Episode 21: Setting Better Goals

Happy New Year! Today, I’m sharing the very first thing that you should do in order to make sure you actually accomplish your goals! 

I recently got back from my business planning retreat where I spent two nights focused solely on my business. There is something really powerful about getting away from your normal routine to focus on your future. 

Part of the process of my planning was setting goals for the new year but, here’s the thing – in order to achieve your goals, you have to start by setting better goals. I know we set goals all the time, but we rarely think about our mindset around them and how that can actually impact whether or not we achieve our goals at all. So, here are five steps to help you set better goals. 

  1. Narrow your goals. 
    • When I started brainstorming, I quickly filled an entire page with things I’d like to accomplish by the end of 2019 and if you’re anything like me, I know that you can do the same. Now, If I took on every single one of them as goals, how many do you think that I would actually accomplish? Probably not very many.
    • I read some research that says the likelihood of achieving each goal decreases with every new goal you add. Goals require intentional allocation of resources in order to be met. So, you have to narrow your goals. Set 1-3 goals tops, write them down and go all in.
  2. Set Goals that Motivate You. 
    • The goal itself and the why behind it has to be enough to motivate you. No one else can want it for you! So you need to connect with your vision enough that you will show up to do the work. You have to be honest with yourself about whether you actually want it before setting it as a goal.
  3. Set SMART Goals
    • The goal itself and the why behind it has to be enough to motivate you. No one else can want it for you! So you need to connect with your vision enough that you will show up to do the work. You have to be honest with yourself about whether you actually want it before setting it as a goal.
  4. Your Goal Needs to be Actionable
    • When you set your goals, don’t say, “I want to.” Start saying, “I will!” Then, get clear on the input required for the outcome that you want. Reframe the goal for the actions that you want to consistently take.
  5. Give Your Goal an Upper Threshold! 
    • Our effort will match the goals that we set. If we are setting a minimum goal, what do you think we are going to put in? The minimum effort! Whatever we think is required to get the number that we said is what we are going to do, even subconsciously.  So, I like to use a good, better, best method for my goals. The minimum number is the good number but then I set two higher numbers so I have a range and when I make my plan to meet that goal, I base the plan off of the best number!

Mentioned In This Episode

 

Well, hey there, and welcome back. As I record this, I'm wrapping up my very own business planning retreat. I'm literally sitting in a hotel room an hour before checkout time after spending 2 nights here focused solely on my business. There's something really powerful about getting away from your normal environment, your normal routine, and all of your responsibilities, and focusing on your future. I've accomplished so much this weekend and have tremendous clarity moving into 2019. If you wanna hear more about my process, check out the show notes for a link outlining the 7 steps that I took over this weekend. Now part of my process was setting goals for the year. But here's the thing.

 

In order to achieve your goals, You have to start by setting better goals. Yeah. I know. Right? Like, we set goals all the time and you don't even think about how The goals that you set, the language you use, the thought behind them may actually impact whether you achieve that goal at all. So I have 5 steps to help you set better goals. Number 1, narrow your goals. When I started brainstorming, I quickly filled an entire page with things that I'd like to accomplish by the end of 2019. And if you're anything like me, then I know that you could do the same.

 

If I adapted every single one of those as goals, How many do you think I would actually accomplish? It's been a while ago, so I don't recall the actual source, but I read some research once on how, With every additional goal that you add, the likelihood of accomplishing each goal dramatically decreases. Crazy. Right? There are all of these things that you wanna do, and you think that that's a good thing. But by adding more, You accomplish less. Goals require intentional allocation of resources, like time, energy, attention, money, in order to be met. And having many goals means that these goals actually are competing with one another for those resources, So you've gotta narrow your goals. Set 1 to 3 goals tops, write them down, and then go all in. And I encourage you, if you do set more than 1, consider varying the start time.

 

For example, You could focus on starting 1 goal each quarter instead of overwhelming yourself by starting all 3 right away on January 1st. My 2nd step for setting better goals is to set goals that motivate you. The goal itself and the why behind it has to be enough to keep you motivated. No one else can want it for you. I'm gonna say that again. No one else can want it for you, so you need to connect with your vision enough that you will show up to do the work. You have to be honest with yourself about whether you really want something before setting it as a goal. That means Also, that your why needs to go beyond the impact that it will have to others.

 

Yes. It's amazing that your goals will impact others. But if your why doesn't have a selfish aspect to it, you'll inevitably and probably subconsciously Slow down, procrastinate, or give up altogether when things get tough, and you know they will. What happens when you make your goals all about others. You have no idea how many times and maybe you've said this and you didn't know any better and that's okay, but now you will. Maybe you've said something like, my why is my kids. And I think that deserves its own episode, be on the lookout for that because I'm gonna talk about that at some point. Or maybe you talk about your why being all of the people that you're going to help.

 

Those things are great. They are certainly added benefits, but in order for you to stay motivated, there's gotta be a reason for you. You've gotta ask yourself, What's in it for me? So I want you to have some fun imagining how life will be for you after you accomplish your goal. Again, be really honest with yourself about whether you really want this. Because if you don't and you do end up procrastinating or giving up, then what happens? You just stay stuck and unhappy, and that's not what I want for you. I want you to reach your goals. And so setting a better goal It means making sure that it's a goal that motivates you from the beginning. Number 3, set SMART goals.

