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When you set goals for yourself, do you follow a clear process – one you can return to again and again? Do you document that process in a written playbook with countable metrics? Most people don’t. As a result, their ability to act on and achieve their goals is diminished.

Here are five essential metrics you should be sure to incorporate as you create your own personal goal-setting playbook.

  • How many core values have you identified? Start with what I call a Value Audit. A value is a standard that expresses how you operate – a standard from which you will not deviate. It’s quite important to identify at least three values that will allow you to clarify what matters most to you. Your values should guide both your business life and your personal life, and they must align. For instance: The values Spend quality time with my family and Maximize income no matter what do not align. You need to figure out what the priorities are, and create a value set that is consistent and that matches up with those priorities.
  • How many personal goals will you develop? It’s important to start with your personal goals, and it’s also a good idea to aim for at least three you can work toward. The biggest goal-setting mistake people make, in my experience, is starting with the business goals. If you begin with the personal goals, you will find it much easier to identify business goals that support and align with them. Ask yourself: What do you want your life to look like five years from now? What do you want your retirement to look like? You can create personal goals in any number of areas: financial, family, social, hobby, health/fitness, spiritual, and so on.
  • How many business goals will you develop? Once you have identified the personal goals, you will want to figure out what your business and professional goals need to be in order for you to achieve to support those goals. Make sure your business goals stem from your personal goals!
  • What specific behaviors support, and lead to the achievement of, your goals? Create a behavioral plan (also known as a “cookbook”) that is built around activities that directly impact your ability to achieve your goals. Identify multiple activities, not just one. Schedule time on the calendar to do the behaviors. Keep track of your record in executing these activities over time so you can evaluate your progress.
  • Who is your accountability partner? You should have at least one; identifying that person should be part of your goal-setting playbook. This must be someone you trust and respect, someone to whom you can make a clear, impossible-to-misunderstand commitment to take regular action on your behavioral plan. It is a good idea to schedule weekly discussions with this person. If you say you are going to do X, Y, and Z this week in keeping with your behavioral plan, and it turns out that you do X and Y but not Z over the course of the week, there needs to be a conversation about that. Your partner must ensure that you take some kind of action to restore your accountability. If this person lets you off the hook by allowing you to simply assume “responsibility” for not doing what you’ve said you would do, and there is no action taken to remedy the situation, that’s not an accountability partner! (Note: This person may or may not ask you to serve as their accountability partner. That’s up to them.)

Follow these simple steps and you will incorporate all five of these critical elements in your goal-setting playbook … and be in a much better position to achieve your goals.

Kevin Shulman is the author of Goal-Setting Boot Camp. Get your free chapter here.

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