Find the right tools to help you stay accountable and achieve your goals
You can now boost your business and personal life by matching goal setting guidelines with the best online productivity tools and apps. By selecting the most effective goal setting tips along with collaborative apps you can keep track of your progress. In fact, it is an excellent way to keep momentum in your business and personal life. This could make you and your business unstoppable.
To ensure your goal setting for your business actually creates results, you need to track progress towards achievements as you go, rather than simply writing them down and stepping away.
Whether it’s self-directed or assisted by others, it’s essential you have processes in place that help you to remain accountable. Seeing your progress is an essential source of motivation, and means there are consequences if you’re not doing the right things to achieve your goals.
The first step to ensure you’re able to remain accountable is to be organised. This means being well aware of what you want to achieve, and creating a method to list and track your progress towards the eventual goal.
Investigate the many solutions that can make quantifying goals easier. There are many popular productivity apps, and the people I mentor often use Trello which tracks all the various projects they have on at any point in time. You can monitor tasks and set target dates for completion to ensure you are making progress.
Project management apps like Trello are not limited to a professional context either, one of the people I mentor added projects he wants to complete around the house. Essentially, it’s a tool for time management that can help you focus on both personal and professional goals.
On a side note, Trello has recently been acquired by Atlassian, you can read more about here.
Find someone to hold you accountable
Depending on the type of goal you are focusing on, there are a number of people who can hold you to account and request regular updates. A board of directors will have one set of expectations to meet, which may differ from those of your financial controller who has a more operational focus.
In some cases, however, you may need someone more impartial like a business coach who is aware of what you are trying to achieve but doesn’t have the same emotional attachment to your business. They can hold you to account in a non-judgmental way while still ensuring you’re being pushed in the right direction and tackling that “too hard basket”.
Alternatively, get your family involved. This is a way to have a positive balance of personal and professional goals, while focusing on objectives that will add to your relationships. Again, they offer a valuable perspective on your goals that’s separate from people based within the business.
Review your goals to ensure they’re achievable
Create goals that you can confidently work towards. Frequently, your first attempts at listing goals are closer to a draft than a working guide. Often these goals are about 90 per cent complete, so it’s important to come back and refine them after a bit of reflection.
Be sure to understand yourself first, determining what drives you. Think about the things that you intended to do last year, but didn’t. Are those things still important? Then determine what you want for this year. Draw up your goals and prepare an action plan. Then review these regularly.
Some of the questions that can help to refine the goals in the early stages are:
- What is the big picture?
- Clarifying your big picture becomes your theme
- What are the best opportunities to pursue?
- Opportunities give you the milestones you want to meet
- Are these goals achievable?
- Achievable goals become your targets
- What steps do I need to take to achieve what I want?
- Each step can become your mini projects
- How do I track the progress of these goals?
- These become actions you can carry out
- Can others help me to achieve and check in on how I am going?
- This helps to clarify who is your support, and if you need a mentor.
All of these questions can distil your goals into a plan that’s easy to account for as the months pass.
A bit of extra pressure is good for keeping you on track. That’s part of the reason why it’s so important to enlist other people who are invested in your progress. I found there’s a way to encourage motivation with an app called Crew Mojo, which empowers individuals and teams to get stuff done with a culture of commitment and real-time feedback.
Knowing other people are keeping an eye on your promised deadlines helps you take the process a bit more seriously while also creating a channel whereby you can update invested parties ahead of time if you think a certain timeframe is going to be particularly tough to meet.
Using traditional goal setting along with apps to keep track of your progress is an excellent way to keep momentum in your business and personal life. With the right balance, you can stay accountable and achieve your objectives for the coming year.
By: TEC Chair, CEO mentor and coach Graham Jenkins