5 Keys to Accomplishing Goals in 2016
It’s a New Year which means you have probably already thought about what resolutions you want to achieve in 2016 in your personal life and your business. But before you throw in the towel by the end of January like 92% of people who set goals for a new year, try these 5 steps to make sure you have something to show for your resolutions.
- Take a ‘Goal Setting’ Vacation – Every year I take a 3-day trip to just focus on what my goals should be for the next year. It doesn’t have to be 3 days if you are strapped for time – take just a day or even a short 4 hours. The point is that you mentally prepare for it before you get there. You know the purpose and by the time you get to that place without distractions you will have time to get a game plan together.
- Put together a vision board – A vision board looks different to everyone, but it’s basically a representation of what you want to accomplish and something you can look at to ensure you are making progress throughout the year. Maybe it’s a picture of a vacation you have always wanted to take, or a new piece of machinery you want for your business. Or it could be you at your goal weight. Whatever it is, either find photos or just write it in large text at the top of the board with room underneath (we will get to what you do with that part in a minute). Oprah may have said it best when she said “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.”
- Start with one goal at a time – Choose one goal at a time to focus on. Put it on your vision board in either photo or text. Start by envisioning yourself having already achieved your goal – driving your new company car, decorating your new, awesome office space, sitting on a beach in Tahiti drinking a pina colada – all the good stuff. Make sure you really imprint that image in your mind and on your vision board – when things get difficult as they often will when you are trying to accomplish something big you will get over the hurdles by remembering the feeling you have envisioning yourself across the finish line.
- Divide your goal into smaller goals – Dividing your larger goal into sections can help you accomplish things in stages that won’t seem so overwhelming. For example, if your goal is to run a marathon, then make a plan for how much you need to run every day and then every week, building up the mileage until your marathon day when you hit 26.2. Any marathon training guide you look up will follow this same building pattern. Small goals are the only way to hit the big goals almost every time. No one got a PhD after one day of sitting in class.
Map out your goal-supporting categories – This may not be obvious at first depending on your goal, but it’s important. If your goal, for example, is to raise your prices across the board by 20% you can choose to do so gradually, but there are other things you need to work on to make that happen. Your goal-supporting categories might be 1) Product quality 2) Media attention 3) Offering new services. All of these supporting categories will add value to your company which will justify price increases. Figure out what forces in the universe will support your goal and map them out.
- Bonus step** – If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. If you lose the vision and stop following through on the smaller goals you need to accomplish to get to the big ones, then just start again or pick up where you left off! If you want to lose 100 pounds and your goal is to only eat 1000 calories a day and exercise, don’t just give up when you have a binge weekend because you had a rough day!! Just start again the next day and resolve to be stronger than before. Use your missteps to create stronger strides forward. You can do this!
Setting goals can be daunting for anyone – it doesn’t matter how much success or lack thereof you have already had. That’s why the term “New Year’s Resolution” has taken on a negative connotation. The key is understanding why people don’t follow through. Ever heard the phrase “A goal not written is only a wish”? Well, pay attention because that is the key! Get out of the rut, go on a “goals-vacation”, create a vision board, and get to it! At the end of 2016 or even before you’ll be in the 8% that achieve their goals, and the good news is, the sky is the limit!
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, subscribe to the FreshLime Newsletter here. Connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. And last of all, if any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!