Merry Christmas! Let’s Set Goals.
Christmas is a time for many of us to reflect on the many blessings God has bestowed upon us this year. It’s also a time to review our businesses and ask ourselves the question, “What happened”? What happened for the good and what happened for the not-so-good. For me I start the year out with great plans and goals to achieve. Then, somehow, I allow myself to get side-tracked into places I had no intention of going. Oh, ya, they seem right at the time, but not according to plan. The good things that happen for the year seem to be more providence than the result of my own intention. God’s blessing is definitely sought after and appreciated but it would be great if I could stick to the plan, I set for myself at the beginning of the year.
What goes wrong? I think my problem is that I don’t review my goals frequently enough throughout the year. I forget what I sought out to do. I tried a technique I learned in a book called How to Get What You Want. I forget the author’s name and I know the book is out of print. But the main point is to write out your goals and then re-write them every day (or as frequently as you can). Write them out by hand to get that visceral experience of getting inside your goals. There is something powerful about physically writing out your goals by hand; not with a word processor. Be as specific as you can with your goal, use good handwriting and simply write them on a piece of paper; or in a notebook.
Let me tell you that this technique works but it takes discipline. So, I guess it comes down to how much you want the goal. If you have no goals in the first place, I guess the issue is moot. Do you have goals? You’ve probably heard that goals should be S.M.A.R.T.; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. I think this is a good framework for which to start. An example of a S.M.A.R.T. related to increasing the revenue of your business would be as follows:
S = I will earn in 2019 15% more revenue than I did last year
M = The measurable part is the 15% based on last year
A = You’ve got to believe it is attainable. Don’t set a goal you know deep down won’t or can’t be achieved. Is 15% an attained increase in Sales?
R = Increasing is for sure relevant to your business but only if more revenue means you are closer to achieving a larger goal; i.e. more freedom, the ability to give more, etc.
T = Using the new year as the timetable for achieving the goal makes sense. You would monitor this as the year progresses. Whatever timetable you choose you’ve got to be accountable to it.
Lots has been written, a library actually, about goal setting and achieving goals. I think goals are important because they can help you specify where you want your business/your life, to go. Without goals you are easily blown to-and-fro by the winds of chance. Written goals are simply your documenting what you want; what you want to be, where you want to go, or what you want to have.
Christmas is a great time to reflect on the past but it’s also an opportunity to set the sail for the future. Think about your wants for next year. Write them down. Make them S.M.A.R.T. Re-copy them frequently. And just have a few of them; too many goals dilute the rest. Pick the main top things to accomplish and go after it. Add the other ones as you achieve and make room for them.
I wish you a wonderful Christmas holiday. Make this coming year something special. Set a goal.