Are you setting goals for your business? Are you aiming to increase your income, hire an employee, or start winding down and getting ready to sell your business?
Have you thought about whether those goals align with your values?
If they don’t, you’ll more than likely make a half-hearted attempt at them.
Or, if you’re a truly driven person who’s going to accomplish your goals no matter the costs, they may cost you everything, and then you’ll also lose your peace. Imagine for a minute living life without that peace…
Without it, it’s likely you won’t feel satisfied, even when you accomplish your goals.
No one wants that, so let’s think about how to avoid it.
As you read this article, you’ll start to see how to approach goals with the right mindset, how to determine what your goals should look like, and how to reach your goals one by one.
Set Yourself Up to Reach Your Goals with the Power of the Mind
First, think for a minute about why people fail to reach their goals. I’m sure you could list a lot of different reasons…
Often, not reaching the goals we’ve set has more to do with the stories inside our heads than with the targets we’re aiming for.
Ask yourself this question…What are the stories I’m telling myself? And what are the stories others have told me?
FACT: The stories we believe have a tremendous impact on the actions we take, the decisions we make and the overall flow of our lives.
So what are your stories? Are they focused on defeat or victory? Scarcity or abundance?
Our stories stacked one on top of another determine the outcome and quality of our lives and affect our ability to accomplish the goals we set.
If we tell ourselves tales of defeat, scarcity, anger and any other host of negative emotions, we’ll find it’s almost impossible to have an enjoyable life, let alone accomplish a goal.
Instead, we’ve got to remind ourselves of our successes.
I learned from Tony Robbins, “Change Your Story. Change Your Life.” It’s entirely up to us.
Embrace empathy without making others’ stories your story.
One thing to be careful of is not making other people’s stories your story. Feeling empathy because you understand someone’s pain or feeling sympathy because you’re a caring person is one thing. However, be careful not to take on other people’s struggles to the detriment of your own joy and life in general.
While 2020 may have been a difficult year, it was not a terrible year for everyone. For some people, it was bad. Others say it was okay. Some say 2020 was good; others say it was actually great. It’s all about perspective.
And that brings me back to stacking…
Stack positive stories and let go of the negative ones.
You can stack one horrible news story on top of another horrible news story on top of another horrible news story. Do that, and when you look back, yes, 2020 was a horrible year.
However, for most people, there were still many positives in 2020. I follow many local business leaders on social media, and I see their lives. They were doing all kinds of positive things during the pandemic. They were…
- Having fun with their children.
- Learning new ways of being adventurous.
- Buying new homes.
- Feeling appreciative for their own health and life.
And these are great examples. These are the kinds of positives to stack and stay focused on. It’s a choice.
I’m not saying you should stick your head in the sand and ignore the difficulties; however, don’t make difficulties your home either.
Find reasons to feel joy. Find reasons to feel pleasure. And then, when you identify and focus on a goal, you’ll be in a far better place emotionally for attacking it head on.
Embracing the right mindset is key. Now, let’s turn to what our objectives should look like so we can start setting goals and achieving them.
Setting Goals – Questions to Help You Get Started
1. Are your setting goals that are challenging but realistic?
It’s important that your goals be realistically challenging because when we challenge ourselves with goals that are not realistic, we tend to quit very quickly.
Just think of the New Year’s resolutions people take on. Here are some great examples:
- I haven’t gone to the gym in 20 years, but starting on January 2nd, I’m going to go every day.
- I’m going to double my sales numbers for the coming year and spend more time with my family.
Both are challenging goals. Neither is realistic.
When someone hasn’t been in a gym in 20 years and sets a resolution to go every day, what do you think happens?
You got it. Usually by mid-February, the gym membership goes unused while the payment comes out of the checking account every month, or the new exercise machine eventually becomes a clothes rack. (I’m certainly speaking from past experience on both of those….)
Doubling sales while spending more time with family? Definitely challenging. Without a doubt, unrealistic. Those two goals just aren’t congruent. And never will be… especially if you’re the one out there bringing in the sales.
