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There is nothing new about setting goals and related action steps. As markets change, competition stiffens, and foodservice companies expand, the challenge becomes to focus on our specific. There is nothing new about setting goals and related action steps. As markets change, competition stiffens, and foodservice companies expand, the challenge becomes to focus on the specific goals that define what success looks like and get us there. The better you define your goals, the better chance you have of meeting them.

Goals are more than numbers. They should be actual, tangible changes in your daily work and behaviors. For example:

  1. Reduce the number of employees turned over by 15%
  2. Develop one new signature item in each menu category
  3. Implement a guest comment card system

Sounds easy so far, doesn't it? Yet just like the failed New Year's resolutions we optimistically set each year, most of us fail to follow through. How do we change this pattern and create meaningful changes in behavior?

First: Remember that you need to change. Foodservice marketing guru Jim Sullivan, of Sullivision, reminds us of the obvious. He says, "If you always do what you did, you'll always get what you got."

Second: Focus on the right stuff. The hardest goals to achieve are the ones that are set when we are overly ambitious. Instead of satisfaction, they lead to frustration and a waste of time and energy.

Third: Work SMART!

Set your goals, and develop the action steps to achieve those goals, by using the SMART Goal system. SMART stands for:

S = Specific (single, one at a time, incremental)

M = Measurable (quantity, quality, cost)

A = Achievable (actionable, agreed-upon, attainable)

R = Realistic (results-oriented, possible, potential)

T = Time-dated (within a set timeline)

The SMART system is a self-check you apply to every goal and action step you set for yourself in developing your vision for success. Once you have adopted this approach, progress is inevitable. Even if you aren't able to accomplish all of your goals, you'll still make progress. A few small steps toward success in goal-setting creates momentum, which over time builds confidence.

We've created a sample of the process for developing a "SMART" goal using "Implement a Guest Comment Card System" as an example. Take a look, then download a SMART Goals Exercise Form and Samples to use at your next management meeting.

See also:
Don't sweat the small stuff
Hat trick

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