How To Set Actionable Goals
The secret to getting things done in any area of your life is to use your imagination to create a vision, then develop goals as part of a long-range plan that supports the vision. Finally, of course, you have to summon the energy and determination to carry out that plan.
A very effective way to set individual goals is called Roles and Goals. You can use Roles and Goals to set clear and actionable goals and then develop a plan to make those goals a reality. Here are the ABCs for using Roles and Goals.
1. Review your vision and the key roles in your life. Begin by aligning your goals with your vision. Next, divide your life into key roles. These roles might include parent, friend, manager, employee, professional, student, citizen or church member. You also have the “personal”
role –– maintaining your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. When you divide your life into your various roles, it helps prevent misalignment of priorities and helps you focus your time on what matters most.
2. Develop annual goals in each role using the SMART method. SMART refers to setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-specific. Set SMART goals within each role.
3. Share your goals. Send your goals to a few friends, mentors, advisors or others who you admire and respect and who can give feedback that is worth following. This
makes your goals official and makes you accountable.
4. Develop a plan and set milestones. The next step is to develop a plan with milestones to accomplish your goals. Determine what you’ll do in each step, with markers or milestones along the way. Breaking down a goal into actionable milestones makes it doable.
5. Post your goals in a prominent place. Put your written goals and plan in a place where you can see them often. Review your annual goals or major goals regularly so that they remain fresh in your mind. It’s helpful to review them each week prior to doing your planning for
Plan for the Unexpected. It’s great to have a written and well-thought-out plan. Then again, how often do things actually go as planned? Contingency plans are essential to your survival, yet they’ll be much more effective if you think about your response before the crisis hits. Every leader needs to be prepared for health issues, changes in government regulations, product failure, lawsuits, a shift in the economy and the loss of key people.
When you think about your contingency plans, one place to start is to consider what your first three responses would be to a crisis situation in your personal life or your organization.
Looking at contingency plans for your business, you should consider how you would respond to situations that could have a dramatic impact on your bottom line.
Manage for Results. Even with great plans, it still takes an effective leader to manage the plan and ensure that is is executed effectively. No leader succeeds without building a strong team of individuals who share the same vision and goals.Effective management means that you inspire and empower your team members to stand with you and help you succeed.
Once you’ve attracted good people and instilled the vision into them, you have to give them the freedom to respond to dramatic changes in the external environment. Decisive action may be essential during chaotic situations.There is rarely time to sit back and brainstorm, so your
team has to have the confidence and the freedom to do what needs to be done in a crisis situation.
As a leader, you are responsible for the success of the plan. Highly successful leaders are continually looking for ways to manage and lead their teams more effectively. It’s about never being satisfied with where you currently are but always looking for ways to improve as a leader and as an individual. That’s the spirit of becoming your best.