Goal setting. Usually we think of this happening the first of the year. However, I think there’s no better time than the present!
Whether you’re getting a head start on your goal setting, working to push through the end of the year, or helping your staff with goal setting, let’s break it down into some manageable, measurable steps.
First, why set goals in the first place?
The very act of verbalizing and writing down your goals greatly increases the likelihood of accomplishing your goals.
Goal setting as a business owner is vital. It helps you feel more in control of your trajectory, purposeful and intentional in your actions, and marches your business forward.
Teaching goal setting to your employees is vital to helping them grow (which, in turn helps your business to grow!).
How many times have we thought about what we wanted to do, only to realize, years later, that the “thing” is still unaccomplished and now we’re two years older? Time has a way of just sneaking up on us and continuing to march along – even when we’re busy doing ‘life’.
I’ve worked with a number of folks, setting both personal and business goals. One wanted to get a degree, one wanted to learn an instrument, another had specific business growth aspirations (time freedom).
A common recurring comment I hear when people are wanting to set some personal goals is: it will take a long time… (whine whine)
My answer? In four years you’ll be four years older, with, or without your degree (or playing an instrument, growing your business, or whatever…).
(I use this very statement on myself to kick myself in the butt.)
Two years ago I made the mistake of setting seven big goals. Man, I was excited! They included physical, intellectual, social, financial, spiritual, emotional, and avocational. Did I accomplish all of them? No. Did I have amazing follow through? No. Did I get farther than I would have if I had not set any? YES!
My intention when I began was superb. What was one of the reasons I didn’t follow through on all of them? Well, frankly, I made too many. I bit off more than I could chew.
I suggest beginning with two goals. Make one personal and one business if you like. Mix it up.
- get you excited
- scare you just a little
- make you a bit nervous
Otherwise, they’re not big enough.
Let’s get started!
Goals need to be:
Example: “Read more books this year.”
Nope. Buzz. Rewrite. Fail. (This was one of mine when I was first learning how to set goals.)
To make this check off #’s 1-3, here is the goal re-written.
- (specific) Read, or re-read, six business books and two pleasure books
- (measurable) in 2019
- (Actionable) Finish one book every six weeks
Begin your goal with a verb. (remember that from school? If you need a refresher, look up School House Rock.
What are the steps needed to achieve the goal?
I need to plan my Action Items.
- Choose three books to begin
- Purchase or check out two books
- Write the six-week deadline on my calendar
- Enlist my accountability partner to do a book club with me
Writing the goal is the first step. Planning action items takes your success level up a notch.
When helping employees, use the same principals.
Here is a recent example:
- Make more money
This example is from a hairstylist, but it can apply to anyone who is an independent service provider. It could be from a Real Estate Agent, Massage Therapist, Health Coach, Painter, Designer, etc.
This goal of “make more money” is not hitting the mark at all. It’s not specific, it’s not measurable.
Let’s rewrite making sure it checks off 1-3.
Increase monthly earnings by $400 for the months of February-October.
Now we’re getting somewhere. Now we need more information! First order of business is finding out what the monthly revenue is currently.
Let’s line up some Action Item steps needed to support this goal:
- November 20th, 3-5:00 p.m. look up last years monthly revenue and put into excel sheet.
- November 21st, 3-5:00 p.m. write the earnings goal above each month, Feb.-Oct.
- November 22nd, 9-11:00 a.m., pull stats to find out who are my top 40 clients.
- November 26th, 8-10:00 a.m., research to find out which services these clients use that are most profitable, chart how long clients take between appointments.
- Schedule Training with rep. for hair care product by November 30th.
- Send out monthly personalized email promotions to clients by the 5th of each month.
- Ask for referrals from top 40 and incentivize/thank them for doing so. Send personal referral cards by December 2nd.
You get the idea. Setting a simple goal of increasing monthly earning by $400 entails quite a bit! Notice above how I scheduled a specific date and time? That’s very necessary.
Schedule it to get it done.
Last part of your goal setting is to give yourself a reward! Celebrate your wins.
Successful goal setters I know have varying rewards, they are super personal. Some are monetary rewards for themselves, some put a photo of the thing they want to buy, or place they want to go, right in front of their work space (great reminder and motivator!). What floats your boat?
Same for your employees. Help them find a self-reward. Be their supporter and both support their goals and celebrate their achievements!
Happy goal setting!
Share your goals with an accountability partner or coach. It’s a great way to kick your productivity up a notch!
Shoot me a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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