Setting, and achieving goals is a big part of your business. Without goals you’re left to wander about constantly wondering if what you’re doing is working. Here are five ways to successfully reach the goals you set for your business.
GET REAL WITH YOURSELF
Have a little heart-to-heart with yourself, or a trusted business advisor. Spend some time thinking about what you’ve accomplished over the last year. What went right? What did you think you’d achieve, but didn’t? Be honest about why some goals didn’t happen. Were you trying to take on too much or did your business change in some way? The key here is to be mindful about what worked and what didn’t.
Now that you’ve spent time thinking about the successes (and failures) of last year, you can be more clear about your goals for the upcoming year. This isn’t to say you’re going to set easier goals. It just means that you’re being more mindful about the direction your business is heading.
PRO TIP: Include at least one goal that would be a total stretch, but would be absolutely amazing if you achieved it.
WRITE IT DOWN
We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but you’re going to hear it again. There’ve been studies done about goal setting. Consistently, we see when people write down their goals they are 70% more likely to achieve them.
The best place to start is to brainstorm. Take a big piece of paper and start writing down all the things you want to accomplish by the end of the year. Once you have this random collection of intentions, start breaking them down into categories.
If you haven’t heard of the book The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, you should check it out. There are so many great lessons about achieving goals in the book. One of the points that made an impact on me, is to choose ONE THING each day that will get you closer to what you want in your life.
Essentially, create categories for each of the things you want to accomplish. And not just for business either. Maybe one of your goals is to have a better relationship with your spouse. The advice from the book suggests that you choose just one thing each day that will support that desire. It doesn’t have to be sweeping gesture. Just one thing, like sending a text letting him or her know how much you appreciate them.
Creating categories for your goals can help you to prioritize what is most important. It can also be a way to see if you’re trying to take on too much. Here are some examples of categories for your business: blogging, client work, speaking, people you want to meet, financial goals, books you want to read. You get the idea.
BREAK IT DOWN
Now that you have your categories you can organize your goals. I like to color code mine on big post-it notes, but you might prefer a spreadsheet. Use whatever method works best for you. Take a look at each of your goals. Can you break them down into actionable steps? Maybe you have a goal of incorporating content marketing over the next 12 months. That’s pretty broad and it would also be difficult to measure. Instead, create specific steps to make your goal easier to reach.
Goal: Incorporate Content Marketing
– Post one article to Facebook every day
– Share content from other sources twice per week
– Create exclusive content once per week
Now apply the concept of One Thing. You can find one thing each day to work toward each of your goals. This makes it much less overwhelming.
Without accountability, most of us fail. It’s so much easier to brush off tasks and goals when there is no one to hold us responsible. If you work alone, this can be a little more challenging, but chances are you know at least one other person who works alone too.
Find someone you respect and ask him or her to be your accountability buddy. Check in with each other once a week and state what you’re working on and what you plan to accomplish. If you’re a little more competitive, you can make a game out of it by seeing who got more done on their to-do list. A good reward is lunch for the winner.
You could also form a mastermind group where you meet other business owners once a month to talk about goals. This can be especially helpful if you work alone.
Whether you’re the CEO of a 500 person company or you’re an empire of one, the success of your business depends upon your ability to set and achieve goals. Find the method that works best for you and your business, and then hold yourself accountable.