A successful approach to achieving attainable goals is to start with meticulous planning. Whether making a career or business plan or strategizing a significant event in life, it’s important to gauge your goals with specific metrics.
I have come across plenty of people with brilliant ideas and stories worth sharing in my profession. However, those stories are scattered and stranded. It’s almost as if they exist to please, not to enlighten.
You, too, must have extraordinary experiences floating around in the abyss of mindfulness, waiting for a purpose to drive them out into the real world. If you want to further your goals, then using these ideas can embellish your strategy, increasing its sustainability in an innovative and competitive world.
Failing to connect your story to your desires and long-term goals can deprive your motive of a personal touch meant to offer you a sense of urgency throughout the journey of making attainable goals.
Use the following metrics to get started as you look for ways to gauge your goals and your capacity to achieve them.
1. Your “What” and “How.”
In this Ted Talk by John Doerr, the author of Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs, he speaks about the importance of setting the right goals on one’s path to success. More importantly, he emphasizes the significance of finding the answers to the questions “what,” “how,” and “why” when pursuing one’s business goals.
Speaking fondly of his former manager, professor Andy Grove, Doerr discusses Grove’s theory of OKRs employed by big businesses worldwide. He divides the goal-setting system into objectives and key results. Objectives are what he calls the “direction” one gives to your business approach, and key results are simple yes or no questions that tell you whether you have executed or achieved something successfully.
Objective: The “What”
Your objective is whatever you want to achieve. It is supposed to be realistic, action-oriented, and inspirational. It helps you streamline your attainable goals and strategies while allowing you to prioritize what is crucial and urgent.
Key Results: The “How”
Your key results are a continuation of the objective—asking how you will get a job done and helping when it comes to measuring progress. They are tied to a time-bound, realistic, and aggressive number. Figuring out the “how” part allows you to nurture your plans and quickly locate your strengths and areas that need more work.
The Important Part: How to Set Attainable Goals
One must have a personal standard of measurement when setting goals. Some people are just beginning to chase their endeavors, so their standard of measurement would be different from those with years of experience planning to advance something they have built all along.
Take this sentence, for example:
I will ________ as measured by ____________.
Measurement is what gives a goal its true essence. Without it, you do not have an aim—all you have is a desire. Filling in the blanks with personalized objectives and key results will ensure that you stay on the right track.
For example, I will build a successful business as measured by the monthly income.
Here’s what an OKR for a content creation process looks like:
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Objective: A creative that generates conversations (brand lift) and leads to conversions (business lift).
- Establish hero content based on the smallest viable content audience
- Implement five channels and a monthly editorial calendar
- Establish a hub content series with clear calls to action by January 2022
- Get two guest post opportunities every month
This concise and actionable example includes all that we have discussed so far. With consistent efforts, even such simple OKRs can elevate your attainable goals.
OKRs will also help keep you focused on what’s important without succumbing to procrastination.
2. Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?
Attainable goals in life are much more than milestones to reach—they are somebody’s dreams, passions, motivations, and sometimes even identity. Enriching your story with these elements links you with your target audience emotionally as it eliminates differences between people, bringing them together with the help of shared memory or experience.
In a Forbes article highlighting companies driven by purpose in 2019, brands like Timberland, eBay, Hershey, IBM, Tesla, and Microsoft, among others, stood by a social purpose concerning the environment, youth, and medical science to create an impact. Their stories addressed social issues concerning the general public, which gave their image a boost. Owing to several determinants, the zeitgeist of 2020, however, comes with its quirks.
3. Assess Your Plan According to Today’s Reality
Making a business come to life is a tough challenge, given the limited resources one begins with. And given the current Covid pandemic, the challenges have risen further.
An article by McKinsey & Company on the implications for business in the 2020 pandemic tells about how important it will be for companies to put forward meaningful purposes in their messaging in the post-crisis era. Businesspeople will need to add extra effort in their marketing strategies, as the pandemic has shaken the economy severely.
Presently, the most common challenges to be faced by businesses and individuals are volatility, complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity of ideas and trends. With the onset of the new normal, plenty of strategies successful in the pre-pandemic times are irrelevant after the worldwide medical emergency.
The greatest change of all remains the digital transformation of almost everything. This can be a challenge or an opportunity depending on how prepared you are.
With that said, whether you’re pursuing a business goal or a career objective, keeping yourself at par with recent social and economic developments will aid your big decisions and eventually help you create attainable goals.
A Few Simple Guidelines to Keep in Mind
Less Is More
You might feel the urge to include more and more pointers in your list, but it is better to manage your OKRs between 3 to 5 per cycle. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed.
Pushing yourself to your limits is good, but it should not make you feel incapable. If an objective or key result seems irrelevant, get rid of it.
Dare to Fail
People achieve more when their goals require them to grow beyond their current capability, so sometimes, failing to meet your goals is okay. You will locate your weaknesses that way.
This is a process, and trial and error is your friend. You will do it poorly before you do it with excellence, so have faith in yourself and persevere!
The three questions “what,” “how,” and “why” form the blueprint of a plan and the creation of an attainable goal, so make sure yours is well-detailed and executable. If you start and end with these questions, your arrows will consistently point you toward success. Once you know how to measure your goals, you’ll already be well on your way to achieving them.