The new year is fast approaching, and for many of us that means goal setting time! Of course, goal setting is something that can be done and re-done throughout the year, but it seems to be that feeling of a fresh start that comes with January 1st that encourages up to really look at where we are and where we want to be.
There are generally 3 steps to setting goals. If a person uses them correctly, it can really become an inspirational force to push you to where you want to be. The problem is, most people set them backwards!
Here is how it usually works:
1. Numbers - We say things like, "Alright...I did $750,000 in sales last year. This year I will do $800,000."
2. Achievements/Milestones - "If I do that much business I will need an assistant to take some stuff off my plate. I know I was working way too much just to keep up this year. So that will be a goal for this year, hire an assistant."
3. Rewards - "Well, after paying that assistant, my net might not be a whole lot different. I do need to reward myself though. Ok. I will take a 2 week trip to Mexico again like I did this year. I should be able to afford that."
Starting with the numbers limits everything. If your goals are limited, so is your imagination. If your imagination is limited, so is your excitement. If your excitement is limited, so is your determination. If your determination is limited, so is your result.
To set an effective goal, flip this system over!
1. Rewards - "I enjoyed my 2 weeks in Mexico last year. This year I want 2 trips. Two weeks in Mexico and 3 weeks in Ireland."
2. Accomplishments/Milestones - "If I am going to be away, I will need someone competent to handle things when I am gone. An assistant won't be enough. I need someone who can actually manage the place. I will hire an manager to work under me in the first half of this year."
3. Numbers - "I know what I want and the major change that will have to happen to make it a reality. I need to pay for it. After crunching the numbers I realize that my business needs to do $900,000 to pay for all of this. I will do at least $900,000 in sales this year. Having that manager in place will take a lot of work off my plate so I can concentrate on sales so I should easily be able to reach that number and not have to work insane hours like last year."
This way creates motivation, drive and determination because it is based on something you want as a person, not just cold numbers at the accountant's office.
In the first system it sounds like this, "I will pick a number that is bigger than last year because that is what businesses are supposed to do right? (P.S. I don't agree that is the case). Then if I hit that number, I will do something nice for myself."
The second is much more powerful because it sounds like this, "I know what I want in my personal life and my business is my tool to provide those things. Here is what I want and here is what my business needs to do to get it for me." Much more powerful! (On a side note, do not be surprised if you need to scale your business back a bit to meet your personal goals. Especially if you are in the case where your business is starting to consume your life)
This year, when you sit down to set your business goals remember, you are a person. You have things that you want to experience in this life and you have people that you want to share your life with. Your business is simply a tool to make those things happen. Set your personal goals and then set your business goals in a way that supports them.
Your personal goals may not be a trip. They may be a new house, more time with your family, more time for yourself, to give a certain amount to a cause or to volunteer more of your time. It is all up to you and there are infinite possibilities. Just concentrate on what you want out of your life, then build your goals around that.
If you set your goals in this way, you will find much more drive to make your business a success. That is because you will be working toward providing what you see as a fulfilled life. Not just shooting for empty numbers.
Working on the person behind the business is key to being a success in business and life. Click here for more information on how to reach your goals.