative way, because it will feel less motivating.