How do you set goals that are both realistic and aspirational?

Gabriel Krajicek 1

IF YOU ARE HITTING ALL OF YOUR DEADLINES, YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY BE GOING FAST ENOUGH. That’s because the only way to hit 100 percent of your goals is to set low targets. I think striking a balance starts first with company culture. If some level of failure isn’t tolerated, goals will be modest. If healthy, judicious risk-taking is encouraged, people will naturally strive toward higher levels of success.

—Gabriel Krajicek, CEO of Kasasa

Dan San 1

I DO THIS BY DEFINING THE LONG-TERM OUTCOME I’d like to create in a measurable form, then breaking it down into milestones. For example, if your goal is to reach $1 million in sales, you can break that down into annual, monthly, weekly and daily goals. This turns your seemingly aspirational fantasies into realistic and tangible action plans.

—Dan San, founder of Silicon Alley Consulting

Mary Rodgers Head Shot 2017

IT IS MY PRACTICE TO SET GOALS ANNUALLY, not just for myself but for my entire team. Setting expectations and having regular check-ins are both crucial for keeping the team moving in the right direction. Being realistic involves the understanding and alignment of resources to support these goals.

—Mary Rodgers, director of marketing for Cuisinart

Fritz Colcol BW

BY LOOKING AT CURRENT BRANDS THAT ARE ALREADY SUCCESSFUL within their respective industries that I want to emulate. This way, I know how to set goals for current market share, demographics, potential customer reach and brand awareness.

—Fritz Colcol, CEO of ABN Circle

Lynn Perkins BW

I START BY CAPTURING MY ASPIRATIONAL AND LONG-TERM GOALS. Next, I figure out what the most important milestones are in order to make progress on those goals over the next quarter. I then turn those quarterly milestones into an actionable plan, which informs how I spend my time that quarter.  

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—Lynn Perkins, CEO and co-founder of UrbanSitter

Related: 4 Tips for Setting Powerful Goals

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2020 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
Photo by Pixabay/

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