Our intentions are good… but, it is commonly said that the road to “you know where” is paved with these good intentions! And as the adage suggests, many of our goals will sadly join the ranks of the unachieved, falling prey to the countless emergencies and new priorities that will most assuredly present themselves in the day-to-day whirlwind in which we work.
If you’d like to take measures to avoid this oh-so-typical situation – that is, to avoid sacrificing the important in favor of the urgent, here are five ideas that might help you achieve your longer-term objectives:
- Set both “result” and “activity” goals. For example, many of us will plan on increasing sales revenue by X%, but fail to also set the activity goals that will generate the desired result. These may include making an extra number of sales contacts each day, attending a certain number of networking events each week or planning more customer retention meetings each month.
- Schedule the activities identified in step #1. Research indicates that things entered into calendars are less likely to be “postponed” or procrastinated due to other demands on our time.
- Keep score. Goal achievement will require documentation and consistent implementation.
- Measure progress and results; hold yourself and the team accountable for not only completing action steps, but also for assessing the effectiveness of each step. Make improvements or refine the approach as necessary – and be careful to avoid the usually-inaccurate conclusion that, “if the activities don’t produce the desired gains, then these activities are a waste of time!” Instead, if outcomes fall short, it’s better to reexamine execution.
- Hold yourself personally accountable for steps 1 through 4; lead the way!