They say the road to ruin is paved with good intentions so how do you stop your goals falling by the wayside?
Don’t you just love that moment of finishing a plan? You’re energised, got some great moments of clarity and really focused on what you need to achieve – but what then? All too often those goals remain front of mind for days, even weeks, then life tends to get in the way…it throws you a few curve balls or you get busy on a project and before you know it your goals feel very far away and you’re not quite sure how to get back on track. So how do you stop this happening to you? Here are four top tips to keep you on the straight and narrow
1) Be realistic
You know those new year’s resolutions that involve going to the gym six times a week when the closest you’ve been to a gym in the last year is to pick up the free paper? You need to be honest with yourself. Where are you today? What resources do you have? What resources do you need? It doesn’t mean aim low but goals that are unrealistically high will discourage you and risk you giving up before you’ve really got started. Continue to aim high but maybe it’s more realistic to get there in 12 months rather than six or two years rather than one.
2) Break it down
It’s important to know not only where you want to go but also how you’re going to get there. Say you have a revenue goal of 15% for the next financial year. How are you going to get there? How does that translate into new customers? Does it mean raising prices? Don’t wait until you’re nine months in to realise there’s no way you’ll make up lost ground in the final quarter. Know where you need to be at the end of each month or quarter so that you can adjust your activities, tweak your plan and go hard if you need to catch up.
3) Keep yourself honest
I’ve always found that the best way of making goals real and ensuring that I stick with them is to talk about them. Pick someone to share your goals with and to discuss your progress as you go. It can be a trusted friend, business advisor or mentor. But pick carefully, there should be mutual respect and someone who will encourage you as well as keep you on track. If you’ve shared your goals you can’t hide from them.
Another way of keeping yourself honest is to keep your plan visible. A plan in the drawer in your office doesn’t leave you any closer to your goals. Keep key goals where you can see them whether that’s up on a whiteboard on your office or pinned up on your noticeboard keep it where you can see it.
4) Celebrate success!
Last but definitely not least make sure that sure you take a moment to celebrate the wins along the way. Pick a reward for yourself as you start hitting your milestones and it will encourage you to keep going. You need some carrot with your stick.
So how do you best keep yourself on track with your goals?
This article was also published on flying solo http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/startup/setting-business-goals/four-tips-for-achieving-your-business-goals