As a society, and particularly amongst business leaders, we are consumed with setting goals concerning our careers, health, and personal lives. From New Year’s resolutions to testing out Veganuary – the goals are often set, and many then quickly become a faded memory.
It could be said that modern-day society is continually pushing us to think about our next milestone. However, what we don’t think about enough is the purpose of our goals and the consistent daily actions we must take to accomplish them. Whether you’re aiming to set personal or professional goals, Stryde MD, Kieran James, has shared his Deliberate Business®
Goal Setting strategy, with the aim to help you to fully understand the purpose of your goals and to actually accomplish them!
1.0. The Journey
When was the last time you took a journey somewhere? Let’s use the example of a car journey. I’d hazard a guess that whenever it was, you probably had a reason for making that journey, a purpose. From client meetings to workshops, without knowing the purpose of the trip, you probably wouldn’t have taken many actions, but with it, you have clarity over the outcomes you want. A key habit to tap into is understanding the value in the goals that you set and in the wise words of Laurence J. Peter,
“If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else”.
The first thing you might do once you know the purpose of your journey is to find out where your end destination is. You might use a Sat Nav, your memory or even from browsing the web. Whichever it is, you need to know the finer details such as exact location, timings, and any restrictions that may occur.
All sorted? Raring to go?
At this stage, you may want to set off and embark on your journey. But it’s unlikely you’ll reach the end destination unless you know where you have begun. A bit like when you use Google Maps on your phone and don’t have your location settings turned on, Google can’t find your route. You need that starting point or starting measurement. So, it’s only with these three combined elements (purpose, destination, current location) that we can then work out the directions we need to take. And the great thing about this, is that if we hit traffic or an issue, it’s easy enough to reroute but maintain our focus on our end destination. Here at Stryde, we aim to provide more financial clarity and with that in mind, we present to you our four Deliberate Business®
Principles which ensures that the financial aspects of your business are connected with the personal financial outcomes you want to achieve. All four principles are needed in order to distinguish the clarity required to make the destination (your goal) reachable and the journey enjoyable:
Step 1. Define your purpose
What is the reason behind your purpose? Your why?
Step 2. What is your end goal?
Define your destination, the specific and measurable goal?
Step 3. Define your current location
What is your current location in relation to your goal? Use a measurement that can help you track progress towards it?
Step 4. Map out your Route
What method/steps/habits should you take to reach your final destination?
So let’s break these 4 steps down.
2.0. Purpose & Goal Setting The Deliberate Business ®
philosophy centres around the ideology that through being deliberate in your approach, you are able to sacrifice less and achieve more. And underpinning this is your consistency of action. Your reason/purpose should influence your first set of actions. When we discuss our ‘purpose’
we’re looking at the thing that simply makes you, you! You may have a similar purpose to others, but your purpose will be unique to you, and there is no right or wrong answer. With this in mind, it’s likely that your purpose will evolve, grow, and adapt as you do. Have you ever set a bunch of new goals but never actually achieved them? Or maybe you don’t set ‘goals’ but simply have hopes and wishes for how the future will pan out. Multiple factors may come into play as to why this never happened but it’s probably because you made a conscious decision to facilitate another goal. And that’s okay. We often change our journey and it’s important to prioritise, but we often convince ourselves that whatever we replaced it with is actually more important.
Take Time to Reflect.
Analysing your current situation is crucial at this stage. And understanding which approach to take is a result of this. You may become more relaxed in your approach due to your personal life taking priority or simply because you want to spend more time with your loved ones. Or, you could become proactive in your approach and reap the benefits of a structured and well thought out plan of action. A challenge we often face is that we create goals that conflict with each other. An example of this would be,
“I want to have a 1 million turnover in 12 months, spend 4 days a week with my children, go on holiday 6 times a year, run 15 marathons, become fluent in Spanish, renovate 2 houses and read a book a week”.
To be fair, that’s not entirely impossible, it’s all about moderation, but in reality, sacrifices need to be made. Through clearly defining our purpose, we will be able to understand which aspects we are prepared to sacrifice and those which we will prioritise, in order to be happier and more fulfilled.
As business owners, it can be hard to structure goals and remain on the right track to achieving them. Kieran James, MD of Stryde believes there are two types of goals that streamline our overall life vision, progressive
Firstly, progressive goals always have an end-point and require continuous improvement to reach that end destination. For example, you may want to increase the number of employees you have so action is required to achieve this within your set deadline.
These are goals fulfilled by consistent habits without the need for progression. An example of this would be that you may already have your required amount of employees, but to maintain their skill level still requires training and effort to manage how much value you are getting back. We often hear stories of those who have sacrificed everything to become ‘successful’
, but often have regrets. In an essay titled “Being the Father I Never Had,”
Barack Obama wrote about his desire to be the best parent he could possibly be to his daughters. But, he expressed regret for time spent away from them and resolved to be there for them more as they grew up. On the flip side, we also hear stories of those who are glad they didn’t ‘make it’ because it would have meant sacrificing something that was a priority to them. However, both stories serve to teach us incorrectly how to set goals.
We should never give up on ‘success’ or have to sacrifice everything we hold dear to us. Although this may seem contradictory to what we’ve said, it’s about minimising the sacrifices that need to be made and being proactive and comfortable with choosing which things are worth sacrificing. Success in any endeavor requires consistency, dedication and a deliberate approach to prioritising what’s important in all areas of our lives both now, and in the future. It can be hard to separate and categorise your goals individually. As a result, our goals often become intertwined and our approach evolves as our journey progresses.
