When it comes to goals, the greatest struggle for most people is that they do not take the steps to follow through on them until completion. Why is it so hard to take action on our goals? A few reasons come to mind…
They are too broad and generic. They do not have a clear time-frame. They are not meaningful enough. There are other reasons too, but these are some of the primary reasons that cause people to give up on pursuing their goals.
In order to set better goals that are attainable, I’ve developed a simple model that should be used every 90 days called “IMPACT goal-setting.” I recommend a 90-day goal approach because it allows you to focus on something that can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. People often abandon their goals because the time-frame is too long, and they lose motivation and focus as a result.
IMPACT goals have the following six characteristics:
Important. First and foremost, your goal must be meaningful and worth pursuing. Do not set a goal just for the sake of setting a goal. What difference will achieving this goal have on your life?
Metric-driven. Your goal must be measurable in some way (quantitative or qualitative). Otherwise, how will you know if you have successfully met the goal?
Purposeful. Why are you setting this goal? What greater purpose will be served by accomplishing the goal? There must be a clear purpose and reason for pursuing the goal.
Actionable. Your goal must be something that can be acted upon. What specific steps will you take to complete your goal? Write them down somewhere and look at them every day.
Challenging. How is pursuing this goal going to stretch you? Goals should be challenging. They should cause us to do things outside of our comfort zone that enable us achieve results we did not think were possible.
Timely. Lastly, your goal should not only be bound by a specific time-frame, but it should also be the right time to pursue your goal. Just because you have a worthy goal does not mean that you should pursue it now. Make sure the timing is right.
Whether you are setting goals for yourself or for your organization, following these guidelines will help to ensure that your goals are worthwhile, achievable, and impactful. I encourage you to give it a try this year.