How to Set Intentional and Actionable Goals
Oh my goodness! Can you believe this is the last week of the year? I am totally taken aback. The year just flew by… and what a crazy year it was! But let’s not dwell on that! Let’s talk about what’s to come. We’re jumping into week three of the Prep Your Biz for 2017 series and this is the final week. Friends, this is going to be amazing!
So this week we’re diving into goal setting. And we’ve done all the prep work we need to ensure that we have a firm understanding of where we are within our businesses and how 2016 impacted us. This means that we’ve taken into consideration the wins, the fails and the lessons learned along the way.
This is imperative to the goal setting process because it helps you focus in on the goals that are truly in alignment with your business and your personal values.
So if you’ve yet to a year end assessment and a business assessment, go back and do that before you start working on goal setting. Once you’ve done that, come back here. We’re going to talk about setting goals that are intentional and in alignment with our growth path.
Do a Goal Brain Dump.
So this is always my step on. For most things really. I heavily rely on brain dumps to get all of my thoughts on paper. And goal setting is no exception.
Schedule 10-15 minutes to sit down with a blank piece of paper and without any real rhyme of reason, just start writing goal ideas. Now this doesn’t need to be anything pretty, there doesn’t have to be any sort of flow to it. This is just for you.
Write down anything that comes to mind. Anything you want to do, anything that you think you’d like to work on.
Again, do not put too much thought into this. Just focus on writing. We want quantity over quality this time!
Determine Which Goals Don’t Make Sense.
Here’s the part where we start to narrow that list down. Once you’ve done your brain dump, step away for a while and then come back to your list. Chances are, you’ve written a lot of things down and some of those things are NOT going to be in alignment with your business.
So go over your brain dump and pose these questions to your goal ideas.
- Will this goal help me grow?
- Does this goal make sense for my business?
- Is this a reasonable goal? (AKA is it realistic?)
- Does this goal make me happy?
If you answer no to any of these questions when looking at a specific goal, you can most likely cross it right off the list, my friend.
Narrow Down Your Goals.
Okay, so you’ve eliminated some goals. Now it’s time to pick the goals that you want to work with.
I know, you’re over there thinking “Erin. I just crossed off the ones I don’t like. Isn’t that enough?”
It feels like it should be but it’s not that simple. You need to make sure the goals that are left are VERY specific.
Here’s the thing. When you set a broad/vague goal, you’re less likely to achieve it. There are a lot of reasons for this but we’ll sum it up as this. It’s overwhelming and leaves the question ”Where do I start?” We don’t want that! We want you to feel like you can tackle these goals.
And you can!!!
In order to make sure that you feel that way, you want to make sure that your goals are super specific. In other words, don’t say “grow my social media following.” Say “Gain 1000 Facebook Likes,” or something of the sort.
Want a surefire way to light a fire under you for goal achievement? Give yourself a deadline.
Deadlines give you some direction. If you don’t have a deadline in place, there’s always that little procrastinating voice on the inside that has us putting stuff off until tomorrow. You know that voice.
Giving yourself a deadline will help ensure that you start working towards your goals
But here’s the thing. You have to be realistic with your deadlines. Don’t set a deadline that is going be too close that you’ll feel nothing but stress when working on your goals and don’t set a deadline that is so far out that it’s not real feeling to you. Gauge how long it will actually take to achieve the goals and set a deadline based off of realistic timelines.
Create Action Plans.
Yay! This is the fun part of the whole process.
So you’ve narrowed down your goals and you’ve set your deadlines. Now we need to create action plans.
Take each goal and break it down into actionable steps. Baby steps. This makes each goal more attainable and will keep you on track. You want to be very specific with these baby steps, that way there is no question about step one, step two, etc.
Since you have a deadline in place, you can also start to timeline when you’ll tackle each step.
Schedule Time to Work on Goals.
You’ve got everything mapped out. Now you need to schedule time to work on these goals.
Take a look at your calendar and figure out when you can make an appointment with yourself to work on goal achievement. I recommend 30 minutes at minimum per week but this will vary person to person and goal to goal.
In other words, don’t worry if you need more or less time per week than 30 minutes per goal. Just make sure you have dedicated time for those goals.
Do Frequent Goal Check Ins.
During the new year, as you’re working on goals, make sure you do frequent check ins to monitor your progression.
Schedule a time once a month to sit down and go over your goals. Explore whether they are working for you or if you’re struggling with them. Figure out how you can stay on track or if you even should!
Being open to evolving and shifting your goals is a big part of being an entrepreneur!
So there you have it! These are the steps to creating intentional goals that will be actionable and in alignment with your business. Are you ready to tackle 2017? Friend, you are going to be amazing.
Until next time, have a beautiful day!