The Business Advisory Blog

The Business Advisory Blog

Insight, news and updates from Alliott NZ Chartered Accountants, Auckland New Zealand. The views expressed here are the views of the author and should be discussed in further detail should an article be relevant to your individual circumstances.

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

Anthony McIlroy
Published on

Goals are not only about new achievements but also kicking old habits through discipline.

set goals-464 I think it's important when establishing new goals to consider persistent old behaviours - activities that you know or shouldn't do. Funnily enough these goals tend to be the easier ones to achieve because you make an instant impact by taking action today that will impact your daily life.
A structure for defining personal goals could be to break them down into the following:
Career – What level do you want to reach in your career, or what do you want to achieve?
Financial – How much do you want to earn, by what stage? How is this related to your career goals?
Education – Is there any knowledge you want to acquire? What information and skills will you need to have in order to achieve other goals?
Family – Do you want to be a parent? How do you want to be seen by a partner or by members of your extended family?
Artistic – Do you want to achieve any artistic goals?
Attitude – Is any part of your mindset holding you back? Is there any part of the way that you behave that upsets you? (If so, set a goal to improve your behaviour or find a solution to the problem.)
Physical – Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve? What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
Pleasure – How do you want to enjoy yourself? (You should ensure that some of your life is for you!)
Public Service – Do you want to make the world a better place? If so, how?

Business or Career Goals should follow a business or career plan

The goals of which should be intrinsically defined with achieving the business or career objectives which are defined from your Mission and Vision statements (more on that in another blog).

Step 1 - Big Picture

Because yearly goals are always part of a bigger subset of life or business achievements it makes sense to set out 2 yearly, 5 yearly 10 yearly goals in addition to your yearly goals. The longer timeframe goals are going to be at a very high level, perhaps only a sentence long, but they set the framework for the goals for which you intend to complete. Do this before setting your goals for the forthcoming year, doing so will assist with defining what goals are important in the bigger scheme of things and will assist you to stay on track.

Step 2 - Brainstorm

Brainstorm your goals for this year on to a piece of paper. Where goals are dependent on others then link them together.

Step 3 - Make your goals SMART

The next step is to round the goals so that it has the necessary characteristics to assist with success. These are often called S.M.A.R.T goals, which stands for:
Specific Target a specific area for improvement. This focus' the mind. Think: What, Why, Who, Where, Which
Measurable Quantify an indicator of progress. This drives the delivery.
Think: how much, how many, how will I know it is accomplished
Attainable Set realistic goals, that are challenging but attainable. This will drive determination. Unattainable goals lead to low energy and demoralisation.
Think: how can the goal be accomplished
Relevant State what results can realistically be achieved, given resources. Goals must be based on current industry and economic conditions and realities.
Think: is this going to tie back to achieving the objectives.
Time-bound Set the time frame in which the goal must be achieved Timeframes help focus-ability.
Think: when can this be accomplished
Those goals that were interlinked from the brainstorming session are going to be dependent on each other so the order in which you achieve those will be important so setting your S.M.A.R.T Criteria will involve linking back to the other goal.

Step 4 - Make your SMART goals smaller again

Once you have done this review your goals and get ready to break them down further. A Goal whether it is a S.M.A.R.T one or not if set over a period of 12 months is unlikely to be achieved because the time frame is too long and allows for complacency.
Take each goal and break it down into further goals preferably into 12 monthly goals but definitely a maximum of quarterly goals. You now have a recipe for success.

Step 5 - Become Accountable

To top it off add a sprinkle of accountability. Communicate your goals to friends, family, colleagues and add these goals to your task manager such as in your email program. By doing so you are now going to be pestered by your task manager and a sense of heightened awareness of future social situation with friends or family where they may ask about how you are going towards achieving your goals.
For business owners Alliott NZ can offer a service to assist you with setting your goals along with monitoring and accountability throughout the year. If this interests you, please call us in Auckland on 09 520 9200.

Topics: Goal setting Performance