In business and in life, you need to set some goals and then you need to implement and follow-through on them.

There are a few articles in this blog on goal setting, including how to set SMART goals and reviewing targets. (Check them out here: http://www.michellehamelin.ca/category/goal-setting.)

Here is a high level summary of some of the categories of goals you can set:

  • Revenue goals: per year, per month, per week, per day
  • Work goals: the kind of work you are going to be doing
  • Productivity goals: what will be produced and by when
  • Human resources goals: efficient use of your people, reduction of turnover, development of your people (that includes YOU!)
  • Lifestyle goals: hours you are going to work per week, vacation time
  • Social responsibility goals: giving back and how

Once you have your goals set, you need to create a tactical action plan for realizing your goals. Business owners who make plans are more likely to achieve them than those who engage in wishful-thinking. Achieving goals doesn’t require any special talent other than taking the steps to plan, being committed to the goals, and following-through on the plan to get there.

He or she who implements wins!

How do you plan? (You can look at some of the articles I have written on plans here: http://www.michellehamelin.ca/category/business-plan.)

Quickly, though:

Set aside some time to review your goals and to create a plan. It is often more productive to include others in the process. I have included my coach and team members in planning. They see things from different perspectives.

Put your plan in writing. Start with where you are and what your goals are. Then write out all the steps you need to take to get there. I am a big fan of writing things out on paper (like on the big 3M easel pads that can stick on the wall) before putting into a computer document. Brainstorm everything you can think of. No idea is bad. One that you might have thought was weak may lead to an even better step as you investigate it further.

Commit to action. Establish accountability. Who is going to do what and by when?

Follow-Through. You have your (and your team’s) steps. You have timelines and due dates. Now you need to follow-through. Build the processes and systems that will ensure that you follow-through and don’t let things fall through the cracks. Do you have a way to capture customer information so that you can stay in touch? Meet with team members and follow-up on their objectives. What can you do to remove the barriers to their success?

Reward. Establish methods to reward yourself (and your team, if applicable) for following-through and accomplishing goals. Maybe it is shutting down early on a Friday or bringing in lunch.