Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you set goals and create plans for reaching them:

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  • Start Small and Build on Success:

Whether you’re aiming to retire by a specific age, lose 20 pounds, or grow business profits over a three to five-year period, create a solid plan that starts with action steps you can take now. Add benchmarks down the road so you have clear short-term steps to reach your ultimate goal — doing so provides a manageable ladder for you to climb and gives you ongoing satisfaction as you reach each objective leading to the end goal.

  • Focus on the Most Important Goal:

Dealing with the goals of a complex organization, long-term project, or even an individual life can feel overwhelming. In any situation, identify the most important goal — this will help you create an effective plan of action and prioritize other goals.

  • Consider Both Lead and Lag Measures:

Measuring key indicators is vital to tracking the progress and effectiveness of business endeavors. Leading and lagging indicators are both important measures of success, but each provides different information. Simply put, lead measures are drivers that can help you achieve a goal, while lag measures are outcomes; the former is predictive, while the latter provides information about a completed process. Lagging indicators offer measurable results that can be used to analyze progress. However, when planning business goals, it is vital to consider the leading indicators that may improve those outcomes.

  • Keep Goals in a Visible Place:

This is a simple tip that can go a long way toward maintaining focus and tracking progress. It could mean keeping files easily accessible, so updates are shared among stakeholders. Or, it could simply mean posting a printed sheet in your home office as a reminder of high-priority tasks that need to be completed or long-term goals that you are working toward.

  • Consider Accountability as a Form of Motivation:

Goals for work projects may have accountability built in via deadlines and performance reviews. But, when undertaking personal goals, it may help to choose an accountability partner or let friends and family know what goal you are working toward.

You Can Do It!

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