Many start off a new year with big dreams and ideas of what they might want to accomplish over the next few years. However, they often get lost in translation when the time comes to actually bringing those dreams to life. Here at Make it Happen, we understand the challenge of setting and executing goals so we have gathered a few a to create 8 simple steps to set goals!
Step 1: Visualization
A great tip in understanding what goals you have to set is to picture where you want to be exactly a year from now. This gives you ground to visualize what components you will need to get started, and will help you work through your goal mapping from there.
Different components have unique requirements for their completion, here are a few in order to get you started…
- Money: how much is needed and what do you need to do in order to get there?
- Content: what type of content will be created? Will it be changing design or frequency compared to its current state?
- Marketing: what channel will be used or discarded? What will the primary channel be- email, social media, search engine optimization etc.?
- Connection / personal outreach: will you be working on connecting more with your audience? This could be through live streams, podcasts, newsletters etc.
Step 2: Writing it out!
As a business owner, our thoughts can feel scrambled in our brains from all the brainstorming. Dump it all out onto a planning sheet and start gathering ideas. Remember, don’t hinder yourself here. Continue to have an open mind with big, over-imaginative creative ideas flowing! You can worry about being completely realistic later on. Now is the time to get yourself a notebook and just write. Write everything and anything you feel and see what creative direction you are subconsciously heading towards.
Step 3: Tying up loose ends
After you have written everything out, now is the time where you look over your scrambled notes and try to start grouping similar ideas together. This will help you further understand your priorities and will also define your revamping or goal setting process. For example, if you scribbled things like ‘figure out printing’ and ‘retrieve quotes from publisher’ for your journaling company, then you can label those ideas as one under ‘logistics’.
Step 4: Start to narrow everything down!
Scan your scrambled notes one more time and try to pick one singular task to complete, do this a couple of times to start mentally prioritizing your work- what is necessary and what is not. Take a brand new sheet of paper and write down your initial, narrowed down tasks as ‘goals’ and with the remaining that are not priorities, you can certainly create a new list of ‘potential goals’ for some other time. Another good tip is to have a solid number of goals to set, ten is a good one! Doing this will help you actually get work done but will also maintain your energy so that you don’t burn out.
Step 5: Schedule your goals
Now is the time to be realistic, start thinking about when and what order you will get your work done. One reason why having ten numbered goals is good is because you can set a goal to work towards each month and excuse yourself for some time off say in August, for summer and December, for the holidays and also to start planning for next year. Some great tools to write out your goals and action points are apps like Asana and Trello.
Step 6: Evaluate your goals and plan
Look over and analyze your tentative plan, does it seem realistic? Do you think you will be able to get your work done in the span of time it is organized in? Now is the time you should delegate goals between different months if you need to, you know yourself best so fit your goals into your life in an effective and realistic manner.
Step 7: Make final edits and turn your ideas into actions!
Thoroughly analyze and examine your final goal plan for the upcoming year and then get started! Keep track of your goals and if they are being met by allocating a certain amount of time to ensure completion and quality of your tasks! If you feel that you are unable to meet your goals because you have ‘other’ things coming up, you need to go back and review. You planned a year out knowing your availability and work ethic so, think back and refocus your priorities if you are having a hard time with completion.
Step 8: Reflect!
Life is unpredictable and it’s a fact that nothing ever goes to plan. If you have different opportunities that may be popping up, you should review and reflect. Is this opportunity more important than my goals? Going on from here will be more helpful to you as you’ll l have a better understanding of your priorities. Another great way to reflect on your goals and their progress is to do a monthly check in called ‘roses, buds and thorns’. This is how it works:
- Roses: things that went really well and that you will carry through to the next month
- Buds: things that had potential but did not perform as well as you expected, these are things to work on and improve upon!
- Thorns: disastrous things that did not go well and have no room for repetition
So there you have it, 8 simple steps to set goals and guidance on how to achieve them!