It’s that time of year again. The time where we look back and assess where we’re at and what we’ve done. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t and make plans to do even better moving forward. With that said, the end of 2018 is closing in fast. Did you accomplish all of your business goals for the year? Achieve all of your business dreams? Or do you feel you’ve fallen short?
Whether your business is thriving or barely surviving, you can choose to make the upcoming 2019 your best year yet, simply by planning ahead and creating a few moving targets to hit. After all, you’ve got to have a destination in mind if you ever want to get there! And remember that a failure to plan means you plan to fail.
Setting Business Goals, the SMART Way
If you know anything about goal-setting, you may have heard recommendations to make SMART goals. But what does that even mean? SMART is an acronym to help you remember a few rules of the road when setting your goals. In a nutshell, it means you should set specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound goals.
If your goals aren't specific and measurable, you will never really know if you’ve achieved them. And if they aren’t realistic and attainable, you will lose your motivation and drive to hit them. Time-bound simply means you’ve placed a deadline on those goals. If you don’t, it’s easy to stretch a goal into eternity, giving yourself just “one more day.” So, you should begin each new year by writing out a few SMART goals for your business and give yourself a target to aim for.
Then start planning out ways to hold yourself accountable to those goals. Maybe you need an accountability partner to keep you on track or maybe you will do better with setting up a system of rewards for every milestone you create and attain. Find what works for you and your business and make a commitment to stick with it.
Play Business “What If?”
Write down (and when we say write down we mean actually write down) the following for each goal you set:
- 3 things that will happen when you achieve the goal
- 3 things that will happen if you don't achieve the goal
Remember that every goal ever achieved originated with a thought. You should visualize what it is you want for your business and what success looks like in minute detail. What the mind can conceive, it can achieve, with a bit of spit and elbow grease. The more you think about your goals and keep them top of mind, the likelier it is that you will reach them or at least move closer to them, even if you’re not consciously working toward them.
Dream Big, Think Big, Play Big
Set a few stretch goals. No one ever got anywhere significant by playing small in life. Think of a few big goals and write those down too. Then break your goals down into smaller chunks that make them easier to tackle. Maybe you want to increase your revenue by 20% which means you’ll need to up your marketing game. And maybe upping your marketing game means you finally create that Facebook advertising campaign you put on the back burner last year.
Maybe it means you set up your email marketing newsletter and plan out 6 months of marketing emails to drip-feed to your customers and clients. Or maybe it’s finally hiring that assistant you’ve been talking about for ages so that you can begin to scale everything you’re doing in your business and don’t wear yourself thin.
Figure out what your dreams and plans look like, break them down into manageable chunks, and then start taking action on reaching those goals in 2019. If you aren’t striving to grow and exceed your past efforts, what are you doing? Stagnating and sitting dead in the water. That’s a losing proposition, so why not do something crazy and resolve to make this coming new year a winner.