Happy New Year!
Have you made goals for your business this year? If you have fantastic, you’re already on your way to achieving them. If not, it’s never too late to make some. You don’t have to make them at the start of the year but there is something about starting a fresh year with a new set of goals and outlook that feels really positive.
If you haven’t already made any you might like to read my last blog post on planning the year ahead to give you some pointers.
So now you’ve made them you need to stick to them. Here are my ideas for how to realise your business goals.
- First of all make sure all of your goals are SMART. (Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic, Time Based). There’s no point making a goal if it’s not something that is practically achievable, also there is no way of knowing if you have actually hit it or how far off you are so make sure you’ve got this right first of all.
- Once you have your goal you then need to work backwards and break it down into measurable steps. This has several benefits. Firstly, it enables you to see clearly the path to achieving your goal. It also makes the goal feel more achievable if you look at it one step at a time. Make sure you add a time frame to each stage. This can help you evaluate if your ultimate time goal is realistic when you see how long each stage is likely to take. It’s important that you make it realistic otherwise if you try to overstretch yourself to achieve the steps you will begin to fall behind and this can be demoralising.
- Find someone to be accountable to. Choose someone you can trust to be honest with you, whilst at the same time being quite non-judgemental and fair. Ideally someone who also wants you to realise your business goals. Sit down with this person at key intervals, set out what you are to have accomplished by your next meeting and where you are today. Having someone you have to regularly check in with on the progress towards your goal is a good way of making you stick to it. Telling someone that you have achieved everything you had planned to is extremely positive and spurs you on to achieve more. Conversely, if it hasn’t been fulfilled, then having to verbalise it to someone else can help you understand why that may have been and if you could have done anything better. If you have a colleague or business partner, then you could work together on this. If you work by yourself perhaps you may know another business owner who you may like to work together with this on and each coach each other through achieving goals. Alternatively, trusted friends, family members or partners can also be a good choice. Another person may also have valuable input and an outside perspective is often a good thing.
- Create key milestones and celebrate when you achieve them. On the way to your ultimate goal there will be a number of milestones, each to be broken down into their own stages. When you hit each of these milestones it’s important to reward yourself. Decide whatever you think is appropriate, it could be a drink with those you have worked with to achieve the goal, perhaps an afternoon off indulging in a favourite activity. Know what these celebrations are going to be at the start, as incentivising yourself to keep working through the milestones is leading you along the path to realising your business goal.
- Use a tool or an app to track your progress, there are a number out there but Trello and Freedcamp are a couple of free, easy to use solutions that will help you list tasks in one place, assign to tasks to different people and allow you to monitor your progress. It’s a simple way of keeping everything organised in one place and on track.
- Review your progress regularly, ideally every day. Make sure you fully understand the situation, what have you done to move forward and what still needs to be done? Setting some time aside each day to look at this really helps you to stay focussed on your goals and trains your mind to start seeing other activities in terms of how they relate to your overall goal.
Putting these actionable steps in place will help you to stay focussed on your goal, motivated to achieve it and keep you moving forward constantly in the right direction. You will realise your goal if you work in this way.
Let me know how you’re getting on with your goals and if you have any other ideas to help keep yourself on track I’d love to hear them.