Goals, resolutions, KPIs. Whatever you want to call them, it makes sense to put them in writing, break down the plan of action, and measure your progress.

We’ve embraced goals at Lemonly, but like most things we try to do at our company, we’ve kept our goal model simple.

In 2015, we introduced our 100-Day Goal (1DG) process with excitement (and anxiety). The concept was simple: Every 100 days, the company set three goals and each employee set three of their own goals related to the company’s.

Initially, we heard a lot of “What should my goals be?” “How will I be measured?” And, of course, “What happens if I don’t hit my goal?” Over the years, we’ve gotten better at (1) setting goals, (2) breaking down how to reach those goals and (3) creating accountability for the goals. Each year, we slightly tweak the model or adjust the setup striving for simplicity, clarity, and success.

The New Lemonly 1DG Model

In 2018, we made one significant change to the 1DG Model. Here’s how it works:

1 In November, at the company retreat, I introduced the overarching 2018 goals for Lemonly. Every Lemonhead knew what we’re trying to accomplish as a team for the year ahead.

2 We set the calendar for the three 1DG periods in 2018:

1DG 1 : Jan. 8 — Apr. 20
1DG 2: Apr. 30 — Aug. 10
1DG 3: Aug. 20 — Nov. 27

*Note — This year, we also tightened up the time between 1DG periods. Between the holidays, 1DG grading, and end-of-year evaluations, things get really tight in December. Now we have some breathing room between goals for making sure our goals are complete and evaluating how they went before we think about the new year.

3 Every Lemonhead sets two goals per 1DG period.

One goal should be a “Development Goal” about how that person is going to grow in the 100 days.

And one goal should be a “To Do Goal,” which is that person announcing they will complete this task during the 100 days.

4 Finally, and this is the big change, every Lemonhead has a “One Thing Goal,” the one big thing they will be accountable for and working on all year long to make a significant difference for Lemonly as a company.

Every Lemonhead has a “One Thing Goal,” the one big thing they will be accountable for and working on all year long to make a significant difference for Lemonly as a company.

The thought process is if everyone hits their One Thing Goal, Lemonly will definitely reach its company goals. Every Lemonhead’s One Thing Goal has been reviewed and approved both by their manager and by me.

*Note — We have a shared Google Doc so everyone in the org can see everyone else’s Development, To-Do and One Thing goals year-round.

Why The Changes

We’ve learned a few things over the years, which informed the evolution of our 1DG model.

Too many goals. We used to set three goals in each 100-day period. That’s nine goals a year! If everything is important, then nothing is important.

Go deep instead of wide. With the One Thing Goal, the hope is every Lemonhead will go deep and make a significant impact over the course of 2018. I want them to think about their goal every day when they walk into the office. Going deep allows you to make real impact and also reflect on your growth.

End-of-year reflection. By cutting two goals and making one of them constant throughout the year, we were able to tighten the calendar and free up time for end-of-year reflection. We naturally look back at the end of the calendar year, and we didn’t want to rush the reflection of the year past and the planning of the year ahead.

Ownership of the goal.  Lemonheads have always set their own goals. This year’s One Thing Goals were reviewed, like I said, but the idea and framework were proposed by the individual. If they created the goal, they will have ownership and accountability toward completing the goal.

Evaluate and Evolve

One month into the year, the response to the slimmed-down goal process has been positive, but like everything at Lemonly, we will evaluate and evolve at the end of the year. I believe every person in the organization — from intern to CEO — needs to know where the organization is headed.

Our annual goals are the indicators of a successful 2018, but 100-Day Goals are the roadmap to get us to the finish line.

Ready, set, go…