How do goals work where you are?  Do you have annual goals?  Monthly goals?  Or maybe you’re in a goal-free zone!

Compared to the corporate world, I’d bet that most of our organizations probably tend toward annual goals and they probably tend to be very carelessly developed.  In other words, they’re based on a combination of wishful thinking and hopefulness…without a strategy to actually see it happen.

How should they be developed?  Starting with the end in mind is a helpful way to think about goals.  For example, let’s say one of your goals is to grow by 25% in the next year.  Your next step is to develop a strategy that gets you there.  What are the very specific things that would contribute to that kind of growth.  Once you’ve developed a strategy you’ll need to end up with objectives that contribute to succeeding and then performance measures that will make progress toward your goal visible.  Performance measures also help you track your trajectory.

In the same way, monthly goals could be thought of as objectives that contribute to the annual goal set.  Performance measures would allow you to stay on track.

What about weekly goals?  I really like Tim Sander’s by Friday approach.  In fact, a careful read of his post will help you think broader about monthly and annual goals.

Re-thinking Goal-Free Zones