Goals Tag

Are you tired of not making progress towards achieving your business goals? 

If you’re frustrated by the approach you’ve been taking to set and achieve your business goals, you’re not alone. Running a business is unpredictable. When you have to make difficult decisions every day to keep moving forward it’s a challenge to stay disciplined and focused on important but not urgent activities. Especially if you’re working on a year-long timeline.

In this post, I’m outlining a better process to set and achieve your business goals. The process involves five steps to help you make progress incrementally towards where you want your business to be.

I know this works because I’ve been using it myself for the last several years to make accomplishing my business and financial goals easier. To gain the most benefit, I recommend scheduling a distraction-free hour or two to go through these steps for the first time.

A 5-Step process to set and achieve your business goals

1. Take Inventory

Make a list of your accomplishments in the last 12 months so you can zoom in on what made a positive impact. Highlight the important lessons, achievements, and transformations that come to mind. Once you write down your initial thoughts, invite feedback from your team to add insights and consider different perspectives.

To complete this step, reflect on your list of highlights and underline what stands out.

2. Identify Improvement Areas

Before you take action on any plan, you need to have a clear starting point so you can identify the gaps between where you are and where you want your business to be. I recommend completing a S.W.O.T review (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) to assess where you are today and identify your best opportunities for improvement.

To complete a S.W.O.T. review write down, at least, one idea for each area of the S.W.O.T. If you have a team, engage them in the process as well by gathering ideas from all your key people. You can familiarize yourself with this concept if it is new to you by clicking here. While you may feel some resistance to initiating this step because it sounds time intensive, the result is worth it and you can complete it within 30-45 minutes.

To complete this step, assess the ideas generated through your S.W.O.T review and make a list of three to five key areas of your business you want to focus on improving over the next year.

3. Set Actionable Goals

The next step is to set actionable goals.  Write down one to three actionable goals (maximum) you want to achieve in each quarter over the next year. Limiting the number of goals you set is important so you can narrow the focus on what matters most and avoid stretching resources too thin.

To make goals actionable, you need to be able to turn each one into a project that can be broken down into specific tasks you can schedule, delegate, and complete within the next 90 days.

Break your goals down into tasks you can schedule, delegate, and complete within the next 90… Click To Tweet

I use this variation of the ‘SMART’ acronym as a guideline to ensure my goals are actionable:

Specific – Avoid vague statements like increase sales or pay off debt. For example, increase revenue by $50,000 is more specific. Because the goal aims at a measurable result, you can identify what specific products or services you’re going to focus on selling to achieve it. Retain 90% of existing customers and reduce administrative overhead costs by 15% are also good examples of specific goals. To create specificity use a number or percentage and write down exactly what success looks like, so the finish line is clear.

Meaningful – Write down why each goal you set matters. If your goals move you closer to realizing a vision driven by a clear purpose, you’ll maintain motivation and inspiration that’ll fuel momentum to succeed.

Attainable – Visualize the path to reach each goal by identifying what needs to happen or come together to realize your desired outcome. You need to be able to achieve every goal you set within 30 to 90 days to get on your actionable list. If a goal feels out of reach, add it to your vision board acheter viagra or create a future goals list you’re working towards once you accomplish what needs to be achieved first.

Required – Ensure the goals you set are essential to improve your priority areas of focus.

Timed – Set the desired achievement date for each goal and stagger deadlines so you can make progress incrementally every quarter and assess results.

To complete this step, write down the list of goals you want to accomplish this year and highlight one to three you want to focus on accomplishing in the next 90 days. Use the ‘SMART’ acronym above as your guide to ensure each goal is actionable.

4. Turn Goals Into Projects

Break the goals you’ve set for the next 90 days down into projects and make a list of action steps that can be scheduled, assigned and tracked until completion. One of my favorite apps to facilitate this is Asana.

Use each goal as the title of every project you need to complete.

To complete this step, write out your list of action steps for each goal and/or try out an app like Asana to turn your goals into projects you can track from start to finish.

5. Schedule Quarterly Reviews

Block time in your calendar to review your progress and financial reports every quarter so you can identify what’s working, what’s not and make changes proactively. The greatest obstacle to achieving your desired results is becoming discouraged if goals take longer than expected to achieve and losing sight of what matters most as a result. Quarterly reviews serve to remind you of your vision, communicate effectively about your plan and organize day-to-day activities as needed to stay on track. And, celebrate the small wins along the way to fuel motivation.

Remember, it’s not about perfection; it’s about incremental progress. Don’t overthink it. Reaching goals is never a straight line. Regular reviews are essential so you can tweak priorities and adjust tasks along the way to keep improving.

