The new year is here, and at the risk of jumping on the bandwagon, I’ll ask. Did you set goals for next year?
I’m not talking about setting the same goals that everyone sets – “Lose weight.”, “Join a gym”, “Actually go to the gym.” You know, those same New Year’s Resolutions that people are fired up for at the onset of a new year, but quickly disappear as soon as the shiny and new wears off, and a super-sized, extra tasty burger and large fry shows up. What goals are you setting for your business? Not setting business goals? How do you know what you’re working to achieve? Maybe you’ve already achieved it and didn’t realize it….
Your business needs goals. Have you created them for this year? You have? Great – are those goals aligned with your business’s overall reason for existence? I think that’s the first step in goal setting.
Step 1. Be clear on what you’re creating and why you’re doing it.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure. It’s pretty common. Many entrepreneurs get into because of a dream or a vision. That dream may have simply been giant piles of money. Underneath that, you picked your particular niche of business for a reason. Take some time to remember why you’re doing this. Then write it down and share it. This is your WHY and will be the guiding point for all of your goals and it should be the over-riding cause for everything you do. If you are not advancing this cause, then why are you doing it?
Step 2. Create goals that advance your WHY.
It sounds simple, I know, but it’s not uncommon to create goals that sound good by themselves but when you look at the long term and the bigger picture, they aren’t in alignment to your WHY. Many large companies will create goals for their management that actually incentive and even reward them financially for doing things that don’t coincide with the corporation’s long term goals. Make sure you set goals that support your WHY.
Step 3. Create SMART goals.
This is actually a Peter Drucker (father of management) concept, and completely relevant for your business.
Step 4. Write it Down.
Write your goals down. This is going to do a couple of things. First it will solidify it and make it real if you take the time to write it down. I’m a huge proponent actually writing it down on paper. The physical action of writing it down will help make them more real. Secondly writing them down allows you to post it up on your wall somewhere you will see them regularly. I like having a copy of it on the wall next to my computer so it’s always right there where I can see it.
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