Everyone knows that goal-setting is a critical activity for personal and professional success. The SMART Model (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) is one of the most universal models for creating attainable goals. 

Daymond John even sleeps with his list of goals under his pillow. "I have ten goals that I read every single night before I go to bed and every single morning when I wake up," he said.

"Six of them expire in six months, and the other four expire in three years, five years, 10 years, and 20 years. I reset them every six months, and I never reach them. I only get 20 percent there, 30 percent there -- but I get closer to there."

John says he reads through his list of active goals before going to bed each night so that his subconscious can work on them while he's asleep. He then starts the next day with intention by reviewing his goals again.

Such discipline is admirable, and it clearly leads to success. However, the statistics for goal failure are not good. 70 percent of projects, 80 percent of first business and 95 percent of product launches fail to meet their target. There are many common reasons why goals fail including:

  • Lack of clearly defined goals
  • Poor timing
  • No clear plan for execution
  • Juggling too many goals at once
  • Underestimating the difficulty of the goal

In my goal-setting work with several CEOs, I've identified one more potential roadblock that goal-setters must consider when setting their desired outcomes: key dependencies on others. 

When my clients work on their goals, we now evaluate how much they depend on others to achieve their goals. Question to ask include:

  • Do key dependencies have goals? 
  • Do they have goals that conflict with or complement your goals?
  • Are your desired outcomes a priority for them?
  • Are your key dependencies aware of your goals, and your dependency on them to achieve them?
  • If you have dependencies, what is your plan to communicate what you expect from them as you move toward your goals?

The most important aspect of achieving a goal that involves others is communication, starting from the time you set your goal and continuing until you reach the goal. Without this communication, you will encounter unexpected bottlenecks.

When engaging your other goal stakeholders, it's important to clearly inform them why your goals are significant and why they are essential to your goal outcome.

Change rarely occurs in a vacuum. Our decisions always impact others, and the earlier we can enroll champions, the less opposition we will have to disruptive change. If you must enroll a team of dependencies, can you convey how your achievement of your goals will benefit them? 

When you revisit your goals, add a column to your list that identifies your key dependencies to goal achievement, and what you need to do to enroll them in your mission. 

See you at the finish line!