4.0. Life Categories
It can be difficult to strike the perfect approach to all aspects of our lives. Therefore, it can be challenging to move towards a single streamlined vision or goal. It could be said that every day, our lives are becoming increasingly more intertwined with business, meaning that each aspect of our lives can have a significant impact on other areas. When setting goals, it’s important to establish a strategic and achievable approach. The Deliberate Business®
approach divides goals into 8 life categories, shown below, and these are entwined with how much motivation and focus you dedicated to the different areas.
|Life Categories||TouchPoints (Examples)|
|Career||Job, volunteering, business, homemaker|
|Finance||Debts, savings, retirement plans, insurances, mortgages, lifestyle, purchases|
|Relationship||Family, friends, new relationships|
|Personal Development||New skills, remaining current, mindset development, stepping out of comfort zone|
|Health & Wellbeing||Flexibility, weight, fitness, diet, challenges|
|Fun & Leisure||Hobbies, pastimes, enjoyment, time to self.|
|Spirituality & Contribution||Prayer, faith, meditation, time in nature, gratefulness, compassion|
|Safe Place||Organisation, sleep, home renovations, home automation, your work desk|
The stronger your desire to complete your goals, the more you will get deliberate in your approach, regardless of the obstacles that surface along the way. And there will be obstacles. You’ll feel lazy, you’ll get tied up with family situations, you’ll start wondering if this is all worth it, you’ll run out of inspiration. But this is where your support network and technology will come in handy. Lean on the people you can trust, consider partnering up with a friend, or utilise technology with productivity apps. Just remember, you can always correct your journey and adapt along the way as long as you remain deliberate in your approach and align your goals coherently.
5.0. Are my Goals Aligned?
Once we have a rough idea of our goals we should ask ourselves two questions to ensure they are aligned:
- Does this goal relate to my overall purpose, ensuring that I can spend more time fulfilling my purpose?
- Do any of these goals conflict with each other directly or due to time restraints they cause?
By answering these two questions we can decide whether we need to Keep, Change or Remove each of these goals. Simple, right?
“You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Peter Drucker
Speaking to the rest of the Stryde team, one of the greatest challenges we all face is our primal need for progression in both personal and professional aspects of our lives. With this, comes displeasure and unease over the route we must take and our desire for happiness. However, we hold the ability to adapt and choose freely which is the key to achieving our goals.
Consistency is Key.
At Stryde, we believe that in some ways, it can be far easier to succeed when you have greater clarity on your sense of direction. Easier said than done right? Well, as long as we form the ability to structure and clarify what goals and vision we wish to achieve, the more consistency there will be with dedicating time activities like spending time with those who we love to surround ourselves with. The way we do this? Through measurement. In order to measure performance, we often talk about two types of measurements, Lagging and Leading. But what do they mean exactly?
What Type of Measurements?
Lagging measurements are basically anything that is ‘output’ oriented, very easy to measure but hard to improve. Whereas leading measurements are typically ‘input’ focused, difficult to measure but easy to influence. Let us illustrate this with a simple example: For many of us, losing weight is our main goal after the festive period. This is a prime example of a lagging measurement as this is easy to measure. You simply step on a set of scales and are presented with your measurement.
But how do you actually reach your goal of hitting your ideal weight? In this example, there are two ‘Leading’ measurements that must be tracked in order to accomplish your goal 1. Calories consumed and 2. Calories burned. The two measurements are easy to influence but can be difficult to measure.
How do we translate this to business?
Well, you probably already do. Most financial measurements such as profit, revenue and costs are considered lagging measurements. That’s due to these being the results of the activities of your business. One measurement could be to respond to all email enquiries within 24 hours. The output is easy to measure; You either respond to all enquiries within 24 hours, or you don’t. However, how do you influence the outcome of this? What activities must you put in place to achieve your goal? One way to do this would be to delegate your workload. Ensure that the leads are being managed and followed up on as they come through to you and make sure to assign the project to the right people with the right skill set. This could then lead to a number of leading measurements to track.
- % of enquiries you have not followed up on in last 7 days
- % of ageing enquiries (older than 1 day)
- An average backlog of enquiries per employee.
- % conversion rate
Once you start tracking measurements on a daily and annual basis, you will then be able to develop and put a stronger focus on improving your measurements. Leading measurements are often related to the tasks and roles assigned to employees. Remember our personal example from earlier? We wouldn’t class losing weight an activity but exercise and eating, we definitely do.
In his book, The Lean Startup
, Eric Reis discusses the need to test and measure in all aspects of a business. By following suit and breaking down our goals, we can identify at a far quicker rate, what works and what doesn’t work in our attempts to achieving them. Being more deliberate in our approach gives us more time dedicated specifically to areas that we truly wish to develop. If you need a little guidance on how to goal set efficiently, then our expert team here at Stryde are fully available to help you align your business goals to reflect your personal journey and required financial outcomes.
To schedule a call to discuss goal setting then please give the team a call.
- Know your motivation/reason for setting a particular goal
- Keep a habit diary to keep track of habitual goals.
- Create small, enjoyable and realistic habits
- Test your new habits until you find what works for you (smaller habits are easier to stick to)
- Don’t be afraid to research – it’s there to help you.