Part of being an entrepreneur is always reaching for growth and, naturally, that requires intentional goal-setting to know what you’re working towards. Goals not only provide you with motivation to continue growing, but they also give you a touchpoint to determine your successes thus far.
The new year is the perfect time to identify what has and hasn’t worked in the past 12 months, with the aim to improve and enhance your strategies in the year ahead.
With that said, it’s important to be strategic with your goals lest you strive for things that are unrealistic, don’t push you to your full potential or, worse, lead you in the wrong direction.
Let’s look at how you can create effective goals for 2020 and plan for the best year—and decade—of your business thus far.
MAKE A GOAL-SETTING APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF
The first step to goal-setting is simply to make time for it without interruptions. It’s easy to brainstorm and ideate, but if you don’t get past that step, you won’t make it very far.
Set an appointment on your calendar to sit down with yourself and get to work—then, stick with it. Decide the things you want to achieve and start creating your roadmap to getting there.
START WITH YOUR WEAKNESSES
As they say, don’t put your eggs in one basket—the same goes for your business strengths.
You can certainly benefit from enhancing the things in which you’re already great, but your weaknesses will still hold you back. Thus, it’s best to start by seeing how you can improve the biggest challenges in your business.
If you’re a killer salesperson but have been lacking on the social media side, that may be a great place for you to focus your efforts in the year ahead.
BREAK GOAL-SETTING DOWN
We often think of goals as one big objective with a firm deadline. And that can sometimes feel overwhelming when you’re starting out.
Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to a yearlong goal. If, for example, you want to write a book in the next five years, start by breaking it down into manageable pieces and note anticipated dates for these milestones.
You don’t need to fit your life goals in the next 12 months—you simply have to make progress towards them.
The only way you’ll know if you’ve reached your goal is to get specific with quantitative benchmarks. Otherwise, you risk holding yourself back from reaching your full potential.
If you set a goal to gain more Instagram followers, you might end up settling for one extra person. But, if your goal is to increase your followers by 5,000, you will be far more motivated and committed to hitting that benchmark.
When the year ends, you’ll have a better idea of how well you did, which will help to guide your goal-setting process for the year.
DON’T GIVE UP ON GOAL-SETTING
We’ve all created those resolutions that don’t make it past the end of January, but this year, make it different for your business. Write down your goals and keep them in a place you’ll see them often.
Celebrate your small wins to push yourself to go further. Want to get 20 more clients than the year before? Each client you book is just one step closer! Look to your team or your family for support and ask them to keep you accountable.
Find a motivator that works for you and stick with it.
No matter what type of business you run, strong goals form the foundation of a successful future.
Be smart about what you can and want to achieve in the year ahead and keep your eye on the prize.
Remember: It’s not about the fastest in the race, but the one who can continue to persevere year after year.
Want to set yourself up for success? Get our ultimate guide on business goal setting.