January is the time of year when we traditionally look back on the year that’s just passed, celebrate our successes, and look to the future. It’s a time for making resolutions and setting goals, but how many of those are likely to have fallen by the wayside come the end of the month?
The problem is that whilst we all start off with the very best of intentions, we don’t actually do much in the way of actioning those thoughts and plans. We asked our members what they thought was one of the best ways to ensure that you stay on target when it comes to your plans for the coming months. Without doubt the most popular answer was to set concrete, written down goals.
There’s no doubt that people who write their goals down have a significantly greater chance of achieving them than those who do not. We could debate all day as to why this is, but one fundamental reason is commitment. If you want to achieve something, but you can’t even be bothered to write it down, clarify it, work out the steps required to achieve it … then are you really that committed to it in the first place?
Writing down what you want to achieve helps you to crystallise it in your own mind, but also gives you something more tangible to be held accountable to. How else though can you make sure you’re more likely to achieve your goals for 2019?
Don’t have too many
You might have a whole heap of things you want to achieve this year, but you’re more likely to succeed if you don’t over do it. We are at our most productive when we focus on no more than 5-7 things at a time. So, keep the number of things you want to work on at any given time, to a manageable number to ensure you don’t feel over-stretched.
Keep them SMART
If you’ve ever read anything about goals you’ll have come across the term SMART. Your goals must meet five criteria:
1. Specific – Don’t just say you want to earn more, be more specific. Do you want to increase turnover, or reduce overheads?
2. Measurable – Earning “more” is meaningless unless you give it a specific number. £5,000? £10,000?
3. Actionable – Give yourself an action to achieve; rather than “be more consistent with follow ups” say “phone all enquiries back within 24 hours”
4. Realistic – Your goal should challenge you, and therefore must not be easy, but you do want to be able to achieve it! Instead of saying you want to gain 500 new customers, break it down in to manageable chunks, for example, 1 new customer a week. Or 1 new potential customer/contact per week etc.
5. Time – It’s all very well having clearly defined goals, but you need to have a deadline associated with them to ensure they happen. Pick a date you want to achieve your goal by.