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My Secret Goal Setting Formula
Author: Linda Hunt
Goal setting is an important exercise and is crucial to the success of any business, but is particularly important for entrepreneurs who can become distracted with multiple priorities. Goal setting allows us to be proactive, instead of just being reactive. We've all had days where we just seem to leap from one crisis to another, but we know that is not a preferred mode of operation! Goals direct actions, give you something to aim for, and can serve as a yardstick for measuring your business's success.
However, goal setting itself isn't enough. Goal setting is just the first step to achievement but you also need to have a goal setting strategy to help you accomplish the goal you have set. Without a goal setting strategy, or series of actions, that you are going to use to work towards the goal, whether or not you achieve the goal you have set is just a matter of blind chance. And in today's business climate, blind chance is no way to run a successful business. To be successful, you need to make things happen, not just let things happen.
So when you are setting business goals, or any other goals for that matter, I use a goal setting formula that a mentor of my taught me that incorporates a strategy or strategies for accomplishing the goal:
"I will (goal + performance measure) by (specific actions)."
For example, suppose that you want to increase revenue. First specify the goal. "I will increase revenue this month by 25 percent. Setting a specific goal builds in the criteria you will use to evaluate your success. In this case, at the end of the month, you'll either have increased sales by 25 percent compared to the previous month or you won't. Then, specify the strategy that you will use to work towards accomplishing the goal. "I will increase sales this month by 25 percent by offering a 10 percent off sale on all inventory and advertising this sale in the local papers."
When you go beyond the basic step of goal setting evaluating your success or failure is easy, because your goal is specific rather than general. And suddenly, instead of just having a goal that you may or may not achieve, you have a specific plan to follow and achieve the goal you have set.
If you avoid goal setting, here are a few tips:
Have Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
The first thing I do when setting goals is to consider where I would like to be 5 years from now. Once I have determined my long-term goal or ideal scene, I work backwards breaking this ideal scene down into short-term goals, specifying those milestones that need to be achieved along the way to this long-term goal. I picked this tip up from reading The Millionaire Course by Marc Allen. It is a wonderful book business book that stresses the importance of visualizing and goal setting.
If it seems to daunting a task to start with a 5 year plan, establish 90-day goals. Limit them to 3 specific things that you want to accomplish - such as a monetary goal, developing a brochure by a specific date, or obtaining a new client. Write out each goal and put a due date next to it. Then write out each step that needs to be taken, by when and what type of support I need to accomplish that goal. Then take out your calendar and schedule in the time you need to honor the commitment you just made to yourself.
Goals should help you attain a specific aim. Beware of goals that are just going to keep you busy but do not contribute directly to the overall goal you have set for yourself and the success of your business. If you don't believe your goals are worthwhile, you won't make the necessary effort to achieve them. For example, a couple of years ago I really wanted to work a 4-day work week. I set the goal, but did not really believe that I could or should only work 4 days a week - guess what it never happened because I was not truly aligned with this goal.
Review Your Goals Constantly
Review your goals daily. Keep them in plain view - by your desk or next to your computer. Goals are not something that you write down and file in a drawer. The more you embody your goals, the more real they become and the more aware you are of opportunities that cross your path to help you achieve those goals.
I put my goals on colorful 4x6 index cards and keep them by my bedside. I read them over first thing each morning and then again before I go to sleep at night. This keeps me focused and moving towards my goals.
Staying on Track
Once you establish clear goals you will begin to notice that a lot of opportunities will begin to present themselves. When this happens, I ask myself a very important question which helps me to decide whether I should look further into the opportunity or let it go - "Does this opportunity bring me closer to my goal or further away from it?"
By asking yourself this simple question you will be able to take decisive action towards accomplishing your goals. For example, a lovely sales person from ADP has been calling me to schedule a meeting to show me their services and how they have changed. By asking myself - "Does this opportunity bring me closer to my goal or further away from it?" - I have no problem figuring out whether or not I should schedule the meeting.
Linda Hunt delivers simple, practical strategies for creating systems and structure that create stability helping business owners to grow their business and earn more money. For more FREE tips like these, visit her at http://www.sumsolutions.com
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Have a nice day!
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