What are you going to chase in 2017?
If it’s on the leadership level, what mountain are you going to ask your team to climb with you? If it’s on the personal level, what in your life do you want look different 365 days from now?
In my last post on goals (5 Reasons You Can’t Avoid Goal-Setting), I pointed out what characteristics make up really good goals. They are S.M.A.R.T.—Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based. These are the types of goals you want to pursue over the next twelve months.
So what characteristics would make up really bad goals? What does the worst goal to pursue in 2017 look like? How can you spot one? S.M.A.R.T. goals can provide us some guidance.
Here is how the worst goal to pursue in 2017 will present itself:
- It’s vague. Where are we going? Well, somewhere over there. What will happen when we get there? Something, I think. Generalities do not motivate. They do not provide clear paths for the future. Wanting your team to have a good year is vague. Even wanting to get financially healthy is too vague. Get specific.
- It’s not quantifiable. How are we going to know if we are on track during the year? We will be able to sense it. How are we going to know if we are getting any closer? We’ll just know. A bad goal leaves room for too much subjectivity. Your specific goal should have numbers attached to it, numbers that let you know if you are moving forward or not.
- It’s unrealistic. We want 300% growth. I want to retire ten years early. These may be realistic. But they very well may not be. Unrealistic goals are not stretching, they are frustrating. You will give up quickly when chasing an unrealistic goal.
- It’s irrelevant. Will it really make a difference? No, but it gives us a goal. Goals need to matter. Their achievement should make a real difference in your organization. Their achievement should make a real difference in your life.
- It’s open-ended. When do we need to reach the goal? Sometime in the next several months works. Your goal needs a deadline. The end of 2017 is a natural deadline to set for this year’s goals.
Want to ensure failure in reaching your goals this year? Choose a goal that embodies the above characteristics.
Goal creation is a thoughtful process. Rushed goal-setting can lead to rushed goal abandonment.
Take some time when identifying your goal for this upcoming year. Avoid creating the worst goal to pursue in 2017.