Christy Skojec Taylor

Christy Skojec Taylor

Realistic planning ensures you set achievable goals

By Christy Skojec Taylor
Business Columnist

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Finding success in life isn’t about hitting every goal you set. Any entrepreneur can tell you that failure is just another step in the journey to success. What’s important is how you react to those failures.

First, realize that you’re not alone. A survey reported in Inc. magazine revealed that 77 percent of small business owners have yet to reach their vision for their companies.

Don’t waste valuable time beating yourself up over missed goals. According to a report by Psychology Today, this will lower your energy and feelings of self-worth, making it harder to get back on track.

To move forward, it’s important to analyze whether poor goal setting is what tripped you up. This is all too common, and according to The Globe and Mail Career Lab series, you’re more likely to succeed if you set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results Driven, Timely) goals. Take these steps to set them:

  • Drill down – According to an article by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson, thousands of studies have shown the importance of narrowing your goals to specific, concrete targets.

So, rather than setting a broad goal, like “achieving better success at work,” set specific benchmarks that are measurable, such as reaching a certain position, or making a target salary or commission. To support this long-range goal, assign yourself medium-term steps, which you’ll need to accomplish to reach your target.

  • Keep it real – If the only way to make your goal is to work a 70-hour work week for the next year, you likely are going to burn out. Inc. magazine notes that while a challenge is important, if you set goals that are too challenging, you will wind up exhausted and unable to maintain the personal relationships in your life. Fatigue and burnout often lead to mistakes that limit your abilities to achieve your goals.
  • Check your time – 
Once you have your goals in place, it’s essential to align time management with your future plan, according to an article in the Harvard Business Review. This will help you determine whether the way you spend your time now is going to allow you to reach your future goals. Look for things that bog you down, distract you or steal time from your objectives.

Better goal setting can make a real difference in your ability to overcome roadblocks on your path to success. Before you set your next round of goals, make sure you take a moment to enjoy your success. Celebrate with those who supported your journey. Then, consider which goal setting elements helped you get where you are, and use them to set your vision for the future.

Christy Skojec Taylor is co-owner of Express Employment Professionals in Rocky Mount.