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Goal Setting Techniques That Actually Work

How to create high quality goals to transform you and your organization

By Kevin Ferguson

Do you ever feel like the day flies by and you must have done a lot because you were really busy, but you didn’t get a lot done? Even more so when working at home, with the distractions that can pop up, it might feel like the time is slipping by, but your best work isn’t getting done.

We’ve all been there. Along the way, I’ve learned some techniques that help prioritize activities and focus efforts so we put our best work into the most important areas. It all starts with goal setting. Goals help us prioritize. They show us what we can let go of, and where we can dive deeper. They help us keep perspective.

My goal-setting journey began in earnest when a few of my colleagues at GovWebworks took on the challenge of introducing our team to Kaizen, a process of continuous analysis and improvement popularized by the successful Toyota Production System in Japan. We designed a year-long roadmap to dig into a new theme each month that would bring benefit to our organization. One thing became clear, being able to set goals and actually achieve them was going to define how well we achieved results with Kaizen. We decided to make goal setting our first topic and do research on best practices as well as reflect with others on how we had been successful in the past.

As a result of our efforts, we found the following techniques to be the most useful. They give us an edge in realizing our organizational objectives, all while helping us do less unfocused work. We hope these tips will do the same for you and your organization.

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