How to Set Breakthrough Goals in 2020 and Beyond

smart goal - set breakthrough goals

If you will set breakthrough goals in this year, nothing will stop you from realizing them before the year ends. Setting breakthrough goals is the same with setting SMART goals. In this course, we shall practice how to set breakthrough goals for better understanding and assimilation. The highlights include:

  • Discussion on how to set breakthrough goals.
  • Guiding you through a process that will determine the future of your career, business, or project.
  • Leading you to understand how to set achievable goals.
  • You will also be able to set goals in the following target areas for your business: people, finance, customer, operations and product/service.

Are you a Leader? Check here for the Qualities of a Good Leader for your 2020 campaign.

What is Goal Setting?

  • Goal is what you want to achieve in the shortest possible time.
  • It is a kind of milestone covered in order to arrive at your long-term objective or mission.
  • Generally, goal is a fraction of your life’s, or company’s mission. By this I mean that it is a part of an overall future or vision you are planning to accomplish. If you reach your targeted goal, you have gone a step towards achieving your life, career or company broad objective.
  • Goal setting is a process of identifying what one want to achieve in a specified time. That is, your ability to articulate and know what you want to accomplish within a given period, say, one month, six months or one year.
Activity One (Click here)

What is your goal for the year?

Change this: My goal is to grow my customer base to 100,000.

We said above that to set breakthrough goals, we need to have a mission or an objective. This means that without a mission or general objective, there will be no goal.

If you have specified your goal for the year above, notice that it MUST be part of your mission. A goal disjointed from your mission is a clear indication of an unorganized life or a life without purpose. Check back to know if your goal is in agreement with your mission.

Talking about mission, what does it mean?

Mission Statement

  • As stated above, your goal should be an integral part of your company’s mission, i.e. your company’s broad objective. It is the same with your career objective or life purpose.
  • This implies that if your company has no mission, you will not be able to make headway. Imagine you sleeping and waking up without plans, no purpose; you are working for nothing.
  • Your objective gives you strength and passion and put you on the path of success.
  • Your company’s mission explains your company’s purpose in a sentence; the same with your life’s purpose. It tells your potential and prospective customers what you do and why your business is established. Similarly, it tells your prospective employers and followers what qualities you have and where you are heading.
  • Mission should be clear, concise and useful, and somehow inspiring.
  • It should contain at least 3 elements: cause (to whom), action (what you do) and impact (effect on the people). Cause comes from a problem point of view. Usually, there is a problem that you seek solution to. Every business, every man on earth is created to solve a problem. Action is what you do or offer as the solution to the cause. Impact is the effect of your offering on the masses.
  • Your mission is also a work-in-progress, because, it explains why your company exist. It terminates only when your business terminate. The same with your purpose in life – you live to fulfill your purpose.
  • That is, so long as your business exists; you must strive to fulfill your mission. It is the life-line of your business.
  • For example, MTN’s mission statement is “to make our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter.” That is why they introduce products and services that are attractive and convenient to their customers.
  • Your targeted business goals for people, finance, customers, operations and product/service are set towards achieving this broad objective.
Activity two: Writing your Company’s mission (Click here)

The template below will enable you to create a mission statement for your business. Answer the questions provided in the template.

MISSION STATEMENT TEMPLATE: The reason for your existence
Guide: Your mission needs to be: clear, simple and useful; easily understood by others; crafted by you and not copied. It should have cause, action, and impact.
QuestionExample (Prototype answer)Your Answer
What is your type of business?(e.g. Manufacturing, merchandising, services)Enter your answer here
What is your type of business?(e.g. Manufacturing, merchandising, services)Enter your answer here
For whom do you exist?(e.g. households, students, businesses, etc)Enter your answer here
Why do you exist?(e.g. what need/ problem are you solving)Enter your answer here
How can you describe what you do?(e.g. providing convenience and natural fruit drinks)Enter your answer here
What is the benefit to customers?(e.g. we deliver your order 24/7)Enter your answer here
What is your mission statement?e.g. we provide natural fruit drinks to our customers 24/7Enter your answer here

Your company now has a mission. All your goals and targets should gear towards fulfilling your company’s broad objective.

Now that you have a mission, we need to set breakthrough goals. This will guide your activities throughout this year.

Set Breakthrough Goals

We have explained what goals are, and their connection with mission or broad objective. When setting goals for our businesses, careers, and lives, it is important that we make the goals SMART. We shall look at SMART, what it means.

SMART goals

  • Every breakthrough goal MUST be SMART compliant.
  • What do we mean by SMART? Smart simply means:


Your goal should be simple, clear and well defined. Be sure not to make it too broad. Narrow broad goals down so you can understand exactly what you want to achieve. E.g. “We will train our staff on how to use Sage Evolution accounting”; Not “We will train our staff.” OR “I will enroll for my master’s degree in Nutrition”; Not “I will further my education.”


