4 Steps for Successful Goal Setting

Goal setting, on the surface, often looks like it’s pretty easy to accomplish. Many entrepreneurs will start off by buying a planner and creating an outline. This outline serves as an overview for major and minor goals and includes proposed deadlines for meeting each one. All the entrepreneur has to do now is work towards reaching their goals. This should be pretty easy since the goals have been written out and assigned deadlines, right?

Sometimes it’s actually more complicated to set and reach goals, especially when you’re running a small business. It’s easy to get caught up in the day’s schedule or get sidetracked by an unexpected task. All of a sudden, the deadline date for the goal is here but you haven’t reached the goal.

What should you do next? Let’s go back to the beginning and reset the process to ensure successful goal setting.

1. Create specific goals.

Take a moment to look at the goals set for your business. Are they fairly specific, or are they much more board in scope? The more specific the goal and accompanying steps necessary to achieve it, the more likely you’ll be able to reach it.

For example, a non-specific goal for a business would be “More followers on Instagram.” Replace that sentence with “To grow our Instagram following by 200 new followers by the end of the month.” Then, outline a few steps you may take to reach that goal. Some strategies may include creating more content for Instagram Stories, engaging and partnering with other users on the platform, and creating Instagram ads to promote your business.

2. Make “bite size” goals.

It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to set lofty goals for their business. Many of these goals are established for the long run and there isn’t an expectation to accomplish them right away. However, reviewing bigger goals for the future can sometimes be intimidating!

Rather than pile on the pressure to achieve one major goal, consider breaking the goal up into bite size pieces. Focus on achieving bits of those bite sized goals, one by one. Gradually, you’ll be able to reach each set goal that adds up to the big picture!

3. Measure said goals and determine their feasibility.

Successful goal setting has to err, to some degree, on the side of practicality. If your goal is to hit a million dollars in revenue within days of launching your business… you might consider dialing that number down a bit. Set goals that are feasible to reach and relevant to your business.

As you work towards reaching your goals, you should be able to clearly measure progress. Not sure how to properly track your goals? Consider setting SMART goals — based on the principles of being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time based — for your business. Earlier, we mentioned the importance of establishing specific goals and the steps necessary to reach each one. Make sure you know how you will measure the outcome of your goals. The goal should also be one that you can achieve, even if it takes a little time. It should align with your organization’s mission, and have a deadline in place.

4. Stay on track!

It can be pretty easy to let your focus fall away from your goals. You might be preoccupied with a more time-sensitive need for your business. Or, you might have a moment where you think, “I can always do it tomorrow.” Even if it’s only for 15 to 20 minutes each day, set aside a bit of time just for your business goals. You’ll be glad you did it once you start reaching them!

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