Business Mentor Tip – Try this formula for effective goal setting

February 9, 2012Post by Laura Humphreys

Now is the time of year for goal setting.  I’m a bit late this year… spent too much time on holiday (is there such a thing??).  But every year I make sure I’ve got my goals clearly defined and most importantly, written down.  There is something so powerful about putting your goals down in writing.  I’m sure it triggers something in your subconscious that makes you do the right things towards achieving them, even when you’ve forgotten what they are halfway through the year. Anyway, in my constant pursuit of a balanced life I set goals across all areas of my life, not just my business.

I do have a formula for effective goal setting that works really well for me, so I thought I’d share how I do it.  Hope its useful for you!

1. Start with your purpose
You may remember from my last blog that I have articulated my life purpose in one simple sentence, which is:

“To live a wealthy, healthy, happy life whilst making a difference to as many people as I can”

This covers all aspects of a life well lived in my view as under those four areas (health, wealth, happiness and making a difference) I can set goals to cover everything that’s important to me.  I put my purpose at the top of a blank sheet of paper to remind me what my goals need to deliver to.

2. List your the key areas in your life that are most important to you

For me these are:  Health, Wealth, Happiness and Giving Back (Contribution)

3.  Put sub-headings under each area.

What aspects of your life are most most important to your feeling of success under each of these headings?

For example, under Happiness I put the sub-headings ‘Relationships’,’Family’, ‘Leisure/me-time’; under “Health” I put ‘Fitness’ and ‘Emotional/mental health’; under “Wealth” I put ‘Business’ and ‘Investing’….. you get the idea.

4.  Determine if you need to sub-categorise further

For example, I have two businesses so I under my Wealth category of ‘Business’ I put liber8yourbusiness and Pet Angels sub-headings, as I will have key goals for each of these (of course the business plan for each business will have much more specific goals and targets for the business)

5. Allocate no more than 3 goals to each sub-category.

Limiting yourself to three goals under each heading keeps you focussed on what’s really important to  you.

6. Remember goals must be measurable, slightly challenging but realistic (eg. a goals to conquer the world is a challenge but might not be realistic), measurable and time bound (write a date by which this goal will be achieved).

Here’s an example of one of my three goals under the liber8yourbusiness heading:

To have a further 1000 new members join the liber8yourbusiness programme by March 31 2013

7.  List 3 key strategies under each goal – what are you to do to achieve this goal?

A goal without a plan is just a goal.  So to increase your chances of success, you need strategies for achievement.

To continue the liber8yourbusiness example… my goal is to have 1000 more members.  My three key strategies are:

1. Improve internet conversion to sales

2. Ramp up PR activities

3. Publish book to increase profile

8.  List 3 tactics that will be implemented for each strategy

I’ll carry on the liber8yourbusiness example and give you the action steps under one of the key strategies:

Strategy: “To improve internet conversion to sales”


1. Re-vamp website with focus on conversion

2. Add Affiliate membership function

3.  Implement internet marketing campaigns to drive traffic to site

  9.  Under each tactic, list 3 actions you can do this month to get momentum going.

If you want to turn your goals into a plan, you can keep going after the strategies and tactics, and start giving yourself action tasks.   I won’t give you an example this time, I think its pretty self explanatory.  One the key traits of wealthy entreprenuers is the ability to take action.  The formula for successs is simple:

Goal + Plan + Action = Success

Hope this was of some use… I’m off to finish  my goals!

From the desk of liber8yourbusiness.  Small business mentors and experts in exit strategies.  Based in Wellington, New Zealand