How do you set yearly goals?

December 28, 2011

I’m not talking about new year resolutions.  No.  I’m talking about setting realistic goals that you can achieve in a year.  These goals can be to correct some problems within or measures to improve or GROW your business throughout the year.  One requirement is that you write all of this down!  Why?  This written record will hold your feet to the fire in terms of achievement!

Here are a few quick steps to set yearly SMART goals:

1.  Set your priorities.
Knowing your end result makes determining your path much more achievable.  Before you make your list of goals, make a list of four or five top priorities.  These will be the umbrella for the lists you will develop in the steps that follow.

2.  Determine a focus list.
Of the top priorities you selected, take each one and make a list of four or five specific things you want to focus on for that priority.  By breaking down each area of focus, it will make it easier to compose a ‘to do’ list.
3.  Break down goals even more.
A big goal can seem overwhelming and daunting as a whole, but when broken down into small pieces, it becomes much more doable.  For example, monthly or weekly tasks or goals seem much easier.  For example, if a particular financial goal is to save – you can break down a weekly or monthly goal amount to get you to the overall figure you want to save for the year.
4.  Set your deadlines.
Yikes! D-E-A-D-L-I-N-E-S.  That word is scary to some.  But, it can be your friend.  Deadlines should be seen as a ‘finish line’ for what you want to accomplish.  Realistically consider the time it would take for you to complete the tasks on your lists, and put an actual date down.  I’ll remind you again – write this down!  Put the deadlines on your calendar, put a reminder on your desk or wherever you would see this as a constant reminder.  (Mine hangs on bulletin board in my work area just above my computer.  So, I see it daily!)
5.  Track your progress.
At minimum, sit down monthly and review your goals and ‘to do’ list.  And when you’ve completed items on your list check them off, cross them out, highlight them — whatever you prefer. Just show that you’ve made progress, which can serve as encouragement to keep going.  Additionally, having accountability can help your cause.  Whether you have a business partner, spouse or colleague with whom you feel comfortable sharing your goals with, this person can help keep you on-track.  If you are tempted to slack off, your accountability partner can keep you in-check.
We’d love to hear any other ideas and suggestions you have for goal setting and tracking progress.  Share with us and fellow business owners on Season’s Peak Facebook Wall.

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