I love the start of a new year. There is so much hope, time to dream and opportunities for renewal and change. Most of all I get excited about the prospect of planning and mapping out exactly how I am going to achieve those dreams.
I’ve had a break over the holiday period (albeit somewhat enforced on me with school age kids to look after) so I’m full of energy and drive to get stuck into my business!
Setting goals is an important part of your business process as it gives you a focus and creates momentum. But it’s not just about writing them down, it’s all about the action as well.
Here’s my tips on how to plan and achieve your goals for the year.
Write specific goals
I love to take a big piece of paper and borrow my daughter’s Sharpies to coax out the creative side of my brain in this process. Do a big brain dump of what you would like to achieve this year in your business. Make them big. Make them hairy and slightly scary!
Prioritise your top four. Park the rest for later as too many goals can be overwhelming.
Remember to make your goals SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely). The more detail you put around your goal, the more likely it is that you will be able to achieve it.
List the steps
Working with each individual goal, list all the actions that you need to take in order to achieve the goal. If the actions need to be taken in order, then list them in that order.
For example, your goal may be to grow your email list by 50 subscribers. The steps you will need to take may include creating a freebie or opt-in, writing copy for promotion, finding new Facebook Groups to promote in, scheduling the freebie promotion into your social media calendar and write a couple of blogs about the freebie topic.
How long will it take?
Attach a timeframe to each action. Think about how much time needs to be dedicated to each action. Make sure that you take into consideration any time needed to research or learn how to do a particular action.
Map it out
Now grab a calendar or your planner. I like to use a big one page annual calendar so I can see everything at a glance, then I transfer it all to my personal planner. However, you choose to plan it out, write in any big events that you already have planned for the year. This may be a holiday or any big marketing events you may have planned (for example, Easter or Christmas sale).
Now you know what your existing commitments are, it’s time to put timeframes on your action items. Write in your calendar a due date for each of the action items. I like to colour code my action items in line with each of my four goals, so I can see at a glance which actions are related to which goal.
There is no point doing all this planning without action and accountability. As you’ve made your goals SMART, you will have a measurable component that you will be able to check your progress against. Make sure that you diarise your check in points in your calendar as well.
So if your goal was to increase your email list by 50, a check in each quarter will see if you are on target. A big spike in numbers will show that you’re doing well with your target, whereas no growth indicates that you may need to improve one of your actions, or do a new one entirely!
If you don’t trust yourself to be consistent with your check ins, grab an accountability partner. Do the goal setting exercise together and use each other to be responsible for achieving your actions.
Remember, that achieving your dreams is reached by setting goals, and having consistent action.
If you’d like help budgeting for your goals, all whilst keeping your values in mind then book a 20 minute chat to see how we could work together.