Developing the Killer Goal – 3 Magic Words That Help Your Goals Stick

“What Keeps Me Going Is Goals.” -  Muhammad Ali

Goals are funny things. We know we need them to succeed. However, even with our best intentions, sometimes we fail to meet them (see New Year’s resolutions).

As many of us have learned, goals need to be written in SMART format. I’ve seen many different definitions for these letters, but for this post, let’s use these: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-framed.

Given this definition of SMART, a good goal looks something like this: “Increase my sales of product XYZ by 10% before the end of the fiscal year.” It meets all five criteria (let’s assume that the goal is attainable and realistic).

Even though this is a well-written goal, it’s missing one thing: the reason that this goal is important. I’ve seen people with goals like this either lose interest in the goal or completely forget why they have it in the first place and ask to be excused from doing it. There is a very simple way to prevent this from happening. All you need to do is add the magic words “in order to” at the end of the goal, followed by the reason that this goal exists in the first place.

Let’s look at the original goal with the magic words inserted. “Increase my sales of product XYZ by 10% before the end of the fiscal year in order to help our sales branch win the annual sales competition.” When reviewing this goal throughout the year, the individual knows exactly why s/he needs to meet it. There is skin in the game now!

I cover this and other topics on goals in my mini lesson/keynote entitled “Developing the Killer Goal.”  I can also work with your team in reviewing or developing your goals. If you’re interested in learning more, please send me an email ( 

Kevin JurekComment