The Three Levels of Goal Setting

I’m a big believer in the power of having goals, so I’m always excited to see people motivated to set them. But I also see a constant problem in that arena: The goals some people are setting are simply astronomical.

goal setting

It’s healthy to set these hardcore, challenging goals—don’t get me wrong. But they can really backfire if they’re the only one you set. There are three distinct levels of goal setting, and each of them are vital.

If the only goals you’re setting are mind-blowing, you’re not going to get many wins. If you’re not getting wins, you’re not building momentum. If you’re not building momentum, the chances of quitting increase tenfold.

Achievable, Surprising, Astonishing

1. Minimum

The first thing I encourage my clients to set for each year is their minimum goal. This super realistic mark should represent a place where you’re meeting all your needs and the base expectations for your life. If you hit this, you would be happy, but not necessarily shocked. To calculate it, consider this: If nothing changes from last year to this year, what is the minimum you would be able to achieve?

2. Stretch

The next level is your stretch goal. As the name implies, this is a goal you would need to put in some extra work to achieve. You’ll need to make changes from the previous year to do it, but if you increase accountability and improve processes, it’s within reach for you. If you’re able to hit this, it would be a very pleasant surprise indeed.

3. CRUSH it!

Lastly, there is your CRUSH it goal. This is the peak of the mountain. Hitting this would be so astonishing that you’d probably struggle to believe it. This is not supposed to be easy. It should require you to push yourself. It should require effort and energy and hustle. If you can hit this goal, you would have cause to be truly impressed with yourself.

To Tweak or Not to Tweak?

You’ll set these goals at the beginning of each year, but as we know, things don’t always work out the way we had hoped. If you reach the end of Q2 and business has been different than anticipated, you can always adjust your numbers.

This goes in both directions. If the year has been slower than you’d hoped, it’s okay to take your minimum and stretch goals and dial them down a bit to be more realistic given the actual landscape.

But if you’ve had a stronger Q1 and Q2, go ahead and ratchet them up a bit. If you’re prospecting and filling your funnel properly, you should be able to anticipate what the rest of the year will bring. Increasing those lower-level goals will help you stay motivated.

Your CRUSH it goal, however, does not change. Ever. In either direction.

Say you close an amazing deal that guarantees you’re going to hit that ultimate goal. Don’t be tempted to bump it up. Just CRUSH it and revel in the victory!

And I mean really celebrate. Incentives are powerful motivators, so if you manage to hit this staggering goal, give yourself something worthwhile. For example, my husband and I incentivize our CRUSH it goal by promising ourselves an out-of-the-country celebration when we manage to hit it.

Setting goals doesn’t have to be hard, but it does have to be done smartly if you want to see benefits. Organizing your goals at these three levels will guarantee that you understand your business at a deeper level and will give you an opportunity both to get some wins and push yourself to improve constantly.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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