Setting goals that have any chance you’ll reach them means setting goals that are challenging but realistic.
2. Do you have a time frame to reach your goals?
The best way to plan for how to reach your goals is to set a time frame for each one.
For example, maybe a six-month goal is landing a particular client you’ve been nurturing for a while, knowing the account will bring in more business.
A one-year goal may be revenue driven — you aim to increase revenue by 10% or 20% above the previous year.
Five-year goals could relate to business expansion, such as the number of employees you’ll have working for you or the size of the space your business occupies.
Seeing your secession planning come to fruition may be a 20-year goal, with the aim of having an established retirement income in place and peace of mind.
These goals may never get accomplished without a set time frame and a plan to reach them.
FACT: If your goal doesn’t have a time frame and a plan, then it’s really just a wish.
3. Can you visualize specific goals and their impacts?
Take time to visualize your goals as you’re setting them. What we can see in our mind, we can make our reality.
Also visualize the impact each goal will have. As you’re setting goals, ask yourself some questions:
- How is this going to impact my life?
- How is it going to impact my family?
- How will it impact my overall success?
Remember you can’t commit to working 80 hours per week and commit to spending more time with your family. It’s just not realistic. Visualizing a goal and its impact will help you recognize when a goal is too challenging or unrealistic.
Also visualize how well a goal lines up with your values. If you achieve a goal, yet it takes you out of integrity, would you really consider yourself successful? The answer is no.
And that brings us to the activities we do in our businesses…
Visualize your goal for how many referrals you’d like to give and receive this year. (Use this simple formula: Figure out how many you can give and how many you expect to receive per week. Then multiply that number by 50, assuming you take two weeks off per year.) Use that number to guide the number of networking events you’ll engage in each month.
Visualize goals for social media activity as well. Create a posting schedule that makes it easy to see what you’re posting and how much reach you’re getting. Here’s a sample guide for envisioning your upcoming posts:
- Monday – Make it motivational with a quote.
- Tuesday – Repost an article or blog post from someone you respect.
- Wednesday – Mention your products or services.
- Thursday – Make an offer.
- Friday – Share a post from someone in your network or from someone you’re prospecting to.
- Saturday – Post a funny meme. Be sure to keep it clean, both in topic and language.
- Sunday – Take a day off.
Scheduling these out weekly will help you more easily visualize a goal of 312 business related social media posts per year.
Visualize a plan for email marketing and phone calling, too. There’s still a lot of power behind email marketing when it’s part of your overall marketing plan.
And yes, did you know picking up the phone and calling people you’ve never met will not kill you? (Unless you accidentally call Vinny Goom Botz from the mafia, of course. Other than that, you’ll be okay.)
Edwards Deming said, “Don’t focus on the results. Focus on the activities that lead to the results.”
Visualize the results you want when you’re setting goals for your business, then do the activities that’ll get you there.
FACT: Activities equal results. And each result brings us closer to our goals.
4. Have you considered working with a coach or mentor for help with setting goals and achieving them?
Have you noticed that the most successful people in the world have coaches? Professional athletes have coaches. Actors have coaches. Musicians have coaches.
So do CEOs and other executives.
Imagine if you had a coach, too. Someone to offer you accountability and encouragement. To help you with setting goals that are challenging but realistic, putting a time frame on them, and visualizing their impact so you can push hard to reach them.
You probably already know this… a coach will help you come up with new ideas when you’re setting goals for your business. A coach will also give you a reality check if you’re going off course or about to start chasing squirrels around the playground of your mind.
When you hire a coach, you’ll see results as you stretch for new goals. Everyone knows greatness rarely happens by accident, and it’s often sustained by those who are willing to open themselves up to guidance and encouragement.
Setting goals for your business is easier than you think. It starts with using the power of the mind to change your story and set yourself up for success. Then, answering the above questions about the goals you’re setting will help you know what your goals should look like and how to reach them.
Here’s to setting and achieving your business goals in 2021!
Need the accountability a coach can offer? Reach out for a discovery session today.