Have you ever watched a football, rugby or [insert sport here] match and seen the players shooting at fuzzy goal posts?
I thought not… and there’s a reason for that.
Goals that aren’t rigid and clearly defined are very had to reach… after all if you can’t see exactly what you’re shooting for where do you aim and how do you know you’ve scored?
This is as important in business as it is in sport. Setting poorly defined goals is something I’ve been guilty of many times before (and still am from time-to-time trust me) and it is often the main cause for project delays, feature creep, confusion and a whole heap of other problems.
Want something done on time or to get into a routine? Then clearly define exactly what you want to achieve when you want to achieve it and how you’ll know that the goal has been achieved.
Here are two examples from my personal time and from my business:
Going to the gym
Before: I used to set myself the goal of going to the gym three times a week. This often meant however that I kept changing my mind about which day to go, putting visits off until I had to go three days in a row at the end of the week and then ultimately not managing it because something else came up.
After: Now I go to the gym and exercise for at least 30 minutes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 4pm. Because this is much more clearly defined I’ve had far less trouble sticking to the routine and achieving my goal of regular exercise.
Before: For my first product launch I set myself the goal of “going to market” by the end of the year. Predictably I kept adding things, making changes and pushing deadlines and ultimately launched several months after I intended.
After: For my second product launch I set myself the goal of launching at a pre-booked stand at Naidex, a trade show in Birmingham on the 28th April 2015 at 10am with 10 prototypes. With this much more clearly defined goal I launched bang on time and had everything I needed in place!
Do you often find yourself staring at fuzzy goal posts?
Think about what you can do to bring them into focus.