As a business owner, setting goals is a huge part of being successful. Without setting goals it is nearly impossible to track progress and continue to grow. Many of us know the importance of setting goals and will typically throw them haphazardly out into the universe without much thought. This is fine and dandy but did you know that 80% of people do not meet the goals they set for themselves? This could be for several reasons like; lack of motivation, not being clear enough on the goal, lack of time, or just laziness. But what if I told you that there is a secret to accomplishing your goals? A secret that if done correctly, you will hit your goals every single time! 

Goals are actually pretty easy to tackle if you go about it the right way. Far too often we shoot for the moon and forget to create a “launch plan” to get us there. Without a strategy of HOW you plan to achieve something it simply becomes a dream rather than an actual goal. The main “secret” to accomplishing your goals is laying out the how you plan to get there. Think about a road trip for example, you would never say “I want to go to California” but leave without a plan or a map to help you get there. Your goals fall into the same category, without a map or plan of action surely you will get lost along the way. 

The other issue I see often is setting goals for 12 months or more down the road. While it’s fine to have 12 month goals, you need to remember that it can be really hard to not get discouraged or sidetracked in 12 months. This is why I recommend setting goals in 90 day increments! Setting goals for 3 months down the road is a lot more digestible and helps you take steps now to realize those goals. Setting goals this way will also help you pivot as needed and adjust long term goals without getting discouraged. Once you have your first 90 day goal set, you will need to make a plan of action over those 90 days to help you accomplish that goal.

I don’t know about you but I remember being in school and having to write out S.M.A.R.T goals. At the time I remember thinking it was nonsense and that I would never use it in real life. But it turns out, formulating goals in a way that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based is key to actually accomplishing those goals. 

When writing out your plan of action for your 90 day goal make sure you start by writing this goal in a very specific way. For example, “I want to travel more” is not a specific goal, “I want to travel to Spain, Mexico, and India” is more specific. Adding specificity helps you create a real plan of action to get you there and makes the goal feel more attainable. Making sure the goal is measurable is the next most important step, this means you need to actually be able to measure the success. So in the last example, “more” is not a measurement. More could mean once a year or once a month, it’s not able to be measured to make sure you have some measurable time frame or outcome.

Obviously you need to make sure this goal is actually attainable, so in the last example, if you aren’t working and have no money traveling to those places in the next 90 days is probably not the most feasible goal. Make sure your goal is in line with your capabilities so you don’t set yourself up for failure! The same thing goes for realistic, make sure your goal is realistic in the sense that it can actually be done. Setting a goal to time travel is not realistic because the technology simply doesn’t exist. And finally, make sure it’s a time sensitive goal, meaning it has a date you expect to complete it. In this case 90 days is the time frame.

So when you create your 90 day goals make sure you follow that acronym, it will help you create a plan of action that actually gets you where you want to go. If you already have yearly goals set, I challenge you to break that goal out into smaller 90 day goals to ensure you stay on the right path.