Priorities & Targets - Don't just "up" last year's…get real!
And I did walk 2000km…and I will walk 2000km more…(go on…sing it!)
Last year I walked 2044 km…an average of 5.6km a day. My target was 5km a day.
Why am I telling you as this…now? This was a personal goal, not a business one and it wasn't for Charity. So why post? Well I wanted to miss the new year's rush with everyone else's "goal oriented posts", to give this post a decent chance. And I also wanted time to reflect and work out what I/we wanted to do this year.
This post IS about Prioritisation & Targets and why we shouldn't just "up" whatever last year's targets were, or indeed just continue with last year's prioritisation, where perhaps we didn't quite get the things done that we aimed for.
So in my "personal" priorities & targets case, for example, it's about looking at what time I have & want to do with it "holistically" (i.e. not just on one thing), achieving what I want to achieve and keeping my motivation focused. Surely that's the same in Business?
So having done 5.6km a day in 2021..WHAT target did I set for THIS year, 2022?
Well…this year (2022), I set myself a target to walk…2000km! (Which is of course c5.5km a day).
So why have I set it the same / marginally less than last year's achievement? Surely I can do at least what I did last year?
To give you an insight…I do want to "be healthy", "lose some weight" and do "stuff" with my wife that we both enjoy...but I also want to do other things…so, there are (always) other factors in play here.
So in Business & Personal worlds, I regularly use "The Ultimate Success Formula" (PLAN, DO CHECK, ACT - #demingcycle)... i.e. I set my targets to be realistic, based on my holistic priorities.
For Example…lets say, 5km a day is around an hour's walk a day. So 10km would be 2 hours. Have I got 2 hours to give anyway before I even consider anything else? No I haven't. One way or another I reckon I can do an hour or so a day. But if I tried to do say 1.5 hours a day what else would have to give? IF I tried to do 1.5 Hours a day (i.e. 7.5km a day) then I know I'd be setting out to fail! Which would decrease my motivation, and probably actually risk go backwards from where I have got to.
So the parallel here is to set your goals & set your priorities holistically. And to recognise that just because you don't set out to achieve more than last year, that shouldn't mean you've failed. yes of course businesses have shareholders, stakeholders who will "have an opinion / influence"…but surely that should be how well you convey to them (i.e. sell) what you are aiming for any why?
AND... and more importantly once you've set your stall out... get on with it a monitor your progress and don't be afraid to revise your target / goal if you need to.