Your goal should be such that you can measure. Put in place things that will help you determine the progress of your goal. Ensure that you can be able to calculate how far you have gone in terms of achieving your goal. Establish a specific term of measuring the extent you have gone in achieving your goal. It could be in terms of no., length, weight, score, time, etc. E.g. Based on the training above, you can use topics covered or activities successfully completed.


Faith is good, God is a miracle worker, but let’s not get things twisted. Do not set goals by faith and expect a miracle to happen. Do not set goals that you know you cannot achieve. When setting goals, be sure that your available human,  and material resources, put together, will help you achieve your goal. E.g. ensure that you have or will provide the human and material resources to train your staff.


Your goal must be relevant to your company’s broad objective. It must add value or be a milestone to achieving your company’s mission. If it has nothing to do with your purpose of existence, then it is irrelevant. E.g. training your staff on accounting software must be relevant to achieving your business goal.


You should always set a time limit when your goal will be achieved. Always specify when your goal will be achieved. E.g. the training will be completed in 3 months.


set breakthrough goals - smart goals
Image by taoonex from Pixabay
Activity Three: SMART Goal Compliance (Click here)

Now that we have understood what SMART goal is, the following template will help you check if your goal (in activity one) is SMART compliant. This will tell if you can set breakthrough goals successfully.

SMART GOAL COMPLIANT TEMPLATE: Does my goal pass the SMART test?
Guide: Your goal must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
QuestionYour Answer (Fill this column with your answer)
What is your company’s mission statement?Your answer here
What is your type of business?Your answer here
What is your goal?Your answer here
What exactly do you want to accomplish?(it should be simple and clear)
What unit will you use to measure the progress?(it should be computable: a metric or pace)
What resources are available that will help you achieve this?(available human & material resources)
Is your goal part of your mission statement?(should help fulfill your mission)
When do you wish to accomplish this goal?(specify the date/time)
RemarkIf your goal is able to answer the above questions, then it is SMART compliant
ExampleWe want to train our staff on Sage Evolution by October 2020.

Business Target Goals

Businesses and organizations that are determined to make a different set goal every year. Goals might be set on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis, provided they are SMART. Let’s look at the highlights of this section:

  • Our final focus is to set breakthrough goals for all the important components of our business.
  • We have already learned what a goal is and how to set breakthrough goals (SMART goals).
  • Here we shall learn how to set goals to target people, customers, finance, operations, and products/ services. Before we proceed, let us understand what these components mean.

Setting Goals for Growth

  • A growth-oriented business will always set goals to target the basic components of the business.
  • These include the business: employees, customers, operations, products/ services, and finances.
  • All these components work together to ensure that the required growth is delivered to the business.
  • But the management of such businesses will ensure that its goals are set to target relevant aspects of these components.
  • For your business to grow, you need the following:
    • the right people,
    • the right products/ services,
    • the financial muscle to compete and to acquire relevant facilities,
    • to grow your customer base, and
    • to minimize losses and increase efficiency in operations.

How do we set breakthrough goals to target these components? Let’s look at each of these components in detail.

Set breakthrough goals to target People (employees)

  • Every business needs people to work with. By people, I mean your staff, i.e. the people that make your organization what it is.
  • Without them, your mission may not be fulfilled and your business may not grow.
  • They are the most important component because they form an integral part of your business. They can make or mar the business or organization.
  • They create your product/ service, they operate your machines, and they relate with your customers. In fact, they are everything to your business.
  • It is important to note that your people are a representation of your organization.
  • Your business cannot give what it does not have, and what it has depends on the caliber of employees it works with.

The question is: what kinds of goals can we set for our people? Goals set for our employees should be directed to:

  • Target key appointments such as managerial, administrative and departmental. You should place the right people in the right positions. (who should occupy which position)
  • Target the number of staff to be employed depending on your growth objectives. As businesses grow, more people will be needed to drive and sustain the growth (how many people will help sustain/ drive this growth)
  • Target the right training to improve staff skills and operational efficiency. Growth comes with new challenges (what skills are needed to maintain our proposition and remain competitive in the market).
  • Target the right remuneration for each position to avoid high employee turnover. (what remuneration should I pay to retain my people and get the best from them).

Set breakthrough goals to target Finance

  • Finance is the bedrock of every business growth.
  • No business can grow without the requisite financial muscle.
  • Every business needs finance to pay her staff, purchase raw materials and relevant facilities, build a distribution channel, etc.

The question is: how should I finance my growth ambition?

