Creating a plan increases your probability of success. Achieving challenging goals never happens by chance. Getting clarity on what you want to achieve not only obliterates confusion, but it motivates you to move forward with conviction. You set plans for your teams at work, but how do plans work for yourself? While setting goals sounds simple, taking the time to get clarity, write detailed plans, and optimize your strategies sets you up for success to accomplish your most lofty aspirations.
Successful people are almost always successful planners, and at Arootah, we know that a good plan begins as soon as we specify the steps necessary to accomplish our goals. We love talking about planning in our eBook (The 10 Step Arootah Success Formula) because we know that when our clients make plans by setting crystal clear goals, success is not only achievable but straightforward.
“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.”
– Brian Tracy
Use Goal Setting like Google
Believe it or not, Google once was a newly founded company. Venture capitalist John Doerr led his firm to invest in Google and quickly realized the company had room for improvement. He held a seminar for all the Google executives on goal setting.
While hosting these seminars, Doerr helped executives determine that Google severely lacked SMART goals. Though Doerr referred to these goals as OKRs (objectives and key results), the concept remained the same; SMART goals were—and are—meant to be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Doerr insisted that employees write their goals out since studies have shown that people who write their goals down are 42% more likely to accomplish them. From there, the employees made their written goals public. Today, every person who works at Google, from the interns to the CEO, can see anyone else’s goals. This kind of public declaration will light a fire under any employee, motivating them to succeed.
Google’s, and now Alphabet’s, CEO and co-founder, Larry Page, has famously said, “OKRs have helped lead us to 10x growth, many times over.”
Google’s mission of organizing the world’s information and making it universally available is ambitious. They are successful because their commitment to tracking milestones along the way to accomplishing their mission has worked in their favor; Google’s universal presence across the internet is absolute proof that plans work.
For anyone wanting to accomplish anything in their career or business, goal setting is undoubtedly one of the first fronts they should tackle. While it’s wonderful to have a mission in life, goals help mission-driven people measure their progress towards raising their standards for life. Goals are the subsets of the mission. Goals are the means to achieve the mission. Ultimately, the mission is just a global goal. The more specific and focused these goals are, the greater one’s probability of success.
Measurable goal setting is central to every field and profession. Studies have shown that people who set actionable tasks and regularly assess their progress along the way to achieving their goals are more successful than those who don’t.Top-level athletes, successful business people, and achievers in all fields set measurable goals. Borrowing goal-setting tactics from these other fields can serve as inspiration for anyone setting goals along the way to accomplishing their mission.
Here are some inspirational goal-setting tactics from other fields:
- Athletes will often set performance, process, and outcome goals in their sport.
- Portfolio Managers set goals for fundraising.
- Traders set goals for identifying new opportunities or companies.
- Salespeople set goals for expanding their client book.
- Students set goals to achieve specific grades.
Setting well-defined goals promote both long-term vision and short-term motivation. Having vision and motivation are why it’s so essential for people to set specific and measurable goals that bring them closer to success one day at a time.
Goals Encourage Productive Behavior
Another reason to set goals is that it conditions the human brain for positive behavior. Setting goals boosts productivity by helping individuals identify and begin working towards tangible benchmarks. Goals motivate these individuals to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be. Knowing your destination helps you focus on your target. They also guide you on where to spend their time and energy. Goals are the first steps on every journey you take.
Goal setting gives the brain a hit of dopamine. When individuals get closer to hitting their goal, the brain releases more dopamine.
So the whole experience of setting and achieving a goal is book-ended with a dopamine response. This rush of pleasure feelings provides excellent motivation to keep going and hit the next goal. Many people find that the action in between setting and achieving a goal is the most taxing (think of all the abandoned New Year’s resolutions), setting SMART goals can prevent that slump in motivation.
Goal setting is best put into practice when you make your goals SMART goals:
- Specific: Easy to understand and identify
- Measurable: Can be quantified or scored in some way
- Achievable: Within the realm of possibility
- Relevant: Closely related to the task at hand
- Time-bound: Taking place within a specific time constraint.
However, at Arootah, we set even SMARTER Goals. People who set SMARTER goals achieve success because they prioritize the actions needed to carry out to achieve the goal.
Like John Doerr did with Google (in the case of OKRs, or objectives and key results), SMARTER goals are in writing and public. Leaders setting goals for an organization or company should also make everyone on their team aware of the task at hand.
Individuals committed to accomplishing their New Year’s resolutions by setting SMARTER goals in their personal lives should plan them out and schedule action steps. They should then let the people in their life know that they show up for their SMARTER goals, in the same way they show up for any other appointment or meeting.
The Bottom Line
While setting goals sounds simple, taking the time to get clarity, write detailed plans, and optimize your strategies sets you up for success to accomplish your most lofty aspirations. Goal setting makes success achievable and straightforward; if one takes the proper steps to get there. Doing the legwork to set the right kinds of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals is the primary tool for success. When contending with fatigue, confusion, frustration, or a loss of motivation, a solid plan makes it easier to get back on the horse. Meanwhile, a lack of planning can stop individuals from overcoming their challenges.
As with any journey to success, there are sure to be ups and downs. There are many factors out of their control for most individuals, but many more factors within their control. Taking ownership and responsibility for your future promotes people’s power and confidence to achieve more for themselves. This control and assurance inspired us to write The 10 Step Arootah Success Formula. You can download your copy here for free.
Since this is one of our favorite topics, we invite you to join us for our goal setting workshop: The 2022 Goal Setting Webinar Series: Your Roadmap to Peak Performance
We’ll discuss everything you need to set big goals for 2022, as well as several other resources you can use to make your year a success.
Have you ever set SMART goals? What kind of goals are you looking to set in 2022? Make a public declaration and tell us in the comments below!