Before you dismiss this as just another end of year article on goal achievement, wait. Haven’t you been putting off your goals long enough? Haven’t you allowed “life” to just happen to your business? Meandering is fine for a walk in the park but if you have your eye set on definitive growth for your business, you need to adjust your focus and hold you and your business accountable. Here are some ideas on how to have your best year yet:
The first step to achieving your goals and having the best business year ever is to figure out what those goals are. Make sure they are SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bounded. Next…
Make Them Bigger
If you want to have the best year yet, take your goals and then make them bigger. Yes, you need them to be achievable but most of us set goals that are actually under what we can achieve. Brainstorm on your goals for next year and then kick them up a notch.
Know Your Reason
Being successful in achieving your goals isn’t all a path of silky roads and flower petals. You will go through struggles and challenges that you haven’t yet anticipated. If your dreams are big enough, you’ll undoubtedly want to give up. Many times. This is less likely to happen if you know your reason. Why have you set this goal? Are you doing it to increase revenue so you can pay for your children’s schooling outright or maybe you want to pay cash for your next home?
Whatever your reason, commit to one and give yourself a visual representation wherever you work or spend most of your time. That visual reminder will keep you on track when things are not going well. Your reason will keep you energized in those long hours and seemingly hopeless times.
Write Them Down
It’s easy as the year progresses to start shaping your goals based on where you are. Don’t do this. Actions like this breed mediocrity because we adjust on the sliding scale of “good enough.” You’ll never have your best year yet that way. Instead, write down your goals at the beginning of the year and measure against them every couple of months or once a quarter. If the goal isn’t a year-long one, adjust your measurements with a timeline that fits.
As mentioned above you want to assess the progress of your goals periodically and while your actions can still influence your success. If you only revisit your annual goals in November, there’s not much time to get back on track or rework your strategy.
Use Your Goal to Make Decisions
Every day you should set the priority on your tasks and the business at hand. Use your goals as a guide to prioritizing. Ask yourself, does this task move me closer to my goals or does it impede my attainment of them? If it moves you away from them, don’t make that action a priority in your day.
Create Habits That Support Your Goals
Create daily habits that move you closer to your goals. If your goal was to run a marathon for instance, you would want to create a daily habit of running a certain distance every day. A habit is something you do without thinking, something that becomes part of your routine. Think of habits you can start that will help you attain your goal.
Share Your Goals with Others
Just as writing them down makes you accountable, so does sharing your business goals with someone else. Talk with your chamber about your goals. You might be surprised just how much they can help you in achieving them.
If you want this year to be your best year yet, there are several steps you need to take to see this happen. It won’t be easy but with these pieces in action, you’ll be more likely to be spending this next year in a very different place than you are currently.
Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers, and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and the Event Manager Blog.
She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.