Setting goals is so important to running a business, especially one that is solely responsible on one person to help it grow and succeed. Yet, how many goals do you make in a year that go unnoticed, unaccomplished, and that ultimately fizzle out due to lack of motivation or other causes?
Setting goals and striving to achieve them is how we move forward in life and in business. A goal to make $X amount of income next year, or to write 10 guest posts, or to get featured in your favorite design magazine are all noble goals. Creating them helps us to move in the right direction in order to get what we want. It helps us to not remain static in what we’re already doing.
In this article we’ll look into methods for creating goals effectively, how to act upon them, how to stay motivated throughout them, and how to set appropriate goals that really move your business forward, and don’t end up as wasted time.
1. Don’t Over-do Goals
When you do more of something, it means less each time. Don’t create several goals a day, or even several goals a month. Treat goals as big, forward-moving things rather than tasks. You’ll take them more seriously.
Make a plan to do one major thing this month, or at least make some major project on one thing this month. Maintain your current workflow and get done what you need to, but when it comes to all of your bigger goals for your business, only focus on that one. If another comes up and you’re itching to get through it too, remind yourself that you can come back to it, and focus fully on it, next month.
2. Make a Specific Target
A single goal can mean accomplishing several things, or having several indicators that the goal has been completed. A goal to “get healthier” could mean weight loss, more stamina, healthier feeling, being able to run a 5K, and so much more. The same applies to business goals.
We may know where we want to get to, but it’s important to set a specific milestone so that we know for sure when we’ve made it, as well as so we don’t get off-course. Let the milestone represent the accomplishment of the goal, and then adjust to higher standards if wanted.
For example, if you have a goal to create a good base of repeat clients, don’t just say that — aim to get 5 new repeat clients by the end of this year.
3. Create Action
A goal can stand still and be thought about forever. It’s always nice to dream about our goals, but it’s far more important to act on them. All goals must be actionable today if you’re going to make them at all. Don’t say, “someday I’ll…”, and plan to get to it later. Don’t use the excuse that you don’t have the resources right now to get the goal accomplished. If you don’t, then the next actionable step would be to acquire those resources.
Once you create a goal, plan what the next action will be. When that is completed, move onto the next action. Perhaps your goal is to write your first book. If you need to gain knowledge, then go out and actively do so. Next step, research what’s needed. Next step, plan the outline. Next step, write the book.
4. Step Back and Reflect
After your accomplishments, or after major milestones, take time to reflect on the progress made. It will help as motivation to continue, and motivation for other goals. The more goals one accomplishes, the easier it becomes to tackle the next one, no matter what the topic.