Achieving a goal is not about perfection. It's about incremental progress. Click To Tweet

To complete this step, schedule a date and time on your calendar to complete a quarterly review. If you’d like help setting up and creating accountability around this process, you can book a consulting session with me here.

Are you ready to get clear on what you want to accomplish in the next 90 days? Time to schedule a date with yourself to go through this process.

 

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It’s that time of year when many small business owners are setting goals and making plans to move forward in big or small ways over the next year.

But, if you set too many goals at once it can be difficult to focus your time and energy on what matters most.

And doing what it takes to manage, lead and plan effectively to create the results you want – requires a sharp focus.

Here are 3 questions to help you sharpen your focus on what matters most:

1. What is your central theme or priority goal for your business this year?

Instead of a list of goals, declare one central theme and priority goal for your business this year. Make a list of the projects you need to complete to create the results you want. Then prioritize, schedule and organize your resources.

2. What will it mean when you create what you want?

 “We set resolutions believing that our thoughts drive our behavior, even though we are often motivated to action by our emotions.” Anne Dranitsaris, Corporate Psychotherapist and owner of Striving Styles.

Understanding what motivates you can help you keep taking action despite the challenges that show up in pursuit of anything new or the fear of the unknown.

3. What do you need to make it happen?

Make a list of everything that needs to happen to complete the projects you’re scheduling. Set target dates in your calendar and prioritize your activities. Eliminate or delegate what doesn’t move you towards your goal.

Get help to identify the steps you need to take, the resources you need to gather and the systems you need to build to create a structure that will help you stay disciplined and focused. Start crossing off your list.

Keep Your Why At The Helm Every Day

Keep your why at the helm of your day to day planning to navigate your decisions, activities and keep the big picture in mind. Let it be your inspiration. Start each day with your theme or focus word in mind. Write it down in your journal, planner or program a daily reminder with your handheld device.

Use your theme or focus word for the year to prioritize your daily activities and say no to distractions.

Even if the journey doesn’t work out exactly as you expected you will be on your way and you can adjust your plans as you move closer to your desired results.

So what is your focus or central theme for your business this year?

Share yours on your favourite social media with a link back to this article and hashtag #focus2015.

With June just around the corner, we’re almost at the mid-year point of 2014.

Life moves fast and we’re all incredibly busy. It’s easy to lose sight of long-term objectives and ignore the important but not urgent tasks that need to get done to achieve the business goals set earlier in the year.

But…how do you stay on track?

It’s simple. Use a quarterly check in.

A quarterly check in is a focused block of time you invest in consistently to work on your business. It’s one of the most effective ways to renew your motivation and reset your action plan so you can stay on track to get the results you want.

Wherever you are on the road to achieving your goals this year, you can use this 5 step quarterly check in process to significantly improve the odds of crossing your finish line:

Step 1. Schedule. Block 1-2 hours every quarter and make it a recurring appointment on your calendar. Do it solo or capture the energy and insights of your team or advisers for creative problem solving.

Step 2. Prepare. Gather the information you need. Financial reports, website stats, customer feedback and anything else specific to assessing your progress.

Ensure you have your budget to actual cash flow and income reports, historical data and your revenue forecast so you can use your numbers to make decisions, adjustments and plan ahead.

Let your attendees know in advance what you want them to contribute and send them the information they need in advance.

Step 3. Debrief. Begin with a debrief assessment on where you are, where you’re going and what you need to do to bridge the gap. These 5 questions will help you get to the core of what’s most important quickly:

  • What have you achieved?
  • Is your business financially on track according to plan? If not, identify why and what needs to change.
  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • What’s missing?

Step 4. Reset. Use the following questions to reset your plan and clarify what’s next:

  • What are you going to stop doing?
  • What are you going to start doing?
  • What are you going to continue doing?

Step 5. Plan. Map out your action plan for the next 30-60-90 daysby writing down what needs to be done and who is accountable. Your action steps need to be specific, measurable and assigned. Set frequent milestones to be achieved within each quarter and hold people accountable to communicate progress monthly.

Repeat. Once you’ve established a quarterly check-in process keep doing it. Make it a deliberate practice. Remember to manage your tactics monthly and assess progress quarterly to maintain motivation and focus on what’s most important.

While a quarterly check in doesn’t guarantee success, it is incredibly important to realize that taking the time to work on your business and planning for success can move you closer towards creating the growth you want.

Investing the time to look at your business from a tactical and bigger picture perspective consistently can help you optimize how you structure your work flow and give you confidence in what lies ahead.

Try out this quarterly check in process as is or adapt it to fit your business. I hope this idea becomes an important and lucrative part of your routine that helps you achieve your business goals.

 

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