Time Management – Setting Your Goals
Do you have written goals for your business? One year out, three years out? What about the next 90 days? If you don’t know very explicitly and clearly what your goals are, which determines your priorities, then how can you possibly know what is the best use of your hours TODAY? And how can you know if those goals will get you to your vision?
Many business owners operate without a real clear picture of the goals they have for their business. They seem to just go through the paces, week after week, without knowing whether they are ahead or behind on meeting their goals. I think the reason most business owners do this is because if they never commit to specific goals, then they can’t fail when they miss them. It keeps them from failing; it also keeps them from succeeding.
Goal setting, and using those goals to drive your daily priorities is a habit you can develop. Like any learned habit, typically will take at least 21 days to develop, and then many months and years to refine until you master the discipline.
There is a lot of material and advice out there about goal setting, but here is a simple and effective process for setting goals :
- Decide exactly what you want. Be clear, specific and write it down on paper. The very act of writing down a goal significantly increases the likelihood that you will achieve it.
- Make your goals measurable. Your goals should have clear metrics for their achievement. For example, a goal to “become the best salesperson” is a nice goal, but how do you measure “best”? To make this goal measurable, it could be restated in the following way, “I will achieve $1,000,000 in gross sales revenue, helping me reach the top sales position in the company.”
- Make a list. Write down everything you must do to achieve each goal, including every step, actions, strategies, decisions, milestones, etc.
- Set a deadline for each of your goals. This will help you overcome the human tendency to procrastinate and will exert some pressure for you to stay on task.
- Finally, develop an action plan from the list of activities and immediately take action on your plan. Resolve to do something every day to get you closer to your goals.
Clearly written goals will have a powerful effect on your thinking and will motivate you into action. They act as the “guiding lights” to keep you on task, using your time in the most effective manner possible, keeping you focused on your priorities. Make a habit of asking yourself throughout the day if what you are doing right now is moving you towards your goals. If not, STOP what you’re doing and do something that will.
Lisa Walker is a Certified Business Coach with ActionCOACH, the World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm. She has a proven track record of success with both small businesses and in the corporate environment. Business Coach Lisa Walker – When You’re Ready to Be the Best.