When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

Goal setting is not only important for the results you enjoy once you achieve them, but because of the lessons learned while working to achieve them.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs believe they are setting concrete measurable goals but in reality they have nothing more than a grouping of vague statements masquerading as goals. And an imprecise goal really isn’t a goal at all.

Even if you haven’t even considered setting written goals, break out a pad and paper, or open up a Word document or notepad, and get ready to goal set. Here’s a few tips to help you with the process.

Make your goals measurable

As mentioned in the introduction, scatter shot statements are not goals. For instance “I want my business operations to go well” is not measurable. It’s a nice thought but it’s just not quantitative. A much better goal would involve business growth, number of sales, number of clients met or customer service calls taken. And when setting those measurable goals make then prepare to take the necessary action steps.

Specific

If you have already jotted down “I want my business to grow,” sorry but erase it and take it a step further. A better goal statement is “I want my business to grow by 10 percent, state the exact dollar amount, over the next 6 months.” Quite simply make your goals specific, scratch that, make them super specific. The more exact the better.

Craft challenging goals

When you decide it’s time to conjure goals, attempt to make them challenging. An example, if you already know that your business is growing at 7% every quarter, an 8% growth goal would be a bit meek – unless your business is already a cash cow. Conversely don’t make your goals downright impossible. Trying to stretch your 7% quarterly growth to 50% may end up doing more harm than good.

Short term and long term

Write down both short and long term goals. Start with the foreseeable future and work your way to 2, 3, 5 or even 10 years into the future.

Make a deadline and stick with it

If you want your quarterly growth to reach 10%, don’t make excuses when the deadline starts to creep up and you are falling short of your goal. Like the Confucius quote states above, make adjustments to your methodology and additionally never move your goal further out.

Reward yourself and your workers

Congratulations you have reached one of your goals successfully and now it’s time to celebrate. Make sure you reward yourself and your employees when you succeed. It will make working toward future goals a much more fun endeavor and you will find your success rates will skyrocket.

And if you miss your goal

Don’t torture yourself. Simply start again immediately. This will be a fruitful journey of growth, on the way to hitting your goals.