This is the time of year when most people start talking about their goals for the upcoming year. I am a big believer in setting goals, but only if you have a plan to achieve them. Most folks are good at writing down what they want to achieve. It’s the implementation part that they don’t get right.
The first part of goal setting involves looking back at the past 12 months and making a brutally honest evaluation of the “good, the bad and the ugly” as they say. Look at both your business and your personal goals. How did you do?
If you can say had a successful year achieving your goals then I’m really happy for you. But the reality for most people is that they didn’t achieve everything they set out to achieve for this year. The good news is that you are probably still ahead of 75% of the people out there that didn’t even set goals. But now is the time to figure out why you fell short.
Ask Yourself These Questions:
- Did you have a clear, concise plan for achieving your goals? Everyone needs a roadmap to get from point A to point B so if you skipped the part about creating a plan, there’s your problem.
- Did you have a plan, but somehow the execution of that plan fell short? Figure out what the problem was and get back on track.
- Do you have bad habits or destructive behaviors that you need to get rid of? Once again, it’s time to be brutally honest. Here’s the thing; you first have to “own those bad habits and behaviors” before you can actually change them. This is a simple process, but it’s not always easy to come clean (even to ourselves) and actually make the changes.
Planning for Success
Write down your 3 to 5 big goals for next year. It’s important to really nail down your “why” here. Why are they so important to you? How will your life change as a result of achieving your goals? Once you have that figured out, then it’s time to figure out the “how”. How will go about achieving your goals?
Here is what I believe is the secret to achieving your goals; a great big wall calendar. That calendar will become your brand new accountability partner.
Some folks might be saying, “I’ll just make a list in my computer”. That might work for some people, but it just won’t work for most of us. The reason is that we need to see those goals right in front of us every single day, so the best place for your calendar is right over your desk or workspace.
The Secret to Achieving Those Great Big Goals
While it’s fun making those big awesome goals, it’s not always as easy to achieve them. They can seem overwhelming once the initial excitement slips away. But it’s actually pretty simple if you just take you goal and break it down into bite sized chunks.
List all the steps you need to take then schedule them on your calendar. The act of looking at that calendar every single day helps you to take consistent action and makes those overwhelming goals suddenly seem manageable.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to start a direct mail campaign this year; that is your big goal. If I were to list all of the things I needed to do to implement my direct mail campaigns it might look something like this:
- Decide on which niche(s) I want to market to
- Determine where to get a list
- Buy the list
- Determine whether I will do the mailings or outsource them
- If I will be doing my mailings, decide on a database to use for storing my contacts. I will use this for printing my direct mail pieces too.
- Purchase a database if I don’t already have one
- If I want to outsource my mailings, I will need to research some mailing services and contact them
- Put the list into a database in order to do the mailings or upload it to a direct mail service
- Set up systems to track my mailings
- Set up a website to drive traffic to if needed
Goal setting is like just about everything else. For the best results, you need a roadmap.
Have you laid out your goals for the new year?