Goal Setting Theory and the accompanying Goal Setting Activitiesthat put the theory into practice are important aspects in business. Companies are run by people, and hence these people determine what course the organization will take, and what activities will take priority over other.
Especially in today’s day and age, with the huge amount of information that is available to us, we need to focus and set our goals. And stick to them!
Goal setting theory and goal setting activities is not just important for the success of the organization. Personal development is crucial as well. Many companies claim that their most important asset or capital is their human capital. And this makes perfect sense, as a company without good, motivated and qualified employees is not going to survive very long in any market, and most certainly not in a competitive market.
Quite a lot of people are getting into personal growth and business development and thinking of ways they can grow the business and work their career. When it comes to personal growth though, many people are thinking it is too difficult to actually do it. This is only true if you aren’t properly educated. It doesn’t have to be a chore. Set goals and objectives for yourself in all that you do.
Even if you are setting a goal to clean your email inbox at a certain time each day or make customer calls on a certain day each week or month, setting goals and having small objectives to meet these goals ensures that you are improving the business and becoming the professional person that you want to be. Remember that change is not a one time effort. It needs to be implemented and managed.
For successful professional development, stay relevant. Look for what is currently desired and offer it. Be in the know of the new information and technologies affecting your business or life. Innovate based off of this intelligence. If you aren’t relevant then you will find your personal development to be twice as hard. Think of your goal to stay relevant as the oil that paves the way to a quicker and easier journey.
As part of the overall business planning process, establishing goals is of course fundamental in providing a clear vision of what you want to accomplish. Setting one or more goals seems to be a straightforward process. You establish a specific goal, one that’s measurable and has a defined time-frame for completion (S.M.A.R.T.). You implement your plan, measure your progress towards reaching your goal and then evaluate the outcome objectively to refine your process.
To achieve your goals, the goal setting theory states that you have to make sure that you set deadlines and try to stick to them. Most people work harder as a deadline approaches. When you achieve a goal within the set time frame, be sure to treat yourself. Giving yourself a big pat on the back will help boost your desire to achieve even more. This is just one more thing on the list of goal setting activities.
On the surface of things, it reads well and sounds easy enough to do. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way for numerous reasons; primarily because we often fail to establish realistic goals. Additionally, we often casually set goals with only a hazy view towards how they’ll actually be accomplished. And while we’re typically motivated at the beginning of the process, it’s not at all unusual to lose our motivation somewhere along the way.
Set a reasonable and achievable goal to focus on. From a personal development standpoint, you may want to set a short-term goal achievable in a few years and a long-term goal for the direction you want your life to go in over time. Whether your goals are professional or personal, having a clearly defined result helps you set a development plan.
When preparing your own goals, it’s important to first understand that every goal you set must be realistic and readily achievable, given an appropriate amount of time and resources. For example, setting a goal to earn $20,000 per month within two months, when your present earnings are less than $1,500, is probably unrealistic. On the other hand, setting an ongoing goal to increase your earnings by 3% or 7% per month is not only realistic, but more likely to be achievable.
When you set personal development goals, set them slightly above where you feel comfortable. It’s that extra 3% on top of what you feel you can already accomplish that will make you the better person. You’ll realize how deep the well of ability is inside of you when you finally reach this seemingly out of reach goal.
Having a plan for your personal development goals can be the difference between success and failure. A plan allows you to take those smaller components of your goal and plot them out, giving you individual successes to celebrate while keeping your eye on the ultimate prize. A plan will also help you get back on track if you happen to fall behind in your goals.
Once you’ve defined a goal you believe you can accomplish, the next step is to break it down into smaller, manageable tasks and scheduling them in sequence (assuming one task depends on the completion of another). Before defining the target date the overall goal must be completed, be certain that each task is given a reasonable amount of time for completion and allow the sum of the tasks to define the completion date, rather than arbitrarily selecting one.
Depending on how far into the future your goals are planned for, it’s very helpful to schedule regular progress reviews, even if you’re the only one involved. For example, scheduling time every Friday afternoon to review your progress and make any necessary adjustments will keep your goals current. Don’t be surprised if something unexpected interferes with your scheduling from time-to-time. That’s normal and you will simply need to identify some way to compensate for it.
Measure your progress daily or even hourly. Whether you are cleaning up that desk or preparing that important presentation, use some method to keep track of how much you have progressed towards your goal. You might just check individual tasks off a list. You might take digital photos of your progress and regularly mail them to a colleague.
Another artificial barrier to actually meeting your goals is the process itself. Be careful to avoid implementing a goal management process that consumes more time than the goal itself. On a smaller scale, a simple spreadsheet will often suffice to meet all of your management needs. For larger scale management, a variety of goal management software exists, usually scalable for most organizations.
Picture yourself succeeding. It’s no secret that the key to success is being able to visualize yourself achieving your goals. By allowing yourself a taste of what success will feel like, you are recharging your motivation and giving yourself the drive to continue on towards reaching whatever goal you set out for.
Aside from actually working the process towards eventually realizing your goal, the final step is to take some time to evaluate the overall process and your performance at the end. This should be done objectively and embraced as a learning opportunity, one that will help you to improve your performance the next time.
With proper planning, setting realistic goals can only benefit you and your business in the long run, especially if you streamline the goal management process for yourself. If you think of it as an evolving process focused on continual performance improvement, over time you will see a measurable improvement in everything you do.
Basically, what goal setting theory and goal setting activities is all about is working just a little harder and just a little longer. By simply investing a little bit of extra effort we can achieve our goals more quickly and assuredly. Once one goal is achieved the slate is cleaned so that we can tackle the next one. We often get back from life precisely what we put in. Hard work spells bigger rewards.