Goal Setting is not always easy to do, but it can help you achieve more success in your business or private practice.
As we wind down 2021, the year we were all sure Covid would go away, and head into 2022 with even more hope that THIS will be the year we kick Covid’s butt, I wanted to share a few tips on how I do my goal setting and marketing planning for the year. And yes, I do this every year.
I’m not saying I like goal setting and business planning. Nope. Not at all. But I do it because I have found that when I write down my goals and focus on them and the actions I need to do to achieve them… I do indeed achieve them. Not all goals are achieved every single year, but I do achieve many of my goals.
And I will say, I do see more success than I ever did before I took the time each December to do this planning. Add in taking time each week to review my goals and what I have done on the path to checking them off, has also helped with my success.
But I was once what I would call a Goal Setting Hater. 😁 But there is a better way and I thought I would give you some of my tips on setting goals for more success.
Why do we set Goals?
We all need goals… as much as we may not always like thinking about them and setting them. (And that was me before I learned a better system to setting and following through with goals.) Goals help us change and grow. To learn and experience new things.
Goal setting is a process… and one that requires some steps and rules on how to manage the process from creation to review to redo.
I think the reason many avoid setting goals is that few of us take the time to review them and track where you are. Setting them is one thing – tracking them is another.
I like to keep goal setting simple. It’s the only way I see any success. When starting out with goal setting, if it gets too complicated you can end up making this entire process a huge procrastination project instead and you simply avoid your goals, stop working on it, don’t review them and forget all about it! This is how you find yourself simply coasting along and not seeing any changes you had in your vision. You can keep that vision alive!
Getting Started Setting your Goals
You will want to set at least 3 SMARTER Goals and then we will create an action plan to help you reach these goals. The plan will need to include the steps you will take to reach these goals. Doesn’t matter if it is a habit, personal or business goal… it will not happen magically. You need to plan to make those goals happen. List out the steps you have to take to achieve those goals.
WHAT’S A SMARTER GOAL?
I like Michael Hyatt’s way of defining SMARTER Goals vs. Smart Goals because it adds the elements of excitement and relevance. Your goals have to hit home with you and excite you or why would you want to try and achieve them otherwise? Goals need to make you WANT to reach them as well as being relevant to you and your business or life.
This made a huge difference in how I set my goals. It made me think more about the “WHY” behind my goals and that helped me be more invested in their success.
So as you create your goal, make sure you can look at it and know that it is Specific, can be Measured and there is some Action to take to get it done. That it involves a little Risk to achieve and has a Time element to it. It should also Excite you and be Relevant to your purpose or your life – something you truly want. SMARTER Goals.
Types of Goals
I like to look at setting different types of goals each year. It’s not all about the business! The person behind the business should always be a factor in goal setting too.
There are three types of goals I factor into my annual planning:
- Habit Goal
- Personal Goal
- Business Goal
Typically I want to set at least 3 business goals and one habit and one personal goal. I like setting my goals in this way because I almost always want to improve one thing related to these different areas, it’s not all about business. You can set however many you want. My#1 piece of advice, not too many. Don’t get into goal overwhelm which happens when you have too many to work on.
Habit Goals – These are often ones related to something personal like health, nutrition or something I want to improve on for myself. Ones that require doing over and over again to become a habit. For instance, in 2019, I started setting a book reading goal each month. Supported by action steps of blocking time to read on a regular basis to develop the habit and help achieve the goal. In 2022, one of these goals is Daily Office Movement. I have a standing desk and want to develop a better habit of using it more by planning to sit/stand each hour when working. My action steps involve creating a new routine and habit so that I actually put this desk to good use which will in turn help me be healthier.
Personal Goals – for me this is generally one that involves family or relationships. In 2022 as an example, I want to have two date nights a month for Marco and I to get out and spend some alone time. No dogs, no kids. This year I have planned one restaurant date night a month and one other time each month for an activity like our golf dates.
Business Goals – These are always the more involved goals. They are the ones I focus more time and more planning on. Here is how I start with setting business goals, and I break them down into three areas as well:
- Sales – Total Sales from all revenue streams
- Lead Generation – Increase in Email Marketing Subscribers
- Community Online & Reach – Social Media connections, interactions and views
Summarize and Write down your Goal
For each goal, you want to write out a summary of the goal, your key motivator for the goal (your why!), the initial and big picture action steps and your reward. Yes, give yourself a reward for achieving goals. Not all of them – but especially big ones!
You may need to think outside the box for rewards. I did. As an example, this year my sales goal reward is a new dishwasher. I know it sounds silly, but it’s not exactly broken. It is however, the world’s most useless dishwasher and has had lots of problems with the motor and parts. It is working but only if we rinse every dang spec of food off and that is driving everyone batty. So this reward – replacing an appliance before it is really broken (which is our normal practice), is a bit of a luxury.
Rewards can be tricky – but don’t let them trip you up. Sometimes the best reward is the success of that goal itself. And that is okay.
Your summary should include specifics such as numbers, dates and time related elements for each goal. An example would be – To increase my email list of subscribers by 50 every month for a total of 600 for the year. Not just “increase my email subscribers.” Get specific with your goals.
Planning and Tracking your Goals
Once you set the goals, you will need to get a calendar out and get planning on what you need to do and when in order to achieve these goals.
Now, the key to setting achievable, with an element of risk, goals for your business or practice is to look back at the past so you can plan for the future. Spend some time evaluating where you are now and look at where you want to go. This gives you the base starting point and then you can look at what parts of each area do you want to change, grow, reduce, or try something brand new?
Start by assessing the main areas of your business, determine where you are now and look at the changes you have had in the past 3 or 6 months or even a year – hopefully you have some idea or starting point for that. If not start with today’s numbers. From the numbers in the past, looking at what you have now, then you will want to determine a realistic goal to set and aim for with your marketing and sales plans.
For personal and habit goals, it will be different, but the reflection can still help. The tracking will definitely help – especially with habit goals.
If you have not been tracking any numbers, you will want to start. This is a key element in setting and achieving goals if you ask me. You will want to record these numbers and save them somewhere you can refer to them and then update them as you check your goals to results along the way.
I mentioned Michael Hyatt earlier. I am a fan of his Full Focus Planner. It helps me stay on track with my goals each week. Yes. Week. The planner has a place to record your goals and tools to track them as well. So each Sunday, I take time to review the past week and plan for the next. I update my stats and record where I am on the goals I have set for sales, new leads and consults. Recording and checking it means I cannot forget about the goals and action steps I am supposed to be taking to achieve them. You don’t need a fancy planner to do this – get a notebook or a spreadsheet and start tracking! (I have a Free Stats Tracking Template that can get you started.)
You will find that weekly check-in – and even daily action steps – is what helps you keep your focus on those goals so you can achieve them. Don’t over complicate it and start simple. This is what makes goal setting easy if you are like me and get hung up on setting perfect and worthy goals.
Most importantly, remember… Do not ever let anyone say your goal is not good enough.
We all have differing reasons behind our goals. You DO need to challenge yourself, but don’t compare your goals to others. Nor let them do the same. As I talk about in a previous article, Never do this when Goal Setting for your Business. Keep in mind, your goals do not have to be the ones I have listed above, we all have different businesses and will want to track and set goals for many different areas.
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