Small Business Trends

5 Steps to Determine Your Key Objectives and Goals for Next Year

By | 5 min read | Published

Succeed in the new year by following these simple steps for goal setting

Are you feeling frozen in place when it comes to your business objectives and goals for next year? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many small-business leaders feel overwhelmed and confused about where to start, especially when there’s so much at stake. With these five steps, you can easily outline your key objectives and goals for next year.

How to determine your key objectives and goals for next year

If you don’t take the time to sit down and think about your objectives and goals, it’s easy to lose sight of them as the year goes on. But first, it’s important to know the major distinctions between goals and objectives:

Goals are usually broad, long-term, and complex. They are often abstract and difficult to measure.

Objectives are typically concrete, short-term, and specific. They are generally easier to measure than goals.


Know the goals you want to prioritize

By taking the time to think about the goals you want to prioritize, you can ensure your efforts are focused and that you’re more likely to achieve success.

Keep in mind the following when goal setting:

  • Be specific. The more specific your goals are, the easier it will be to develop a plan to achieve them. Ask yourself what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it.
  • Ensure your goals are realistic. It’s important to set goals that challenge you but are still achievable. If your goals are too ambitious, you’re likely to get discouraged and give up.
  • Write down your goals. Once you’ve decided on your goals, it’s important to write them down. This will help keep you accountable and motivated to achieve them.

Review your goals with your team

It’s important to ensure that your team’s goals are aligned with the company’s strategy, and without objectives, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal. Therefore, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does this goal help us achieve our overarching objectives?
  • Is the goal realistic and achievable?
  • And most importantly, is it something that my team can influence?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then it might be time to reconsider the goal. Once you’ve identified the right goals for your team, start reviewing progress and discussing objectives.


Use the SMART goal-setting framework

When it comes to setting goals, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one person may not work for another. However, the SMART goal-setting framework provides a helpful structure that can be adapted to any goal.

When thinking about the framework, determine the following

  • Are your goals specific? This means clearly defining what you want to achieve.
  • How will your goals be measured? Think about how you will track the progress and know when you’ve achieved your goal.
  • Determine if your goals are attainable. This doesn’t mean your goals should be easy, but they should be achievable with some effort.
  • It’s also important that your goals are relevant to your overall objectives. Ask yourself if achieving this goal will help you reach your larger goals.
  • Finally, all goals should be time-bound, meaning they have a deadline.

No matter what framework is used, it is important that objectives are determined before creating any sort of plan or taking action steps towards a goal. This allows for better clarity and focus so that everyone involved knows what needs to be done in order to achieve success.


Set your KPIs

You need to set your KPIs (key performance indicators) in order to measure your success. But what are KPIs? What should you include in your KPI list? How can you use them to improve your business performance?

KPIs, or key performance indicators, are quantifiable measures that indicate whether or not a company is achieving its desired results. In other words, KPIs tell you if you’re on track to meeting your business goals.

There are various KPIs that companies can track, but the most important ones will be specific to your business goals. For example, if your goal is to increase sales by 20% this year, then a relevant KPI would be “sales growth.”


Build good habits

If you’re serious about reaching your goals, you need to start building good habits. That means ensuring you’re doing things that will help you move closer to your goal and avoiding things that will set you back.

Here are some tips for developing habits that will help you reach your goals:

  1. Set a schedule and stick to it
  2. Find a support group
  3. Set small goals
  4. Get rid of distractions
  5. Be patient

Building good habits is an important part of goal setting because it provides positive reinforcement, helps improve your ability to stick with your goals, and makes the journey feel less daunting. For example, by exercising regularly, meal planning, and developing a strong support network, you can put yourself in a much better position to succeed.

Reach your goals and objectives with Capterra tools and resources

Follow these five steps to determine your key objectives and goals. Once you have an understanding of what you want to achieve, review them with your team and make sure everyone is on board. Then, ensure they’re SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound and set your KPIs. Finally, build good habits to help you reach your goals.

Ready to explore more? Check out the following resources to help you with your goal-setting journey:


About the Author

Ryan Clancy - Guest Contributor

Ryan Clancy - Guest Contributor

Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand. Ryan lives in New York City, and writes about everything engineering and tech at sites like Engineering360, EngineeringClicks, Engineering Solutions, Clinked, Bricsys, Mechanical Engineering HQ, and more.

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