When you examine great achievements, you find the same characteristics in the goal that was set at the beginning. They are goals that are ambitious, exciting and connect with people. The most important element in the formula of the goal is the story of the goal and how it touches our emotions. In his theory, University of Maryland Psychology Professor Edwin Locke discussed two important elements of the goal which increase performance and add motivation to achieving it. The goal should be ambitious and challenging. Unambitious goals do not increase performance. Second, the target must be clearly defined. An ambitious but not clearly defined goal does not create motivation.

A clear and well-defined target motivates the person, and if it is compatible with their competencies, it brings them into the flow

Deloitte, mentions goals in two different studies published in 2014 and 2015. It states that there is nothing more motivating and performance-enhancing than clearly defined and written, freely shared goals. Accurate targeting is defining as an element that increases employee engagement.


How do you write a goal that improves performance and motivation?

As Aswath Damodaran effectively explains in his book, Narrative and Numbers, “The value of stories in business”, if you are going to define a goal, you must have a story and the numbers that define and clarify your story.


The story of the goal: The story of the goal is the dimension of the work that inspires, motivates, carries meaning, which we can connect with and what we work for. It is a narrative definition compatible with the vision and mission of the company, or compatible with the principles and values that make you who you are in individual life, while covering a certain time and is more accessible. It may seem easy in individual life, but in fact defining the right target in both personal and business life is most challenging aspect; if it lacks the strength to create the motivation you need, to set new goals and to fuel the drive which will enable you to stick to these goals, you risk going astray from your predefined course. For example, while “Losing 10 kilos” is not motivating in itself, “looking fit” is a motivating goal.


The numbers of the target: The numbers of the target are important, since when numbers come into play, imagined scenes become clearer. Words and numbers are two important dimensions of our definitions, and if they are separated from each other, the balance will be broken again. The route to where you want to go may shift again in an instant. Therefore, it is vital to add the numerical dimensions that best determine the route, put the feet of your dream on the ground and make your picture clear. For example, to “look fit”,“consume a maximum of 2000 calories a day and exercise for at least 30 minutes”. 

Writing the right peak goals means getting the right focus. In other words, it is critically important to focus our most important capital – time and energy – in the right direction. What does the future you envision for your company or yourself look like? Picture it with words. How does each of your stakeholders look in this picture? What have they served and what has changed positively for them? What have they invested in what trust accounts to move forward together once again? and the magic question “How did you achieve all this? This is the second component of the goal’s formula;

“(Story + number) / Strategies = Goals”


The formula is fine. So what else should you pay attention to?




For a strong target, defining the starting point of the target in detail and with the same rules is vital, so the story and the number should also be defined for the current situation. That means you should have plenty of history and data showing where you are. The SMART model, which has been used for many years to correctly combine numbers and stories, still remains a valid model. In the picture, we have prepared a table to guide where you can easily make correct SMART definitions with questions.

Comprehensively analyzed

It is necessary to comprehensively analyze the situation you are in in order to define the story and the number correctly, and to draw up a target which will inspire, motivate and guide with the strategy. You still need words and numbers. This time looking back!

It is the same for business. While determining our business goals, the important need for accurate targeting, market, competition, economy, customer, employee, etc. obtained from reliable sources. research and their objective analysis. Vision and mission, on the other hand, guide you on how to reach the destinations while defining the address. The most important role in this process is again leadership. The leader decides which vision is the right address and on which way is the fastest, most profitable and efficient route to take.

“In the business environment, every employee is also a leader. They are responsible for correctly analyzing their own place, determining their destination correctly and deciding how to proceeding.


Synchronous, focused and agile

When we invest our time in something, it is critical that planing our time correctly to achieve a balanced life. As leaders, we need to best define our own story and our own numbers to use time and energy on right thing. Once upon a time, the address was on the horizon in clear and we could easily set 1-year roadmaps. But now if we can plan a month ahead, we lucky. So, is it possible to work by defining the targets and constantly changing the route, especially with very large teams, in an agile way?

Yes it is possible.

  • Determine the top target correctly,
  • Re-define your steps (targets) in short 1-3 month intervals depending on the degree of uncertainty.
  • Test and measure whether you are on the right track by experimenting and performing simulations.
  • If you are on the right track, go ahead and define your steps (goals) again and again…

We know that there are many successful companies which turn this into a habit with systems such as OGSM and OKR. V2MOM, Systems such as BSC and OGSM (Objectives + Goals + Strategies + Measures) define long-term top targets on a single page. With OKR (Objectives and Key Results), top targets are spread to all employees over quarterly periods… Moreover, these models can be used effectively not just by companies but also by individuals.



Challenging but achievable

Another issue is that targets must be challenging but achievable. Let’s imagine you have a long-term goal which requires a great deal of effort as an individual. This could, for example, be learning English or learning a new routine. If your goal is to motivate you, it must be difficult but attainable. In other words, it may be more motivating and accessible to change my diet this month and lose 2 kilos by doing sport than it is to prepare a one-year plan and set out to lose 10 kilos. In the first goal, you feel somewhat intimidated and your motivation could drop. The second goal is easier and you will definitely be more motivated as you reach the goal each month. Another popular example would be a person who has just started to learn English setting out with the goal of being able to make a presentation in English in one year’s time, or one who has set out with the goal of understanding and using English within one month without confusing their tenses? In the second case, you’d be more likely to lock onto a one-month goal, and once you achieve it, you’ll move forward by setting a new goal.



The key point here is the need for, a system that monitors progress instantly, presents risks and allows self-assessment and learning from the past. As difficult as it is to know the formula of the goal, to set inspiring and guiding goals, it is four times more difficult to focus others on the goal and ensure their commitment to the goal!


Myliba is your biggest assistant in achieving this.