Long-term goals are crucial for a successful business. Mission statements, business plans and marketing campaigns all contribute towards achieving your goals. While long-term plans help you to keep an eye on the overall goals, short-term goals are necessary on a day-to-day basis to ensure their delivery.
For short-term goals to be successful, they must be achievable, encouraging and have realistic timelines. While a business plan plays out over years, short-term goals can cover daily, weekly or monthly timelines. Many recommend adopting the S.M.A.R.T. method of setting short-term goals:
Specific, Measurable, Action-Oriented, Realistic and Time specific. Each goal should be submitted through this model to increase the chances of a more successful outcome.
Break your larger goals down into achievable short-term objectives. Increasing sales by a smaller percentage each month is more realistic than a much higher yearly increase. It will also help you to better monitor employee performance. Patience and persistence are the keywords when it comes to managing and achieving goals. Consistently reviewing your goals and finding out the reasons why they have not been accomplished will help you evaluate what is working and what is not.
Don't overwhelm yourself. Start with a daily goal, a weekly goal or a monthly goal. Including colleagues in the setting of your short-term goals is also a great way for them to stay inspired and motivated. Record your goals in a planner, on your calendar or on your computer and keep them in plain sight. Visualising the goals will help remind you of what you are working towards.
When working with clients to help them achieve their goals, we often utilise a software initiative called Advisapedia. It has a Milestones feature for setting goals and issuing reminders to assist you in achieving your goals. Be flexible and realise that some goals change or become obsolete along the way. Always be ready to review them. Keep morale and energy flowing by adjusting the goal as required.
One prominent business advisor once said, "Goals are not separate from the culture of the organisation." Your goals should reflect your mission statement and values at all times. Successful businesses know how to direct employees to accomplish their short-term goals in order to achieve their long-term goals.