To be clear, Goal Setting does work!
That said and to be fair, obstacles do get in the way of achieving our goals.
And by the way, it’s not about setting goals, it’s really about achieving goals.
So, what are the obstacles to achieving goals? Here are the three most common obstacles we see:
Let’s take a closer look:
1. Unclear Goal Statements.
In other words, “Fuzzy Goals, Fuzzy Results”. Being able to articulate a goal seems easy and basic until you sit down with a group of leaders and see how long it takes to come to an agreement. Incorporating the SMART goal process brings structure and helps solve the issue of “Unclear Goal Statements”:
● Specific - What does the outcome look like?
● Measurable - How will you measure progress and stay on track?
● Attainable - Is what you’re trying to do possible?
● Realistic/Relevant - Does this goal move you in the right direction?
● Tangible/Time-Bound - When are you going to complete this goal?
Unclear Goal Statement: “Improve performance and turnaround time”
Clear Goal Statement: “Achieve a 95% on-time delivery rate with less than 1% errors for three consecutive months by year end 2023”
2. Too Many Goals.
Wanting more and wanting it sooner seems natural. The problem we encounter all the time is that “many” becomes the enemy of “any” unless you have unlimited resources. Since most don’t have unlimited resources, “too many” goals cause a lack of focus. “Too many” also creates conflicts in time, energy, personnel, and financial resources. The end result of “too many” is very little gets completed resulting in frustration and disbelief in the process.
There is no magic number of annual goals that should be selected. At a personal level, a good number of annual goals to start with is 8 or less. Within a company, it is based on the available resources and a willingness to prioritize. We recommend starting small, getting closure, and celebrate your success with the team. This builds a culture of completion and achievement.
3. Prioritizing Daily Tasks over Goal Action Steps
“I was just so busy today with my work that I didn’t have time to work on my goals.”
This is real. If companies and individuals don’t create a culture that encourages focus on their job specific High Payoff Activities (HPAs), nor a culture that allows employees to block time in their calendar to work on their goal action steps, the goals will always get pushed down the road. We see this time and again.
Until a “Goals Focus” and consistent review of progress toward those goals become part of the weekly dialogue, goals achievement will always be diminished.
So where does that leave you if you want to achieve your goals?
If you could benefit from getting assistance in this process or in keeping you accountable, contact me. If you want help setting great, effective goals that help you focus on doing only the most important work, you can contact me. If you prefer trying this on your own, you can start with our free downloadable goal-setting worksheet.
Make 2023 your most productive and successful by completing your highest priority goals.
President, LMI Chicago, Inc.