At the beginning of the year, it is customary for people to set business and personal goals for the year. Many use the S.M.A.R.T goal formula to ensure that they set appropriate goals in the appropriate language. At bizHQ, we’ve taken it one step further and advocate setting R.E.S.U.L.T goals.
Just as the acronym “S.M.A.R.T”, hints at goals that are astute, our “R.E.S.U.L.T” acronym refers to a set of criteria you need to consider if you want your goals to lead to achievement and success. While some of the criteria are the same, we’ve added a few important elements to the mix that elevate your goals from being SMART to actually generating RESULTS.
Write down your goals for the next 90 days, and then go through the following criteria to ensure that you have R.E.S.U.L.T goals:
R = Realistic
There’s nothing more demotivating than not achieving your goals. But often that’s because you overstate your goals in the first place. Ask yourself, “Is it achievable in the current economic climate and this period of uncertainty?” I normally encourage my clients to extend and stretch themselves with their goals… you know, “aim for the stars, fall in the trees, aim for the trees, fall in the mud.” But right now, for many companies, the stars are out of reach. And that’s ok. My advice for the current circumstances is to have realistic short term goals and milestones that you can build on as things improve this year.
E = Emotional Connection
Goals are often just meaningless words. But they are more likely to be achieved when there is a significant and meaningful positive or negative consequence to achieving or not achieving the goal. You might stand to lose your house if you don’t achieve your goal. Or forced to take your kids out of their private school. In such cases, you are more likely to do everything you can to achieve your goal. Look for the emotional connection. Perhaps meeting a target means you will have capital to replace old equipment. What does that mean? You might save heaps of time. What would you do with that time? Spend it with your kids? Play more golf? Take up a hobby? Find a personal motivation to achieve a business goal.
S = Specific
Goals cannot be wishy washy, or generic clichés. Proper goals are well-defined, clear and unambiguous. When you set a goal, you need to be specific about the 5Ws:
– Who is involved?
– What needs to be done?
– Where is it going to take place?
– When will it be done?
– Why do you need to achieve it?
“To grow the business” is not a goal. A R.E.S.U.L.T goal would be: “For the sales team to increase market share in Gauteng by 5% in 6 months to ensure business sustainability and growth.”
U = Uncomfortable
The best goals should either excite you or make you nervous. They generally need to make you step out of your comfort zone because you are being forced to do something more, or something different. If your goals are the same every year, it’s no wonder they don’t inspire you and your team. Identify something that is going to make you do things a little differently and push you into unchartered territories. Because you can’t get a different result from doing the same thing.
L = Lead and Lag Measures
As I always preach, you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Every goal you set needs to be measurable. So, you need to ask yourself… how will we know if we have reached our goal? What metric can you apply to ensure and predict success (lead measure) and judge success (lag measure)? Your customer service goal might include lead measures such as responding to queries within 2 hours. Your lag measure would be receiving three less customer complaints a month.
T = Timeframe
Your goals need a deadline. And the deadline must be specific and realistic. It needs a start date and an end date. The new system will be operational by the end of March. Your new product needs to hit the shelves before 1 February. By setting a deadline, you create a sense of urgency which provides the motivation to get things done. It is also useful to break your goals down into smaller milestones. In order to achieve your overall goal, what do you need to finish today, by the end of the week, this month?
Most people and businesses have goals. The majority of them are never achieved. In some cases, the goal wasn’t clearly articulated or conceptualised in the first place. In other cases, the goal was never converted into a plan of action. Either way, this is where I can help. I assist business owners and executives to identify meaningful R.E.S.U.L.T goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and hold them accountable to deliver.
Send me your goals and I will critique them against our R.E.S.U.L.T goal model for you – free of charge!