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Tips for Setting Strategic Goals

Begin with a challenge, then reverse-engineer your goal.

Many of us are familiar with a “SWOT” analysis: it’s a deep dive into your business, thinking critically about Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Draw goal-setting inspiration from your business’s challenges.

Could this be the year you transform a threat into a core strength? For example, if e-commerce is a threat to your brick-and-mortar locations, a good goal might be to strengthen your business’s digital footprint.

Craft an action plan — and get things on the calendar now.

Especially during our business’s busier seasons, goals have a sneaky way of falling to the bottom of our to-do lists. Without a follow-through plan, our goals run the risk of being forgotten. Once you’ve set your goals, invest the time in creating an action plan.

Create a standing appointment on your calendar each month to evaluate progress. Organize meetings with team members who play a role in accomplishing goals. Protect time on your calendar now — so you’re more likely to follow through on your strategic goals later.

Spread the word.

Accountability can make a meaningful difference in achieving goals. In a study on accountability, the American Society of Training and Development discovered that you have a 65% chance of completing a goal if you commit to someone. So let someone else into the conversation. Share your goal with colleagues, and invite them to come alongside you in making it happen. This can be especially motivating for a team to accomplish together, with shared ownership of the outcome.

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