New year, new goals! Whether you've already written down your yearly goals and are already making progress, or you're still procrastinating.. now is the time to talk about them! While you can certainly set goals anytime of the year (which I totally encourage you to!), there is something about that new year energy that makes January an exciting time. Last week, Mallory and I had a 4-hour goal planning sesh -- yes really -- so the topic is fresh on my mind! After going through all of the numbers from last year and checking off lots of goals, and re-working a few others, there were a few things that stood out. So today I'm going to share 3 tips to consider when writing (or rewriting) some of your goals this year!
Set Goals that are Actionable
A lot of times when we write down goals we think about big picture, broad goals. Like, "I want to work with my ideal clients" or "I want to be more organized." Having broad goals have their place, but there's something to be said about setting actionable goals that are more specific. By getting specific and adding value (when possible) you'll have a clearer vision of what you are working towards, plus it will be a lot easier to know when you've accomplished your goal. So instead of the goals listed above, you could get more specific and make the following goals, "this year I want to work with 10 lifestyle bloggers and 20 women-owned small businesses," and, "before leaving my office for the weekend, I will make sure to clean up my desk and make sure everything is put in its place." Each are more specific giving you either a value or a schedule that you'll easily be able to track throughout the year.
Other important factors in making actionable goals is actually having an action plan to accomplish them. As simple as it sounds, creating the action plan (one that is reasonable) is where most of us fall short. There's a reason gyms are packed at the beginning of the new year and attendance starts to dwindle by the end of the month. We get amped up on one goal, go hard at it for awhile, and then burn ourselves out before we actually turn it into a habit. There has to be some balance or you'll never make it to the finish line. The same goes for business goals, sometimes we set the bar so high or set so many goals that we become overwhelmed and give up.. or we create so many goals that we have a tough time keeping track of them. Take the time to actually think about the goals you're making, create a plan of steps you need to do to accomplish said goals and then get to work! Which leads us to our next point..
Break Your Goals Down
I'm all for dreaming BIG, reallllll BIG, but sometimes we go too big and instead of motivating ourselves we end up with the opposite effect. Remember when we talked about taking on too much? If you really want to make progress you shouldn't be afraid to push yourself, but also make sure that your plan is sustainable! Something that really helps me is breaking down my goals. From yearly, to quarterly, to monthly, to weekly. What do you need to accomplish in each time period to reach your goals? When you break it up into smaller pieces and really think about the work involved it's a lot easier to put one foot in front of the other.
Something else that has been really helpful in our business is dedicating start dates and deadlines. Because we know we can only dedicate so much time to each goal, we have some focuses slated to start throughout the year. This adds to the tactic of breaking things down by allowing us to focus on different goals throughout the year that build upon each other -- phases if you may. By spacing things out a little bit too, you allow yourself to ease into each without feeling like you're juggling so many things.
Check-in and Track Your Progress
Last but not least, take the time to actually track your progress! It's so easy to write down goals an throw them in a drawer or filed away in your Google Drive. Out of sight, out of mind? That can certainly be an issue! Keep those puppies front and center! I like to write out a copy and have it right on my bulletin board next to my desk, where I have a daily reminder of just what I'm working towards.
Something else that is really helpful for us is to do quarterly check-ins. You can do them more frequently if you prefer, but we like to do quarterly because it allows us enough time to make some progress without feeling stressed about your benchmarks. It also allows you some time to notice patterns for what is working, what isn't and how you can improve for the next quarter. No matter what your process, just make sure to add those dates to your calendar and stick to them! So what do you say, ready to make some progress this year?! I know we are!
Have some other tips for sticking to your goals? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!