Creating goals is a long-used technique to help bolster business and personal productivity, but even this age-old tool can backfire. When faced with a nearly impossible or unattainable goal, most people will either back away immediately or fail somewhere along the road. Keeping goals focused on what’s possible is just as important as setting them in the first place.
If you’ve struggled to make the goals that you have set for yourself, make sure that you have not created unrealistic expectations of yourself. Here are some points to remember when creating goals:
Create milestones, not speed bumps. Establishing several short-term or mini-goals along the way to a larger objective is exceptionally helpful for keeping up pace and momentum, but the term “mini-goal” means just what it sounds like — these goals should be much smaller. Need to bring in a certain number of customers by a previously date? Mini-goals focusing on target marketing and product improvement or development will contribute toward the overall objective, and can be met along the way.
Go ahead, reward yourself. Most people have moved beyond the motivation of a star sticker on a chart, so focus on what you would really enjoy. Did you hit a certain number for product sales? Send out for coffee. Finally replied to your emails in a timely manner? Watch the next episode of your favorite show. Even though they are contributing toward a greater objective, adding incentive to each mini-goal can keep everyone moving.
Sure, big, hefty goals might give the perception of productivity, but in reality they can end up working people into a panic. Instead, focusing on smaller steps toward more moderate goals can increase the chances of actually reaching them.