One of the first things we do with any coaching client – whether it's for our sales or leadership training programs – is help them identify their goals in the main Thrive with Five areas – body, career, relationships, contributions and spirituality/passions. Usually we do 12 weeks of coaching, so we ask, "At the end of 90 days, where do you want to be in each of these areas?"Some of the goals we get are fairly measurable, like 'I want to meditate every day for 15 minutes.' We can track that, check in with you, and see progress easily. However, other goals are more abstract, such as 'I want to volunteer more.'
As coaches, we spend time pushing back on some of these more abstract goals and help our clients put more 'meat on the bones,' so to speak. If you're looking for ways to make your goals more achievable, I'd encourage you to ask yourself these same questions.
Are my goals SMART?
Most people have heard of the SMART goal-setting formula before:
- Is it specific?
- Is it measurable?
- Is it attainable?
- Is it realistic?
- Is it timely?
"I want to increase my sales," is not a SMART goal.
"I want to increase my sales by 500 bags of corn by the end of February 2017," is.
What is your plan?
Setting SMART goals should only be the beginning. If it's truly going to be attainable, you need to have an action-plan to back it up.
Using the example above – increasing my sales by 500 bags of corn by the end of February 2017 – here are some possible steps to plan out:
- Review your sales so far – are you starting from scratch or are you already part of the way there?
- Understand your history – What's your typical conversion rate from prospect to sale?
- Leverage that to plan your days – Based on my typical conversion rate, how many growers do I need to visit to hit my goals? How many people do I need to visit per week?
- Evaluate what support you need – Do I need to talk to my boss about pricing options? Do I need to learn more about a grower's farm?
As you answer those questions, create a list of to-do's upon which you can execute. The better the plan, the better the execution – and, hopefully, less stress for you overall.
Are you adjusting as you go?
Regardless of the plan, some things won't go exactly as you hoped. To make sure you reach your goals, constantly ask yourself two questions:
- What's working, and how can I do more of it?
- What's not working, and how can I do less of it?
Continuing to do something that doesn't seem to be yielding results or not leveraging what's working is a waste of time. Make sure to constantly be in a cycle of evaluate, adjust, execute.
Is there a way to make it fun?
This may not seem like it has anything to do with goals, but we've found a lot of success with client goals by turning it into a sort of game. How can you make a list of action items, assign points to each action, and earn points as you check them off? Then, how can you reward yourself when you achieve a certain level of points?
Called on a new grower today? 15 points
Submitted a proposal? 75 points
And so on. When you reach 100, 200, 500 points (whatever your goal is), treat yourself to something fun! At the end of the day, you and your business wins.
Goal-setting doesn't have to be boring and it doesn't have to be useless. By making sure your goals are SMART, outlining a very clear action plan, constantly adjusting when necessary and looking for ways to make it fun, your achievement rate is likely to soar.