Friday, 23 February 2018

Making your goals happen

This article first appeared on Business Business Business

A person with a goal will achieve more, feel focused and have a sense of accomplishment when the goal is achieved. They will have success because they are stretching themselves and growing their business.

Just writing down the goal however is not enough. You need action to achieve the goal. Breaking the goal down into easy to make steps, so that every day, week and month you are focusing on tasks which step by step are moving you towards goal achievement.

A goal without actions is just words. How many times have you made a goal, and then never achieved it? Were the reasons to do with not having the steps, or maybe not having the right steps.

~ You focus on the tasks which will help you to achieve goals
~ You put in the effort to make the goal happen and you receive energy back
~ You work at overcoming barriers, so you can achieve the goals
Goals = Focus + Energy + Persistence = Success. A perfect recipe.

Let’s work on your goals now so you can have success.

I have worked with many, many businesses over my 14 years as a consultant. Time after time I have seen businesses flounder because they do not have clear goals in place. Goals shared by the entire organisation. Goals which are broken down into actions. Where every day the team are working towards achieving the same goals.

I have also worked with businesses who see out of this world success because the goals they have set stretch themselves, their team and business.


Write down one goal per sheet of paper. Ask yourself the following about each goal:
~ Do they excite you?
~ Do they scare you?
~ Motivate you?
~ Challenge you?
~ Inspire you?
~ Stretch you?
~ Could they be bigger?
~ Are they achievable?
~ Is their too many or not enough?

Make any changes you feel you need to.

What actions do you need to take to make each goal happen? Start brainstorming and writing things on your sheet of paper. I like to start at the bottom of the page and work up – thinking bigger and bigger as I go – you do what works for you. This is about just writing all the ideas down you have to make the goal a reality.

You might choose to use different colours – texta’s, pens, pencils whatever works for you.

Take a look at your brainstorm – highlight or circle the great ideas – those things you feel are going to achieve your goal. The ideas which excite you.

You may wish to use a mentor, coach, advisor or associate to review your brainstorm – add to it or question what you have written and decided on. It is always nice to have another pair of eyes.

You then need to prioritise each action under your goals. For every idea you have decided to make happen you need to prioritise in order of how you can achieve it – so number each idea 1 to whatever.

It is time to prioritise your goals. Giving yourself deadlines helps to keep you focused. What is more you can then spread your work over the year making it easier to achieve.

Since you have your goals on separate pieces of paper you can simply order them by shuffling the paper around. When do you want to achieve the goal by? When is it realistic? Maybe you have goals that can happen quickly, in they don’t have lots of actions? Maybe the goal is in line with an event that you are hosting or attending? Maybe it is a goal that you will need to work on throughout the year?

By understanding when you would like to or need to have the goal completed you can then set your actions for throughout the year.

Take four more pieces of paper and label them Quarter 1 (Jan-Mar), 2 (Apr-Jun), 3 (Jul-Sep) and 4 (Oct-Dec).

By breaking your goals and actions into four quarters means you are narrowing your focus.

For each action step you have under each goal consider when you need to have it completed. Consider the deadline of the goal and then work backwards, thinking about how long you think it will take you to complete the action. Will the action fit into quarter 1, quarter 2, quarter 3 or quarter 4.

Start to write out your quarterly actions. Is one quarter looking busy – can you spread your actions over to another quarter that doesn’t have as much happening?

Always remember your life balance also when you are setting up your year. Don’t set yourself up for failure by trying to over achieve with no support or at the risk of something else.

Now you have a snapshot of how your quarter will look – start putting months next to each task. Those tasks will become your focus for that month.

You can further break them down into weeks – then every week you know what your focus needs to be – and by having this focus and tasks you are working towards your goals.

Remember to consider school holidays (if the affect you), public holidays and anything else which will see you under resourced.

Spend some time planning out your months. Automate your marketing to support the achievement of your tasks. Make appointments with people who you would like to collaborate with to help you achieve your goal. Take time to breath understanding the bigger picture is being looked after.

This is what works for me:
~ I use a paper planner to keep me focused.
~ I use insightly to manage my daily tasks – it is free!
~ I have a group that I meet with regularly who I am accountable to

While it is great to be focused, it is still important to remain open minded and to look at opportunities at just that. Don’t become so focused on your goals that you miss something else that appears in your peripheral.

It could be that this new opportunity will allow you to still achieve a goal – but in a much bigger way. Maybe you will learn new skills that will enhance your business and you can make more money. You could also look at the opportunity and decide that it is not for you at this time – inviting it back into your life in the future.

Be careful to not chase the shiny objects however – make wise choices about how you use your time and use your clarity of your own goals as a way to help guide you.

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