Backward Goals to Move You Forward
Answer for yourself the following questions:
- What is a goal(s) that I have for the end of today?
- What are my goals this week?
- What are my goals for this month?
- What are my goals this quarter?
- What are my goals to accomplish this year?
Now take a look at your goals. Do your daily goals flow into your weekly goals that flow into your monthly goals, etc.? It is easy to set goals based in how much time we think we need to accomplish something rather than breaking down larger goals over time. For example, a daily goal might be to exercise, a weekly goal might be to write a certain number of words, a monthly goal might be to meet with each of your team members, a quarterly goal might to save up for a vacation, and a yearly goal might be to increase sales by a certain percentage over last year.
Notice how these goals seem attainable within their time frame, but they are not related to each other? You would be surprised how often people write out goals that are not related to each other over time. When setting goals, decide what you want, decide a timeframe, and then work backwards.
Just to illustrate the point, I will use the simple example of someone wanting to lose 40 pounds within 6 months. Whenever numbers are involved, it is easy to break down the total amount into bite-size components. 40 pounds in 6 months breaks down to about 6.5 pounds a month and about 1.5 pounds a week. In order to support your weight loss goals, you might also decide to set some related goals such as a maximum caloric intake or drinking half of your body weight in ounces each day. You might set a weekly amount of exercise that you want to accomplish and sign up to do a 10K during each of those 4 months. Notice that your goals take into account the main factors of weight loss: diet, exercise and consistency.
Whether you want to start taking an extra day off work, hire a new employee, or double your revenue, start with the end in mind, figure out the most important components, create goals, break them down and work backwards from attainment of the goal to what you can start doing today.
Remember, success if not always about big action, it is about doing little things consistently and keeping in mind how they fit into the larger picture.