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Pru Chapman is the Founder + Head Hustler at Owners Collective, a dedicated digital community and global online resource hub for early-stage entrepreneurs. Pru gets giddy supporting business owners to create meaningful, sustainable + profitable business. She loves nothing more than bulletproof coffee, her pooch Maverick, and an empty mountain hiking trail.

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Setting goals is one of the most important and misunderstood aspects of business. You can use your goals to ensure that you’ll meet client expectations. However, that isn’t the end of the discussion. You can also utilize ‘stretch’ goals as a way to challenge yourself to get better at what you do.

So how does is work? Whenever you make plans for your job, set two goals: A commit goal and a bonus ‘stretch goal.’ You don’t need to succeed with every stretch goal you set. Just giving it a try is a way to dramatically improve your performance.


Requirements vs. Dreams

Most jobs have two different kinds of goals. You have your job requirements, which you need to do if you want to live up to expectations at work. Then you have the extra stuff you could do to go above and beyond.

The requirements are what most people focus on. After all, they represent the minimum performance you need to deliver in order to stay in good graces with your team. This is important, but you shouldn’t stop there.

The best bosses and employees dream big and try to be even better than they are expected to be. This is how top performers think about work. While the best performance isn’t explicitly laid out in the job requirements, it’s something that anybody is capable of.


How to Achieve Higher Performance at Work

The key to becoming a top performer and business owner is to set useful stretch goals for yourself and your team. A stretch goal is something that seems possible, but that might be too hard to pull off. You’d have to do an amazing job to achieve the stretch goal.

You can use stretch goals for personal and professional tasks. For example, imagine that you are trying to keep a budget so you can save some money. Your commit goal might be not to use your credit card at all that month. A good stretch goal could then be to save an additional $200 and put it in your savings account.

In a professional context, stretch goals are even better. They’re a great way to completely smash your targets and get where you want to faster! One example of a stretch goal at work is to exceed your goal by adding an extra 1,000 members to your sales database.

Stretch Goals Should Be Hard

If you are able to succeed at your stretch goal every time, you aren’t thinking big enough. After all, the point of this tactic is to push yourself outside your comfort zone. It’s ok to fail when you are trying to make progress.

Nobody knows what they are capable of until they push themselves to the limit. Society loves to make fun of people that fail. However, top performers understand that failure is part of the process that leads you towards huge successes.

If you aim to achieve five great things and only succeed at two of them, you are outperforming all the people who never tried in the first place. This is the secret of the stretch goal!


Start Using Stretch Goals to Achieve Bigger Things

You won’t know at first exactly how ambitious your stretch goals should be. That is OK. It takes trial and error to get a sense of what a good stretch goal looks like. The most important thing is to start trying.

Next time you are making plans for work, take a few extra minutes to include a stretch goal. Try to push yourself to perform 50% better than your normal goal requires. Go big and see if you can surprise yourself with incredible performance. Using this strategy is the first step towards smashing goals and reaching targets you didn’t even think were possible!


More on Dakota Findley 

Dakota it an editor at Deal Meisters, plus he’s been published on a variety of respected websites. His writing focuses on how to better improve your savings and effective goal setting.

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