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So, we’re coming into the New Year now, and, like most people, you’re probably making New Year’s resolutions for yourself. Have you thought about resolutions for your business, though?

We often hear the words “goal setting” and cringe! Rightfully so! Most of us have had negative experiences with goal setting. It can feel like a chore, one more thing to do on our already long lists of tasks and projects.

But the truth is, having goals in place is essential for personal and professional success. Goal setting helps you stay motivated and focus your time and energy on what matters most.

Goal setting is a necessary evil. You cannot achieve anything without first deciding what you want to achieve. But all too often, people set goals that are either too vague or too unrealistic, which sets them up for failure from the start. If your goal is simply “to make more money” or “to get in shape,” chances are you’re not going to accomplish much. But if you take the time to set specific, measurable goals that are achievable and realistic, suddenly, anything becomes possible!

While the old method of goal setting still works, there are easier ways to do this now.

  1. Create a clear and definitive vision for your business.

    This sounds easy enough, right? But, most clients I speak with don’t have a clear vision of their business. They are so focused on making the products or developing their services and programs that they seem to lose sight of where they want to be in the long run – about ten years from now. The fact is that by focusing on the end goal of their business, it becomes much easier to develop goals that will help them get there faster.

    For example, if you want to become the premier coach or consultant, healthcare agency, or retail company in the area, then you need to do things that will help you get there.

  2. Map out the steps that are going to make this vision a reality

    Goals, such as increasing brand exposure and awareness, will be critical to ensuring you reach your intended audience. What are the steps you need to take to get there, though?

    Think of the many ways you can and need to reach your audience. What do you plan to do in terms of networking and meeting others to get exposure? What events will you attend throughout the year? Which social media channels will you use to reach your ideal clients? What are your plans for email messaging and newsletters, social media, and advertising? How have you planned to follow up with your connections?

    Then, think through WHO your intended audience is. Based on some of their demographic and psychographic information, you would use specific approaches and messaging to reach these people. For example, if your audience is older, focusing on Facebook as a way to reach people might be a better approach than TikTok or possibly Instagram. If your audience is into arts and crafts, you might reach out to your audience via Pinterest or Etsy.

  3. Work out HOW you are going to achieve each goal along the way

    It’s easy for us to say that we’ll send out an email newsletter to our contacts. It’s another altogether to develop a strong email campaign that lets our contacts know what we’ve been doing, what we’re currently doing, and what we plan to do, so they can learn more from you and be prepared to buy when it’s time.

    So, ask yourself the following questions and develop answers to these so you can prepare for the next nine months! Why am I sending out a newsletter to my contacts? What will they get from them – information, education, inspiration? How many newsletters will I send out – one per quarter, one per month, or one per week? What events will I attend or host that I need to make sure my contact knows about?

    Be as specific as possible. As the saying goes, if you can’t measure it, how will you know you have achieved it? Using ways to put things into numbers and simplifying things is always helpful. Just think – if you knew that you had to call ten people per week, wouldn’t that be much easier than saying to yourself, I have to call ALL of my contacts? Isn’t ten people manageable? It’s just two calls per day! You can do this! 😀

  4. Focus on the top 3 ideas you can execute NOW

    Focusing on what we HAVE to do versus what we WANT to do is often challenging. But, when we’re able to do this, and we get things done that need to be done, we are better able to enjoy the tasks we like. You’re less stressed and less anxious. You know what I’m talking about.

    Few people ENJOY taking care of bookkeeping and budgeting, but it has to get done. Once you’ve completed these, it frees up space for you to enjoy doing those things you want to do. You no longer have these items hanging over your head to be completed.

    So, one of the best tips I was given was to WRITE DOWN (don’t just put information into your phone or your computer) the top 3 things you need to get done that day. In fact, if you can narrow it down to just one, especially if it’s going to take some time, that’s even better.

    The best way to think about this is to ask yourself, if I DON’T get this item or these three things done by the end of the day, what will the repercussions be? How will this impact my income – will I lose money or leave money on the table if I don’t get it done? How will this impact my prospective clients and customers – will I lose out on getting more clients if I don’t get this done? How will this impact my workflow?

    There’s a great book called “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller that really helps to focus your priorities.

    5) Remove anything that conflicts with your goals and vision

    Are you distracted by emails, phone calls, text messages, or people asking you tons of questions throughout the day? All of this causes you to miss out on getting things done. Did you know that for every interruption, it takes a person 5 to 15 minutes to regain focus on the task they were doing beforehand?

    Turning off email and phone notifications is a simple step to avoid interruptions when you are in a meeting or need to focus on a specific project. One trick my coach recently told me to do was to delete EVERY email that didn’t have to do with my main priority for the month. I found myself unsubscribing to about 50 companies of emails I would get daily that really were peripherally important but had nothing to do with what I was working on right then.

We can all do many smaller things to improve meeting our goals. So whether you’re a small business owner, an entrepreneur, or just someone looking to improve your productivity, do these few things and start to notice some fast improvements and start meeting your goals now!