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Unlocking Achievement Mastery: Decoding Goals and Targets

by adminjay

People use the words “goals” and “targets” interchangeably, but they’re actually different, and the understanding of that difference allows us to achieve more. When we’re intentional about the process of setting goals and targets, the likelihood of achieving them increases; it’s like Kirk always says, “Specific is terrific, but vague is the plague,” so get some direction by putting words to your vision. If you don’t specify where you want to be, you’re going to end up completely off-track of where you truly want to be. To get started on your pursuit of meaningful goals and targets, you must take the following actions:

  1. Define Your Goals

A goal is a specific statement that moves you closer to a larger future outcome. Your outcomes are intangible, emotional ideas that you can envision, but to make them more tangible, you need goals. You need to state precisely what actions and tangible results need to happen in order to make each outcome a reality, as well as think about the reason behind the goal. Your goals must have a purpose, so think about your Why: why do you want to achieve this goal? If you can’t come up with some strong reasons, it needs to go. It’s important to understand that goals can take a quarter, a year, or even beyond a year to fully accomplish, so set them accordingly.

  1. Set Your Targets

A target, however, is the hard data; the black and white numerical evidence of what needs to happen if your goals are to be met, think KPIs when you think targets. Targets take the subjectivity out of everything, removing the emotion and constantly letting you know whether or not you’re on track to achieve your goals.

  1. Keep Them S.M.A.R.T.

You want to set yourself up for success when it comes to your goals and targets, and the secret to doing so is making sure they’re S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific. To make your goals and targets specific, you have to define what exactly it is that you want to do. Give yourself clear criteria that lets you define your success instead of being vague—for example, instead of aiming to be a better runner, aim to run a half-marathon in less than two hours.
  • Measurable. Establish how, exactly, you’re going to track your progress for the associated target. 
  • Attainable. Think about the goals and targets you’ve established—are they realistic for you and your practice? Do you have what you need to make them possible?
  • Relevant. Making relevant goals means going back to your WHY and making sure that your goals matter to you—you have to understand why you’re setting these goals.
  • Time-bound. The final component you want your goals and targets to have is a timeframe. When will you have them completed? These goals and targets will require your attention, so think about the aspects of your life you need to remove or modify in order to focus on the goals.

When you set S.M.A.R.T. goals and targets, they’ll be totally achievable.


When you get clarity around the difference between goals and targets, you will be set up for greater success. That clarity provides you and your team with better direction when it comes to reaching your successful outcomes and ultimately having a better practice and a better life! targets. 

Remember, you don’t need to attempt this on your own. The worst person to talk to about setting targets and goals is yourself, so reach out and schedule a call with ACT. Take things to the next level by joining us at our events: sign up for the To The Top Study Club meeting on October 27, where you’ll learn how to plan strategically like a master, and take part in The Best Practices Seminar from November 16-17 and learn the secrets to building a Better Practice and a Better Life!


Having aligned leadership is critical when it comes to running a successful practice, but how are alignment and agreement different? Tune in next time and let Lead Practice Coach Adriana Booth share “Why Consensus is Horrible!”

Heather Crockett is a Lead Practice Coach at ACT Dental

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