Goal Setting From The Future To Now

People are sometimes discouraged from goal setting because they failed at some previous goal, but one must realize that it is the act of setting the goals and revisiting them, that makes us a success. It is not the act of accomplishing them on time. While all goals should be time-based, missing them at that time did not signify failure. It signifies that we learned something in the journey and that more time is now necessary to implement what we learned.

Those who set goals regularly seldom accomplish everything that they set out to do. However, they are systematically ahead of where they started out month after month. Consider a salesman who usually makes 3 sales, now makes a goal of 20 sales in a month. He writes it down, he creates a chart with 1 – 20 and puts it on the wall in front of his desk. He changes his passwords to “20SalesThisMonth.” He puts up a picture of him eating his favorite steak dinner to remind himself of the reward he will give himself when he gets his 20 sales. He makes that picture the background on his phone and his laptop. He makes his phone calls every day and fills his calendar. He does his appointments, and his follow ups. At the end of the month he has made 15 sales. Is that a failure?

No. That is just part of the journey to success. Now, the key is to be encouraged in the journey and to celebrate the win. Then start the next month with a new chart and a renewed sense of commitment!

Real goal setting that becomes profitable is based around continual goal setting.

It is also very effective it one uses a method of backcasting where we define our desirable future and work backwards from there. This helps us to identify what our 10 year, 5 year, and then even our one month plan.

Entrepreneurs are thinkers. They think about thinking. They think about success. Successful entrepreneurs write down what they are thinking and formulate plans that move them forward. Goal setting is part of what they think about. “Set” the goal. Mark it down and put it into it’s place. “Setting” a goal is more effective than just dreaming about it. A dream is not set. There is nothing concrete in an idea that is still in one’s head or floating around in neverland. “Set” it.


Backcasting Your Goals

Where do you want to end up. Start there…



The Life Goal

A few years ago I read a life-changing book called “How To Reach Your Life Goals” by Peter J. Daniels who is one of the wealthiest people on the planet. I highly recommend it. After reading this book I identified a life goal. It was something that was worthy to be pursued for my whole life, and it was something that would engage my children and their children as well.

A life goal makes one view the challenges of life in a different way. Setbacks then become stepping stones and opportunities to learn as one pursues the goals of their life.

Writing the goals down became more important because if one has a life goal then they will want to revisit that and know where they wrote it down.

The life goal also helped put into place other shorter term goals.

I would encourage you to make a date with yourself and sit down for a couple of hours and think and write about your Life Goals. Then begin to break those down into shorter goals.


The 50 year goal

Have you ever heard of a company that has a 50 year goal, or even a 100 year goal? That is a company that has a vision for the future and for future generations. This has been put together by someone who is really thinking ahead and not just planning for spending the profits of next year. Think about this. Could you apply such a long term goal to the vision of your company? How would that change the way that you do business?


The 10 year goal

Everyone should have a 10 year goal. Where do you want to be in 10 years? Where do you want your business to be? Do you want to sell it? How can you make your business more attractive to a buyer in 10 years? Do you have a business coach helping you to figure that out?

Do you want to pass it down to a family member in 10 years? Are you aware that most of the time the family won’t want it, or they won’t want to do it the way that you do it? If this is part of your goal, how will you insure a smooth transition? How will you engage your children right now in the excitement of the business and not just the day to day drudgery? What do you need to do today to make this future goal a reality?

Start writing out these goals now in a journal that you can return to so you can work out these thoughts.


The 5 year goal

Based on your longer term goals the 5 year goal becomes something in your nearer future. Where do you want profits to be in 5 years? What kinds of clients do you want to be doing business with? What kinds of changes will you need to be making now in order for that to become a reality?


The 3 year goal

This is over half way to your 5 year goal, but with a solid background of learning and some momentum taking place it is not a bad place to be in order to reach your 5 year goals. You are hopefully going to be smarter and more effective at this stage in the game. So where do you want to be in three years?


The 1 year goal

Go back to the 3 year goal. At 2 years if you double will it take you to the 3 year goal?

Okay now you are in year number 1. What do you have to learn this year to get to the place where if you double you will have the 3 year goal?

Year 1 then is really about learning, implementing, measuring, restructuring, and most importantly it is about positioning.

Position yourself for the success that you want in the second and third year off in the distance. What relationships do you need to put into place this year? What methods need to be systematized? What tools can you add for functionality? Who do you need to hire this year and who will that lead to you hiring in the next 2 – 3 years?

If you were to closely examine the success that you envision for 3 or 5 years, what is missing in your life and business that you will have to have in order for you to be successful in reaching those milestones? Figure out where the holes are in your plan and position yourself to fill those spots today!


The Quarterly Goals

Once you have your goals for the year figured out then break that into quarters. What will this next quarter look like? What will your goals be? How will you accomplish them? Break them into tasks, and schedules and start working it out.


This Month’s Goals

Based on your quarterly goals you have things that you need to accomplish this month. What does that look like? What will you have to do this week to make this a reality? Do these goals involve only yourself or will others need to participate in this process? What do you need to get done today to get everything done this week?

Based on your monthly goals create your weekly goals, your daily tasks and identify the projects that you will need to time-block in your calendar in order to get to the goal of the month.


Kerry GeorgeKerry George is the CEO of the Canadian Imperial Business Network and a leader in the Calgary business community. Every month she oversees the MasterMind Group which helps businesses grow their bottom lines and improve their overall operations. This article comes as a result of an ongoing goal setting training and productivity course offered to the MasterMind arm of the CIBN.