Howdy! Would you like to know the four key strategies to becoming successful at meeting your annual goals?
Read on, and I’ll dive deeper into these strategies, which will become a game-changer in your professional journey.
The secret to being successful at meeting your annual goals, particularly in a corporate environment, isn’t shrouded in mystery.
Like most people in large organizations, you’re given annual goals. In fact, sometimes you’re even asked to set some goals yourself. Although this process may seem like a mere formality or perceived waste of time, it’s an undeniable part of your career path.
When it comes to promotion decisions, raises, bonuses, or even determining who gets laid off, meeting your annual goals is often an influential factor.
Undeniably, it’s true that many people struggle with setting and achieving these objectives. As a result, this can make the whole experience feel random, pointless, or even like a joke.
However, taking these goals seriously and achieving them can usher in noteworthy benefits.
First of all, you get to make a tangible difference in your business and career. To do this you need to showcase your ability to execute tasks and achieve targets.
This shows that you deserve the promotion, bonus, or raise you’ve been hoping for.
Secondly, if your company or boss seems unsure about rewarding you, achieving your annual goals gives you an advantage because it provides strong evidence to support your case. Approach it in a professional manner and take it seriously as this gives your argument solid support.
There are four key strategies to be successful at meeting your annual goals:
1. Be Successful at Meeting Your Annual Goals: Understand and Clarify Your Objectives
The first step towards becoming successful at meeting your annual goals is gaining clarity about what those goals are.
Unfortunately, in some organizations, the situation and culture is far from ideal.
I once had a supervisor who admitted, “I don’t want to be too specific with the goals as I need some leeway to flexibly rate people and allocate my budget.”
Consequently, many bosses and organizations intentionally keep goals vague. They tend to bypass the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) goal-setting framework.
However, to boost your success rate, your initial task is to understand your goal in detail and enhance its specificity.
If your supervisor has handed you an ambiguous goal, don’t panic. Instead, work on refining it. Any goal is worthwhile and can be refined, as long as it’s distinct and quantifiable. It’s even better if the goal is within your control or sphere of influence and achievable within the year.
To be successful at meeting your annual goals, start with clarity.
If initially, your goals are hazy, make it your responsibility to sharpen them until they are crystal clear.
2. Be Successful at Meeting Your Annual Goals: Craft a Purposeful Action Plan
The second key step to being successful at meeting your annual goals is to develop a strategic action plan for those goals. This doesn’t have to be complicated and can change as you go along.
Start by taking your specific, measurable, and actionable objective, and break it down in a couple of ways.
Start with identifying activities that, if executed, would contribute significantly towards achieving your goal.
For instance, let’s say your goal is to secure 10 new sales within 10 months. You can break it down to one sale per month. This approach helps you tackle smaller, manageable steps such as making sales calls and attending client meetings.
Engage with the right people
The second part of your plan will involve recognizing who can assist you in achieving these goals.
Identify subject matter experts or influential people who can offer valuable insights or assistance.
Set up meetings to discuss your goals, ask pertinent questions, and share your concerns.
Remember, this isn’t just about you taking information; it could also mean sharing your knowledge or support.
Unfortunately, many plans fail to take off because they are not clear enough. An unclear goal leads to uncertain actions, and a vaguely defined plan often results in a lack of perceived progress.
Hence, creating an explicit, actionable plan gives you tasks to perform.
By the end of step two, you should be able to schedule calls or identify tasks that immediately contribute to your annual goal.
3. Be Successful at Meeting Your Annual Goals: Implement and Achieve Your Plan
The third key step to being successful at meeting your annual goals is to put your well-thought-out plan into action. Begin by scheduling the activities you’ve identified in your plan.
If you have identified people who can support you, go ahead and schedule meetings with them.
Don’t let the fear of interrupting or being seen as selfish hold you back. Collaborative conversations will benefit you and foster a positive team environment.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and initiate them!
Be proactive and set up those meetings. Initiate the tasks identified in your plan as this is the perfect starting point for meeting your annual goals.
4. Be Successful at Meeting Your Annual Goals: act with urgency and be consistent
Do you ever procrastinate or feel like there’s not enough time to do your most important work? Well, annual gosls in a big company will require you to be particularly attentive and act with a high sense of urgency.
The fact is, annual goals are often more like six-month goals.
Big companies often spend the first quarter closing the prior year, doing taxes and publishing financial statements, and “waiting to see” how the first quarter revenues work out because that’s typically highly reflective of how the rest of the year will go.
If you’ve worked for more than a year in your own company, or if you know an employee or manager who has, you can check my math here. Often, annual bonuses are paid out toward the end of the first quarter and annual goals are set later, sometimes not until April.
Then, the summer vacation storm starts, and team members are periodically unavailable due to vacations and kids being at home over the summer.
Soon, you get the reminder from your boss or HR (or you don’t — some companies do woefully little to support you and your manager) that the year is half over and your goals should be too.
But wait, often the boss asks you to wrap up your goals early on the fourth quarter to enable s/he and his/her peers and bosses to do their own performance ratings and staff rankings in time for holiday vacations and first-quarter raise and promotion planning.
Net net: get going. Put reminders on your calendar and schedule calls every week with people whose help you’ll need to fulfill your goals.
What are you waiting for?
Do you need help? I’m here for you
If you want more help, please reach out and schedule a Strategy Session. Get your bonus, get your promotion, get your raise, or if nothing else, be proud of what you’re doing and make your mark.
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Click the link above. Don’t hesitate. I look forward to meeting you soon.