Starting Strong – 10 Tips for Goal Setting

Netgain Blog TeamNetgain, The Netgain Team

Maybe you have had your 2020 goals in place for months, or maybe they’re just circulating in your mind. Harvard Business reported that 83% of the population do not have goals; 14% have a plan in mind, but goals are unwritten; and 3% have goals written down. The people with written goals were reported to be 10 times more successful than the ones without written goals.

We’ve polled our Netgain Leadership team and have come up with 10 tips that will make your goal setting a success. There’s no right time to set your goals, so if you haven’t set your 2020 goals, no worries – now is the time!

  1. Begin with the end in mind. 
    Think about where you want to be in January 2021. Identify what will be different in your department or organization. What big initiatives have you accomplished? What operations process is different and better? How have you improved processes and operations? What will your staff look like? How has your role changed? Now, work backwards and think about what needs to be done in the next 12 months that will make this a reality.
  2. Plan long-term.
    Starting with a 12-month vision will make your plan manageable, but try to think strategically about what your three and five-year plan looks like.  What shifts in the industry will affect your planning? For IT specifically, will your hardware be reaching its end of life? Will you implement a new software system? Changes in the way people work and access their work will impact this picture as well. As you think through these changes, do you need to do anything this year to prepare?  Sketch out the three to five-year plan to prepare yourself and your leadership team.
  3. Align your departmental goals with your organization’s mission.
    As you think through your department’s goals, ensure they align with your overall organizational goals. This will ensure you have leadership buy-in, and that you’re working on the right priorities.
  4. Earn team buy-in.
    Including your team during the goal-setting phase will encourage more cooperation and ownership than passing down the goals after they’ve been set. Work with your team to ensure they feel heard and that they’re opinion matters.
  5. Assign a champion.
    For each goal or initiative, assign a champion within your team that will lead and drive the project. This isn’t to say that they won’t need help from others during the process, but the Champion is the one who ultimately is held accountable and directs others to accomplish the goal.
  6. Identify the potential issues.
    Inevitably, issues will arise. As much as you can, identify what issues could get in your way.
  7. Break it into quarterly projects and goals.
    Twelve months can feel like a long time to accomplish a goal, so many wait until October to start, and then get overwhelmed with the amount of work each initiative takes. We’ve found breaking annual goals into quarterly rocks, and then focusing on one to two at a time is more effective than trying to accomplish many at once.
  8. Consider the workload and keep it realistic.
    When you’re setting your quarterly and annual goals, remember that not everything can be done at once. When everything is important, nothing is important. Be realistic about the existing workload, and the additional work that the new goals will add to it. Identify two to three projects per quarterly to accomplish. Anything more than that typically becomes overwhelming to the point where none of them get done.
  9. Schedule weekly check-ins.
    Check in with your team weekly to ensure their on track to complete their goal by the desired end date. Weekly check-ins will ensure your team doesn’t get too far behind without noticing that the goal is off-track.
  10. Celebrate the wins – big and small.
    Along the way, it’s important to celebrate the wins to build rapport and momentum. People are often motivated by recognition in front of their peers, so celebrating progress at weekly check-in meetings will encourage others to make progress and take ownership as well.

From healthcare to financial services firms, our leadership team has been a part of goal setting in organizations of every size and specialty. We have big goals in 2020 that include providing significant value to our clients, removing the complexity of IT for our clients, and providing exceptional customer service that makes it a no-brainer for our clients to refer their colleagues to Netgain.

We can’t wait to see what 2020 brings for your organization as you set and crush your goals!