Make It Easier to Achieve Your Goals
“I know how it looks. But just start. Nothing is insurmountable.” ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda
Make It Easier to Achieve Your Goals
By Andrea Novakowski
There’s so much bad news these days in the press, social media and even in our conversations. Now, more than ever, it’s a good time to take a look at your business through a positive lens.
Last December we looked at what was getting in the way of your goal achievement. While it’s always important to learn from your mistakes and make changes, this year I’d like you to adjust your focus and consider: “What helped you achieve your goals this year?”
To get you started, here are a few tactics that helped me as I worked toward my own goals this past year:
- Create a vision of my goal with measurable milestones. Decluttering my office was one of the big goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year. I imagined an office with not a shred of extra paper, unread books, or piles of work waiting for my attention. Keep in mind: I’m completing my 22nd year in business, and things tend to accumulate. Once I dove into my project, I realized just how big this goal actually was. I felt like I had bitten off more than I could chew. To help manage that overwhelming feeling, I broke the work into milestones, with a reasonable time allotment each month. I’m seeing changes happening in my space, and the progress feels great!
So – If you’re setting some big goals this year, take the time to break them into milestones and you’ll have a better chance of achieving them.
- Spend time on the right things. I found Stephen Covey’s time management matrix incredibly useful in helping me focus on important vs. urgent activities. Each day, I delineate my top three priorities and work on those first. One of those priorities is always to take a step to move a project forward. While I’m tempted to answer emails when I first walk into the office, instead I do a quick scan of my inbox to see if there is anything related to my priorities that day. If there is something important but not related, I flag it to work on it later so I can focus first on what matters most. I quickly saw the value of working this way when I started hitting my project deadlines ahead of schedule.
So – How can you schedule your days so that you make regular progress – even if it’s small progress – on your big goals every single day?
- Share my goals with my colleagues. I noticed that when I articulated my goals to key people in my network, the goals became more real to me. Colleagues asked me questions that helped clarify my vision: “Why is this important to you?” “What will achieving the goal accomplish?” “What do you really want?” In many cases, addressing these questions helped me confront my fears and put those fears aside. My energy shifted from “This would be nice” to “I REALLY want this!”
So – Who can you partner with that will help you stay tuned in to your goals and remember why you want to achieve them?
- Put into action what I’ve learned from my reading. Usually, my number-one goal relates directly to my annual sales. This year, I modified my goal from top-line sales to annual profit after I read Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. That book got me thinking about my business in a whole different way.
So… how can you apply things you’ve learned recently to help you improve how you accomplish your goal?
- Be flexible with my goals. One of my goals for this year was to read 100 books. Initially the goal was 50 fiction and 50 nonfiction books, but I later changed the goal to 100 books in total. This revised goal fed both my value of learning and my enjoyment of reading. The mix didn’t matter. With two weeks left in the year, I’m at 39 nonfiction and 58 fiction books. Vacation is coming up, so I think I’ll hit 100 with time to spare!
So… keep in mind that what your goal looks like may change as the year progresses. Consider being open to modifying your goal – or aspects of it – as you get closer.
YOUR CALL TO ACTION
Take some time to review your goals for last year. Pay special attention to the goals you accomplished successfully. What made those goals doable? Was it because they were easy? Because you cared about them? Did you revise them, or seek out extra support? Figure out what helped you achieve those goals and put these strategies in place as you prepare for 2019.
Ready to get started on your 2019 goals? Get your Goal-Setting Kit here.