  • Businesses can finance their growth ambition through internal funding (organic growth). This is financing that comes by investing the profits from the business. How much profit should I retain to attain my proposed growth?
  • Also, growth can be financed by external funding. This is funding that comes through grants and loans. How much should I borrow to maintain this growth?
  • For a business to set financial goals, it should consider targeting:
    • Turnover. Turnover refers to the volume of sales within a specified period, say, month or year. It is believed that the higher a business turnover, the higher the profit.
    • Profit. Profit is the excess of income over costs. If a business is getting more income than the amount it spends, then it is making a profit.
    • External funding. If a business considers external financing, then it should think of the best source to support its growth ambition. The above two will provide a basis for the type of funding required. Banks will always look at your turnover before approving your required loan. Also, your profit level will help you determine the payback period for the loan.

Set breakthrough goals to target Customers

  • Customers are king. They determine the success or failure of your business.
  • A business without a customer will eventually close-down.
  • Therefore, any growth objective without the customers in mind has already failed.
  • You can target customers by setting goals to target:
  • New markets. This means acquiring new customers or opening new selling outlets in a different location.
  • Customer types. This means that your goal could be directed to the consumer or business market or both.
  • Large customers. You can also target group buyers such as cooperatives, schools, and so on. All these will help you grow your customer database and manage retention efficiently.
  • Retention policy. Getting new customers is good, but making existing ones to return often is great. This will help you create brand loyalty.

Set breakthrough goals to target Operations

  • Operations include everything that works together to make your product get to the final consumer. It includes humans, machines, and technology.
  • All work together to ensure that your product/ service is effectively delivered.
  • Operations can affect quality of product, production processes, resource location, efficiency and productivity.
  • Since all these bear roots in operations, it means that goals should be set to target them.
  • Hence operational goals should target:
    • Product quality affects demand and customer retention. It is a good operational practice to maintain the quality of products/services delivered to customers.
    • Process improvement. To maintain quality and remain competitive in the market, there should be regular improvement in the production processes. Especially, businesses should face out outdated equipment and install innovative and technologically improved equipment to achieve the best results.
  • Location matters when products and services are delivered to customers. It is important to target where the administrative headquarters will be, where production equipment will be located. These if rightly placed will improve on the overall efficiency of business operations.
  • This considers everything that will help to reduce costs and minimize delivery time. It could involve technology, manpower, and equipment.
  • This refers to the quantity of products/services produced and delivered. It could be affected by equipment and machine, manpower, location availability of materials, and so on.

Set breakthrough goals to target Product/service

  • This refers to your value proposition. Your product/service is the solution you are offering your customers for their needs.
  • It has the power to attract new customers, retain old customers and beat competitors.
  • It speaks volumes of the value of your business to the customers.
  • You can set the product/service goal by:
    • Introduction of new products/services in the product line or
    • Development of current products.

Activity Four: Setting Goals for GrowthUse the template below to set goals for all the components of your business to help you achieve your growth objective.

GOAL TEMPLATE FOR GROWTH: what I should do in order to attain my desired growth?

Target Goal For: (specify people, financial, customers, operations or product/service)

Goals Purpose is: (e.g. to train staff, to increase turnover, to increase customer database, etc)


Your Answer

What is the company’s growth objective?


Breakdown your specified target goal into its components and specify appropriate goals to each component; e.g. for Operations




(change the black and white label to color label)

(Process improvement)

(introduce cock smoothing technology)


(relocate production manager’s office to the production building)


(use delivering van to deliver products to distributors)


(increase in quantity produced from 300 to 500)

Go through your specified goals and ensure that they are not broad. If they are broad, make them specific by breaking them down into smaller goals below:


Revised goal













Determine how you will measure each of your goals















Set the time when you will likely achieve each of your set goals















Create your SMART Goal based on the information given above

















Use the SMART compliant template to test the compliance of your goals (fine-tune goals that are not SMART)

Create an action plan on how to achieve your set goals


Action Plan














Go ahead and achieve your goal.


There is a common saying that, “if you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.” One major reason small businesses fail is that they have bogus goals that are not attainable. When you ask some of them, they will say, “I have faith that it will work.” We tend to bring in religion without adequate knowledge of it while planning.

Goals are meant to be achieved at your set time. What are your goals in 2020? Are they achievable? In this article, we discussed how to set breakthrough goals otherwise called SMART goals. We also took you through a series of practices that will help you ensure that your goals are indeed SMART.

I know that many people are slow to learning and understanding, and the templates may be hard to crack. This is why I am open to answer all your questions, especially, questions relating to your broad objective. You are welcome to use the comment box or simply use the contact form. I assure you, you will hear from us.

Start setting goals now!

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