How to Set Goals You Will Actually Achieve
Entrepreneurs are great at coming up with ideas! But we're not always very good at following through and turning our ideas into reality. Too many business owners fall in love with an idea or project, but then quickly become overwhelmed when it's time to execute. Thus they give up and never reap the rewards they were so eagerly seeking in the first place!
Overwhelm leads to paralysis and unfinished projects. Don't let this keep happening to you! You need a better way to approach your goals. Follow these five steps to reach your goals and create more success in your small business.
1. Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals.
The first step to achieving anything is to set a goal. But you have to make sure the goals you set aren't random and ambiguous. Goals that get accomplished are S.M.A.R.T.:
• Specific - Specificity means answering who, what, where, when and why. Use specific numbers.
• Measurable - How will you know you are successful? Determine your criteria for success.
• Achievable - For a goal to be achievable, you must be both willing and able to work toward it. Your goal can be a stretch or seem challenging but it has to be possible.
• Relevant - The goal has to matter to you. It should drive your business forward. Don't forget your big WHY!. Understanding why you want to accomplish a goal is important to maintaining your motivation. Think about the last project you completed. How did you feel? When it gets hard or you get stuck think about that feeling. Imagine how you'll feel when this project is complete. That feeling will be part of your why.
• Timely - Pick the date you plan to achieve the goal.
2. Reverse engineer your goals.
Big goals need to be broken down into smaller actions steps. Work backwards from your deadline and identify the steps needed. For example, if you want to make $100,000 this year, break that down into a monthly sales goal. How many clients do you need to work with each week to meet that goal? How many prospects do you need to speak to in order to enroll the number of clients you want?
3. Identify the resources you need.
Make a list of everything you'll need to reach your goal. Determine what you have and what you need to get. Make arrangements to acquire anything you don't already have such as: knowledge, tools, software, staff, etc. Outsource or delegate tasks to free up time to focus on what you do best. Be open to new ideas or creative solutions to obtain other resources.
4. Schedule time to complete tasks
How long will each step take? Most people over or underestimate the time it takes to complete each task. Be realistic in how much time you need to complete each step and add a little extra for unexpected obstacles. As you move closer to your goals, re-evaluate your time estimates and make sure you are on track.
Once you've determined how much time each step requires, make an appointment to complete it in your calendar. Those appointments are set in stone. Treat them as you would a meeting with your BEST client.
You can't achieve your goals without making a commitment to them. You need accountability to someone other than yourself if you really expect to stay on track. An accountability partner will remind you of what you committed to completing and (nicely) call you out on your excuses when you don't. Schedule regular, brief meetings with your accountability partner to stay honest with yourself and focused on your results.
Your ideas are highly valuable both in the potential revenue you can earn and in how you can be of service to more people. Don't let overwhelm and procrastination derail your plans. With realistic planning, consistent scheduling and strong accountability you can achieve your SMART goals. Make a firm commitment to start cultivating new habits TODAY and watch as your business transforms before your eyes!
Known as "The Smart Simple Marketing Coach," the tech-savvy Sydni uses a results-focused, "how to" approach in implementing simple, customized strategies so service professionals create profitable