People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going – Earl Nightingale
It’s hard to realise anything of substance without having a clear, concise vision of what it is you want to achieve. This is where goal setting comes in. A lot of us set goals on a daily basis without even knowing. Whether it’s getting to the gym, avoiding the chocolate aisle at the supermarket, or clearing our schedule to spend time with family, goals play an important role in our life.
When setting large, meaningful goals, it’s important to keep the SMART acronym in mind.
When I decided to start my cleaning business, I knew I had to set a goal. I needed direction and something to work toward. It made sense to set a financial goal as going into business was first and foremost a decision based upon increasing my income.
To state that “I want an annual income of $100,000” misses the mark. This statement is neither measurable, nor time-bound. I had to refine my goal. Using the SMART acronym I wrote the following goal on a piece of paper “I will increase my annual income to $100,000 by June 30, 2018. I will achieve this by…..”.
This larger goal can then be broken down into smaller monthly, weekly and daily goals. This keeps us on track and enables us to perform meaningful tasks each and every day to draw us closer to our goal. Breaking down our large goals into smaller chunks makes it seem less daunting and more achievable, and we’re better able to track our progress.
Here are a few examples of some smaller goals that I’ve set myself:
- I will make contact with 30 business in November. I’ll introduce myself, offer my services and leave a business card with the owner / manager
- I will attend one networking event each month and connect with at least 10 people
- I will update my financial management system with monthly outgoings on the last day of every month
- I will reconcile my accounts on the first day of every month
Studies have also shown that writing down your goal and reading it every day can significantly increase the likelihood of achieving the desired outcome. If you want it take it one step further, follow the the research of Dr. Gail Matthews and do the following:
- Think about goal you hope to accomplish within a given time frame
- Write down your goal
- Write action commitments for your goal
- Share these commitments with a friend
- Send a weekly progress report to a friend.
In her study, Dr. Matthews found that 76% of participants who followed these five steps had either accomplished their goals or were at least half way there.
So have I achieved my goal? Not yet, but I’m more than half way there and with seven months remaining, I have no doubt that CBR Clean will be a $100,000 business by June 30, 2018.
Do you set goals? What strategies do you use to keep you on track? What are some big goals that you’ve achieved?