A successful approach to achieving attainable goals is to start with meticulous planning. Whether you are making a career or a business plan or strategizing a significant event in life, my experience tells me that you are no different than a marketer!
Here are the five steps to marketing, adapted from Seth Godin:
- Define your idea’s worth. Have a groundbreaking idea that would capture people’s attention? Make it come to life!
- Find people who can relate to your thoughts. People do not care about how cool your product is. They are more concerned with whether it is something they need. Reach out to those who need it!
- Fashion a story for your target audience. This is where your personal experience and storytelling skills come in handy, so make sure your audience connects with your journey and your ideas.
- Spread the word! Use effective marketing and media resources to let everybody know about your product or idea.
- Be consistent. The most neglected part of marketing is following up with your progress with passing time. Be consistent and don’t give up!
What’s Your Story?
In my profession, I have come across plenty of people with brilliant ideas and stories worth sharing. But those stories are scattered and stranded. It’s almost as if they exist to please, not to enlighten.
You, too, must have extraordinary experiences floating around in the abyss of mindfulness, waiting for a purpose to drive them out into the real world. If you want to further your goals, then making use of these ideas can embellish your strategy, increasing its sustainability in an innovative and competitive world.
Failing to connect your story to your desires can deprive your motive of a personal touch meant to keep you focused throughout the journey of making attainable goals.
1. Simple Goal-Setting Plan: Sort Your “What” and “How”
In this Ted Talk by John Doerr, the author of Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs, he speaks about the importance of setting the right goals on one’s path to success. More importantly, he emphasizes the significance of finding the answer to the questions, ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ when pursuing one’s business goals. This section discusses the ‘what’ and ‘how’, so keep reading to discover directions for the ‘why’!
Speaking fondly of his former manager professor Andy Grove, Doerr discusses Grove’s theory of OKRs employed by big businesses worldwide in the present times. He divides the goal-setting system into objectives and key results. Objectives are what he calls the ‘direction’ one gives to their business approach, and key results are simple yes or no questions that tell you whether you have executed or achieved something successfully.
Let’s discuss them in detail.
Objective: The “What”
Your objective is whatever you want to achieve. It is supposed to be realistic, action-oriented, and inspirational (hopefully). It helps you streamline your attainable goals and strategies while allowing you to prioritize what is crucial and urgent.
Key Results: The “How”
Your key results are a continuation of the objective—asking how you are going to get a job done. They are tied to a number that is time-bound, realistic, and aggressive. Figuring out the ‘how’ part allows you to nurture your plans and quickly locate your strengths and areas that need more work.
The Important Part: How to Set Attainable Goals
Referring to the title of this article, one must have a personal standard of measurement when setting goals. Some people are just beginning to chase their endeavors, so the standard of measurement for them would be different from the ones with years of experience planning to advance something they have built all along.
Take this sentence for example:
I will ________ as measured by ____________.
Measurement is what gives a goal its true essence. Without it, you do not have an aim—all you have is a desire. Filling the blanks with personalized objectives and key results will ensure that you stay on the right track.
So, it goes like this:
I will (an objective) as measured by (a set of key results).
Here’s what an OKR for a content creation process looks like:
Objective: A creative that generates conversations (brand lift) and leads to conversions (business lift).
- Establish hero content based on the smallest viable content audience
- Implement five channels and a monthly editorial calendar
- Establish a hub content series with clear calls to action by January 20xx
- Get two guest post opportunities every month
This concise and actionable example includes all that we have discussed so far. With consistent efforts, even such simple OKRs can elevate your attainable goals.
2. Ask Yourself: Why Are You Doing What You’re Doing?
A life goal is so much more than a milestone to reach—it is somebody’s dreams, passions, motivations, and sometimes even identity. Enriching your story with these elements links you with your target audience emotionally as it eliminates differences between people, bringing them all together with the help of shared memory or experience.
In a Forbes article highlighting companies driven by purpose in 2019, brands like Timberland, eBay, Hershey, IBM, Tesla, and Microsoft, among others, stood by a social purpose concerning the environment, youth, and medical science to create an impact.((Forbes: Purpose At Work: 10 Brands Leading With Purpose In 2019)) Their stories addressed social issues concerning the general public, which gave their image a boost. Owing to several determinants, the zeitgeist of 2020, however, comes with its quirks.
3. Assess Your Plan According to Today’s Reality
Making a business come to life is a tough challenge, given the limited resources one begins with. And given the current Covid pandemic, the challenges have risen further.
An article by McKinsey & Company on the implications for business in the 2020 pandemic tells about how important it will be for companies to put forward meaningful purposes in their messaging in the post-crisis era.((McKinsey & Company: COVID-19: Implications for business)) Businesspeople will need to add extra effort in their marketing strategies, for the pandemic has shaken the economy severely.
Presently, the most common challenges to be faced by businesses and individuals are volatility, complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity of ideas and trends. With the onset of the new normal, plenty of strategies successful in the pre-pandemic times are irrelevant after the worldwide medical emergency.
The greatest change of all remains the digital transformation of almost everything. Depending on how prepared you are, this can be a challenge or an opportunity.
KPMG, to help businesses recalibrate their strategies, strongly recommends that it’s the right time for businesses to look at the holistic aspects of their potential impact and reevaluate their strategies going ahead.((KPMG: Recalibrating your strategy Adapting to a new post-COVID-19 world)) They also put out a resourceful report meant to guide those seeking business recalibration.
With that said, whether you’re pursuing a business goal or a career objective, keeping yourself at par with recent social and economic developments will aid your big decisions and eventually help you create attainable goals.
A Few Simple Guidelines to Keep in Mind
- Less is more: You might feel the urge to include more and more pointers in your list, but it is better to manage your OKRs between 3 to 5 per cycle.
- Stay flexible: Pushing yourself to your limits is good, but it should not make you feel incapable. So if an objective or key result seems irrelevant, get rid of it.
- Dare to fail: People achieve more when their goals require them to grow beyond their current capability, so sometimes, failing to meet your goals is okay. At least, you will locate your weaknesses that way!
- Be patient: This is a process, and trial and error is your friend. You will do it poorly before you do it with excellence. So, have faith in yourself and persevere!
We explored the nature of marketing and how it applies to every person with goals while also looking at OKRs designed to assist our business plans.
We observed the changing nature of the present time’s reality, allowing ourselves to consider the affecting factors and plan accordingly. But most importantly, we looked at the basic skeleton of launching an idea—the three essential questions that determine the direction of the line on a statistical graph measuring your success.
The three questions ‘what’, ‘how’, and ‘why’ form the blueprint of a plan and the creation of an attainable goal, so make sure yours is well-detailed and executable.
More Articles About Setting Attainable Goals
- How to Set Realistic Short Term Goals for a Successful Life
- How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them
- How to Set Goals and Achieve Them Successfully