Happy New Year! Did you make any New Year’s resolutions or set goals for your business for 2014? At the end of the year, I always have my clients set aside time to take stock of the year gone by, to appreciate their accomplishments, to identify areas that need to be improved in their businesses, and to set goals and plans for the new year.
But if you’re like most owners that I work with, and I bet you are, after the New Year’s motivation wears off and you’re back in the thick of your business, it’s hard to keep those goals in mind. Have you ever heard the saying, “When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original objective was to drain the swamp”?
When things get crazy busy for you (and you know they will), it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to forget about your New Year’s goals and plans.
So here are three easy, proven ways to ensure that when you are up to your neck in alligators, you still keep moving toward achieving your goals:
Set specific, measurable goals.
Research shows that setting a vague goal, like “I hope to grow my business” or “I’d love to make my business more efficient,” is about as effective as setting no goal at all. Only about 3 percent make any progress using vague goals like these.
This year make your goals S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-framed. Rather than having a vague goal such as “grow my business,” try “Increase my sales each month by 25 percent over the same month last year.” Or instead of “I’d love to make my business more efficient,” try “I want to create procedures and retrain my crews on the 10 most important crew tasks by Jan. 31.” Research shows that simply by making S.M.A.R.T. goals, your chances of success increase to over 20 percent.
Break your goal down into smaller bite-sized tasks.
When you start to attack a big new goal, do you often feel overwhelmed? Does it seem impossible to achieve your goal from where you are right now? I mean, where do you start? What do you do? Procrastination and avoidance seem like the only good answers. But they’re not.
The best thing to do is to break your goal into a series of manageable, bite-sized tasks that you can handle easily in a short period. You know what they say about eating an elephant, right? “One bite at a time.” The same thing applies to reaching your goals. Start completing some of your bite-sized tasks each day and the next thing you know, you’ll be making real progress.
People who set S.M.A.R.T. goals and break the goal down into a series of smaller tasks to reach them have an average success rate of 35 percent in reaching their goals.
Be accountable for your progress.
Unfortunately, with all that you have going on in your business and life, it’s not easy to move ahead with your goals and plans despite all of your best intentions. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to keep you moving when the going gets tough. All you need to do is to share your goals with someone else, ask him or her to hold you accountable for reaching them, and then check in
with the person regularly on your progress. Here are some simple ways to have others hold you accountable:
Adding accountability to your S.M.A.R.T goals and bite-sized tasks can increase your success rate in reaching your goals to more than 50 percent!
So there you have it—three simple ways to dramatically improve your chances of achieving your goals in 2014. I highly recommend that you add these three simple steps to your business tool kit for 2014.
I guarantee that you’ll be pleased with the results! Have a great 2014!
Bill Silverman is the owner of Springboard Business Coaching. He is dedicated to helping you propel your business to the next level of growth and profit while working less. He can be reached at (856) 751-1989 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Happy New Year!