Smart business owners understand the value of goal setting, but figuring out exactly how to get there isn’t always as easy. This is especially true when it comes to new businesses, when the end goal feels so far away that you don’t even know where to begin. We often find that it’s easy to overestimate what you can achieve in a short period of time and underestimate what you can achieve in a longer period of time, which sets you off track. This is why having a good goal setting structure is important as it can hold you accountable and increase productivity.
So one method that we work through with our clients is Backwards Goal Setting and this is how you can achieve it.
Step 1: Visualise your ultimate goal.
To develop an ultimate goal it needs to be both motivating and SMART. In terms of motivating, I mean something that excites you and that you will be committed to achieving. If you choose a goal you don’t connect with emotionally, you are more likely to get bored, not prioritise or forget about it. Your goal also needs to be SMART. You may have heard of SMART goals or objectives before but to ensure your goal is a SMART you need to answer the following:
Specific– What exactly do I want to achieve?
Measurable – What is the criteria for evaluating when the goal has been met?
Achievable– Do I have control over the outcome and is it feasible within the set time frame?
Relevant– Will this goal really achieve what I attend for it to?
Time-Bound– What is the time frame?
For example a SMART goal could be: To increase UK website sales by 20% in a 6 month period.
Step 2: Determine the milestones to reach your ultimate goal
Now that your end goal is clearly defined, we need to develop a road map to reach it. Do this by working backwards step by step to determine what mini goals (milestones) need to be hit to help you progress through your road map. Working backwards like this will give you a new perspective on goal setting and can save time spent on unproductive activities along the way.
Step 3: Change your habits
Once your road map and milestones are clearly identified, the process of reaching your end goal may seem more attainable – which is great- but we’re not done yet. We’ve figured out ‘WHAT’ needs to be done but not ‘HOW’. The ‘HOW’ comes from developing habits to support the goals, as most of the goals in life that fail are because we don’t adapt to a new way of living/working to reach them.
For example, someone may say I want to lose 10lbs and my road map will be to lose 1lb a week, but if you don’t *consistently* change the way you eat, or you don’t wake up an hour earlier every day to work out, you will not hit your targets and eventually you may give up.
This applies to business too, you need to evolve your mentality when it comes to work habits to be able to reach your next milestone.
For example, if the milestone you are working towards is to increase the rate of customer retention by 50% via courtesy calls. You will need to allocate a set period within each day to schedule these calls and ensure they are carried out consistently to be able to see viable results.
Developing goals with action plans are a great way to help your business flourish and if you are able to use the Backward Goal Setting method, you’ll be able to stay focused and improve efficiency. Don’t forget to refer back to your ultimate goal regularly to make sure you are staying on track, and try to keep your goals positive along with developing successful/ healthy habits like self belief and persistence to mentally get you equipped to reach your dreams.