 

Now SMART is an acronym used for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Specific meaning it's gotta get super nitty gritty. Not some big, vague goal, but get really clear on what you're talking about. You wanna make it measurable so you can actually track your progress. It needs to be something that is achievable. You might have this goal of making $1,000,000,000, but if it's your 1st year in business, You might want to consider whether that's really achievable for you. Make your goal relevant, meaning relevant to your mission and your vision, what you actually want out of life relevant to your business, your stage of business, your stage of life, time bound. Give your goal a due date.

 

We're talking about annual goals. So, yes, this is likely going to be Something that you wanna accomplish by the end of 2019, but put a specific date on it. Maybe it's something you wanna accomplish by the end of Q1, be really clear on that. So, again, set smart goals. I've got a blog post on that that we could link up in the show notes for you as well so you can read more. Number 4, your goal needs to be actionable. Now there are a few aspects to this. First, it comes down to the language that you use.

 

When you set your goals, don't say, I want to or I need to. Say, I will, then get clear on the input required for the outcome that you want. Reframe the goal for the actions that you wanna consistently take Instead of setting a goal for what the outcome will look like, set the goal for the smaller actions that you'll take consistently so that that's where your focus is. And then attach details like the when, the where, and the how to your goals so there's no question about your next step. I'm gonna give you an example to make this really clear for you. So a smart goal could be, I want to gain more visibility by reaching 100,000 plus women with my message this year that meets the requirements of a SMART goal. But making it actionable in this step means that you take that a step further and break that down. Instead, you may say something like, I will secure 1 guest speaking opportunity per month by sending out 5 pitches each Monday after staff meeting.

 

So, again, I changed it from I want to I will. I got clear on the input that would be required to get the outcome, which keeps you from procrastinating, by the way. If you know that every single Monday, you need to send out 5 pitches, You're less likely to wait until December 1st to try to hit that goal for the year. You know you've gotta get started now. And then I also attached it to another event, something that already happens routinely by saying that I will do this every Monday after staff meeting means that something that I'm Already in the habit of doing will be a trigger. This helps you take action, and that's what you need to do in order to accomplish your goals. Number 5, My last step for setting better goals is to give your goal an upper threshold. Now we tend to use language like, at least or a minimum of.

 

And then we think to ourselves that, well, anything more than that would be incredible, but our effort will match the goals that we set. And if we're setting a minimum goal, then what do you think we're gonna put in? The minimum effort. Whatever we think is required to hit the number that we said is what we're gonna do, even subconsciously. So I like to use a good, better, best method for my goals. The minimum number is the good number, but then I set 2 higher numbers, so I have a range. And when I make my plan to meet that goal, I based the plan off of the best number. So instead of saying you wanna book at least 20 clients into a certain program and then basing your marketing on that minimum number, then maybe you'll set that as your good number, but set a better number at 35 and a best number 50. And then the energy and the effort that you bring would be for booking in 50 clients, and I bet you that's gonna be very different than 20.

 

If you knew right now that you needed to book 50 clients versus 20 clients during a launch, how would your launch look differently? I know from experience myself and with my clients that it will push you harder and further and faster. It requires that you play bigger and stop playing it safe and make you really go for it. And then the thing is you'll still be okay if you land anywhere in that range. You set a good goal that you're okay with. You're gonna go for the higher goal. And when you fall within that range, you'll still be happy. But if you go for the minimum goal and you don't hit that, well, that was the minimum. So, of course, you're gonna be disappointed with your launch.

 

So, again, I encourage you to set both your minimum threshold, but to set an upper threshold. Give yourself a range, good, better, and best. It is time for me to pack up and call this business planning retreat a wrap. I'm gonna go meet my family for lunch, and then I'm meeting with my assistant to share the plans and to put things into action. We're going to sit down and map things out, get it into Asana, my project management tool, and plan for a team meeting with the rest of the team later this week. One thing I know is that I will definitely do this again. I really enjoyed it, and this is probably gonna become an annual tradition for my business. And I also think it would be a lot of fun to go on a personal trip with my husband to talk about personal goals and family goals.

 

So maybe I need to add that into the mix as well. I highly encourage you to take some time out to plan, set aside some time, and remember, Goal setting isn't enough. In order to accomplish your goals, you must start by setting better goals. Okay. I'll talk to you soon.

Next Steps

  • Sign up for The Brief HERE and get weekly CEO-level strategies and resources to help you scale

Let’s Connect

Listen + Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher

We’d greatly appreciate a podcast rating and review so we can reach more entrepreneurs like you!

  • Search for the podcast in your podcast app (The Elevate Effect™)
  • Scroll down and click 5 stars
  • Tap “Write a Review” & enter a brief review
  • Press send

Send me a screenshot of your review (DM me on Instagram or email hello@kathrynbinkley.com) and I’ll give you free access to my CEO Scorecard. This is the same tool I use with my multiple 6 and 7 figure clients to help them uplevel their role as CEO and achieve massive results.

Related Posts