Advice about goal setting for your business (and life) is ubiquitous among coaches of all types, and that’s a good thing – sort of. This is especially true as we head into a new year.
The problem develops when you learn that, on average, 80% of New Year’s resolutions are never realized. In fact, four-fifths of them are forgotten by the end of February each year. That is a stunning lack of success in the face of so much “expert advice” about how important it is to set goals.
The possible reasons for this failure rate tend to be more a matter of opinion than of scientific fact but, one thing must be said… If you regularly struggle to set and reach business goals, it’s because you’ve not been taught how.
Yes! Goal setting is a learned skill that requires training and practice. It is not “instinctive” and is barely intuitive. Despite our tendency to endlessly look to the future, hoping always for good things to happen, we are frequently blinded to the present by our focus on tomorrow, next week, next month, and next year.
In other words, we lose focus on the practical daily steps that need to be taken to reach the end result we hope for; that One Big Goal every coach tells you to set each year.
Successful Goal Setting Starts Small
Turns out, successful goal setting requires you to focus on the small steps you need to take to get to your Big Result; the boring, daily routine that will eventually get you where you want to go.
While this may fly in the face of currently popular belief, the truth of such a claim should be obvious. After all, if you’re climbing a ladder to reach the roof of your house, you have to do it one rung at a time. The same is true for reach your One Big Goal; there must be a clearly outlined, step-by-step process to get there or you will fail again.
The steps required to set and reach your goals can be found all over the internet. (Just try searching the phrase “how to set goals” to receive over 2 BILLION links in the search results.)
You Need a Goal Setting Strategy
So, rather than repeating those steps here, let’s take a look at what your goal setting strategy should be:
- Be realistic – No matter how high you want to reach, if your goal is unrealistic, you’re setting yourself up to fail and you will never get there. Big goals are fine because they give you something worthwhile to aim for. However, they have to be reachable or you will remain in that 80% of folks who never reach their goals.
- Set positive goals – Setting negative goals for the new year is probably the most popular approach; to lose weight or quit smoking for example. These are rarely successful. Instead, it’s better to put a positive spin on the changes you want to make: to get more exercise, to eat healthy, to wear the patch, etc. Turns out, a positive mindset is far more powerful than negative thinking.
- Recruit others – Sharing your goal with others will help you stay focused. Sharing it with your team will enable and engage them in helping you get there. Do NOT by shy about telling someone about what you hope to achieve. Instead, get them on your side and allow them to encourage and support you in your efforts.
- Make a plan – You’ll need to outline the steps along the path toward the result you want to achieve. It’s important to always remember that you’re in the middle of a process here; a progression from point A (setting your goal) to point B (the realization of your goal). There are no shortcuts.
- Daily follow through – If small daily goals are the secret to successful goal setting, then following through on them is the only way to get there. This is your responsibility and only you can ensure these tasks are completed. The benefits of being diligent are outlined below.
Of course, all of these ideas are great in the abstract but, that begs the question of how to put them into practice. Below is a very simple example of how to reach a new business goal for the year.
Big Goal: Increasing Income!
- So, at the top of the pyramid: Big Goal = Boost Income 25% this year
- Next level of the pyramid: 4 Quarterly Goals = Boost Income 6.25% each quarter
- Next level of the pyramid: 12 Monthly Goals = Boost Income 2.1% each month
- Next level of the pyramid: 50 Weekly Goals = Boost Income 1/2% each week
Do you see how easy it is to increase your income by 25% next year – IF you think of doing so in terms of Less Than 1/2% per week? Your half-a-percent per week goal quickly becomes more than 2.1% per month, which is more than 6% each quarter, which will easily surpass your 25% Income Boost for next year’s Big Goal!
Easy peasy! Who knew boosting your income could be so simple?
Looking for more tips on goal setting for your business, help with your online marketing strategy, or other marketing ideas? Get in touch with the YOMT Team today.