Ask any successful entrepreneur about the importance of goal setting and they’ll tell you a story about how clear goal setting radically impacted their growth.

For business owners, good goal setting is critical.

Without it, you’ll be directionless, flitting from objective to objective without greater purpose.

With it, you can build the business of your entpreneurial dreams… one that supports you and your family well into the future.

Just consider this statistic from a Harvard Business Review study:

“83% of the population do not have goals; 14% have a plan in mind, but goals are unwritten; and 3% have goals written down. The study found that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals are three times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals.”

But, of course, setting goals that are realistic, achievable, and exciting is easier said than done.

Here are three pieces of advice.

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1. Be More Realistic

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As entrepreneurs, we’re naturally exciteable.

We have a vision for what our future holds and for what our business is going to look like down the road.

Naturally, we want to get to that destination as fast as possible. And we also know what we’re capable of… that if we work long days with ceasless motivation, we can get where we’re going in no time.

Unfortunately, that attitude sometimes gets us into trouble, setting goals that aren’t realistic for where we’re currently at.

And then when we don’t hit our goals, our team gets discouraged and loses momentum. We might chalk it up to just a “shooting for the moon so you’ll hit the stars” sort of strategy, but there’s no two ways about it: coming up short is a bummer for you and your team.

It’d be far better to set realistic goals for what you and your team can achieve, come up with a gameplan, and then set a bigger goal once you’ve won the day.

In that way, small realistic goals quickly become big and achievable.

2. Work The Math Backwards

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Once you’ve set a goal, it’s extremely important to widdle that goal into small achievable to-dos.

Imagine, for example, that you want to close 10 deals next month. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself…

  • How many leads do we need to generate to realistically close 10 deals in a month?
  • How many leads do we need to generate every week to realistically close 10 deals in a month?
  • In order to generate enough leads, how many mailers do we need to send? How often should we cold call? What should our budget for advertising be?

Achievment only happens with intentional action.

So you’ve got to work the math backwards and figure out exactly what your gameplan is… this will also reveal whether your goal is realistic or not.

3.Write Everything Down

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People who set goals are 10 times more likely to accomplish their goals than those that don’t.

So if you have goals, then you’ve already got a leg up on the competition.

But get this… you could get an even greater advantage by writing those goals down: people who write down their goals are three three times more likely to accomplish their goals than people with unwritten goals.

Research indicates that writing our goals down makes us more committed and determined to accomplish them.

So write down your goals, your KPIs, and your specific to-dos.

The more clear you are about what you want on paper, the more likely you’ll get it in real life.

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