Goal setting is powerful for all small business owners, and it’s vital that you think about – and work on – your goals more often than once a year. How often have you set goals at the start of the year, only to get pulled away to other projects and forget about them entirely for months or even longer? Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence for small business owners who are often being pulled in many different directions.
The only way to make goals count is to give them the attention they deserve. Here are some tactics to use this year as you set new goals and commit to seeing them through to fruition.
Schedule the Necessary Time
“I just don’t have time,” is not a valid excuse when it comes to goal setting. Think of it this way — goal setting is not optional. If you want to succeed in business, you must make time to set and strive for your goals.
The good news is that you can start the entire process with just 30 minutes. Yes, with 30 minutes of dedicated time you can follow four simple steps to create a powerful goal for your small business. Don’t put it off – schedule the time now.
· Step 1: Find a Few Minutes to Reflect
· Step 2: Pick a Theme
What one goal, wish or dream keeps popping up every time you think about the future? What do you want to accomplish more than anything else? What keeps you up at night? That should be your focus for this exercise. Aim for your goal to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based and you will be headed for success.
· Step 3: Make an Action List
Brainstorm every possible action that you may need to take in order to achieve your goal. Then go back and break down each idea so it becomes a list of simple actions. Keep this list handy so you can add and revise as necessary.
· Step 4: Make a Commitment
Remember to take it one action item at a time and to take time to pat yourself on the back for progress you make. Taking it step by step will get you closer to your goal every single day.
Creating a step-by-step process for achieving your goals can be challenging if you don’t know exactly what the process will look like each step of the way. Sometimes, this area of unknown can be completely demotivating. Instead, try picturing what the end result of achieving your goal will look like and make a plan, work backwards from the result to the beginning to create your process.
Use an App
There really is an app for everything, and this includes goal setting. Whether you prefer to manage your goals on your smartphone or with a tool on your desktop computer, there is something that will help you focus and achieve even your most ambitious goals.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Do you forget to celebrate your successes along the way when you’re attacking a big goal? It’s that acknowledgement that will often provide the motivation you need to continue working on your goals when the challenges sprout up. Not celebrating your wins is one of several big mistakes that can derail your process. Review this list of five goal setting mistakes as you get started so you know what not to do.
1. Waiting for the Perfect Time to Start
2. Failing to Check If Your Goals Are SMART
3. Not Working on Your Goals Every Day
4. Not Being Flexible
5. Forgetting to Celebrate Your Successes
Use an Action Planner
Many small business owner find that breaking down a goal into individual tasks in the goal setting process makes it easier to take forward-moving steps every single day. This can be accomplished by using an action planner (example available at www.smallbusinessbonfire.com/free-goal-setting-planner) to detail what it will take to push your goal forward and make progress, little by little. Take time to map out your progress and take it one step at a time.
Successful goal setting is all about making a commitment to doing whatever it takes, a little every day, to get from point A to point B and successfully accomplish your goal. Are you going to commit to making 2016 the year you finally tackle that big goal in your small business?