5 Ways to Adjust Your Goals
My four-year-old has a goal. She wants to go 6 nights with a dry pull-up. I asked my wife where six nights came from and she said that six nights was about a week. Last I checked a week is seven days, so I guess she is just going to just take the seventh day off. One morning this week she really wanted to inform me that she had to start over because she had a wet pull-up. She looked at me with an innocent smile on her face and said, “I am starting another 6 days”. I thought about that some and decided it gives good insight for assessing and adjusting goals. Most of us don’t have to start over completely, as goals change and adjust, but we should be willing to adjust and reset our time schedule.
How do we assess our measurable goals, and when do we readjust? Below are 5 things to do when assessing and readjusting our goals.
1.Do not give up
Most people will just give up when they don’t meet their goals. If you have a business, most likely you really don’t have this option. One way you might give up is to stop measuring your progress or communicating with employees. I remember working with a company that seemed to communicate to employees in monthly meetings when we were exceeding our revenue targets. But when we stopped exceeding the revenue goals, they just took that out of the presentation as if people didn’t question what was happening. I think this a form of giving up. The company and team need to know what is going on with regard to goals.
2. Assess Monthly and Adjust Quarterly
You should assess your goals on a monthly basis, but avoid making large changes quickly. On a quarterly basis, it is good to make adjustments so that goals remain reasonable.
If you have a service business in which you have prospects and clients, you should have a pipeline report that compares to your goals. You should assess all prospects and give them a probability of closing. Here is some guidance I have used in the past:
- 25% Probable – Early discussions with a prospect, but you have an idea about potential revenue.
- 50% Probable – Pitching a prospect with more serious intentions.
- 75% Probable – At this point, you are probably talking about contract terms and have received some indications of significant interest.
- 90% Probable – Contracts are sent and awaiting legal and signature.
- 100% – Signed agreement
At least on a monthly basis, you should be assessing the revenue pipeline. You should be able to calculate the prorated revenue in the pipeline report and see a reasonable way to meet the goal. On a quarterly basis, the revenue goal should be adjusted based on the latest pipeline report.
3. Short-Term Memory
If a goal is not working and you need to go down another path, you need to have a short-term memory. I know this seems like you should forget your mistakes, but this is not what I am saying. It is just not helpful to dwell on the past. It is a waste of energy and creativity to keeping thinking about your last goal or plan that didn’t work. For a start-up or very young business, adjusting or completely going in another direction is common. Check out “How to Pivot: A 12 Step Guide to Pivoting Your Startup“.
4. Communication with Others
A few months ago, I reached out to three other entrepreneurs in a networking group. We meet on a weekly basis either by phone, breakfast, or lunch. We discuss our goals and hold each other accountable. We ask each other questions and learn from each other. One recently guy told me that he assesses goals monthly and adjusts quarterly (see #2). We get personal, pray for each other, and lean on the differing experiences and talents of everyone in the group.
Nearly a year ago, I met a now 82-year-old man at a McDonalds that I visit regularly. We got to know each other better, and he actually asked me if he could mentor me. I had never been asked this question. He has a vast amount of experience as an entrepreneur and in sales. I have enjoyed being mentored. Accountability and mentorship are essential for success.
5. Assess what is and isn’t working
I know this probably seems sort of intuitive. If something isn’t working, then we should probably stop doing it. The challenge is figuring out when to stop doing something. Or most people are so busy that they forget to think and strategize. A few months ago, I created a Life Plan. Check out “Living Forward” if you want to learn about creating one of these. Also, check out “5 Ways Planning Helps you in Your Business and Life”. The benefit of having a Life Plan is to assess when you’re getting off course. In many cases, a plan may not be materializing because we are either veering off course or we aren’t doing the things we need to do to be successful.
Goals such as hitting revenue and profit targets or even personal goals such as working out, eating healthy, or reading more are important. We should be careful not to just set a goal and let it sit on the shelf and collect dust. We must actively assess and readjust on a regular basis. By not even reviewing a goal, you have in essence already given up. Try assessing goals on a monthly basis and adjusting quarterly. When something isn’t working, then have a short-term memory and move on without dwelling on the past. Strive to get accountable and consider mentoring relationships to help. Finally, take the time to strategize and think about what is or isn’t working.
In business, it is important to have regular financials which compare actual results to a forecast, budget, and last year. This assessment will be essential in helping you hit your business goals. In order to consistently produce financials, check out the Finance and Accounting Checklist.
Click the image below to download the checklist.