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Whether you’re starting a new home business, want to branch out into a new career or are at the start of an artistic or creative endeavor like writing a book, scripting a software app or even starting your own blog, it’s vitally important to begin the year with clearly defined and specific goals. Goal setting is a tricky subject amongst neophyte entrepreneurs because everybody thinks that they have goals, but they are often so vague, so nebulous and so unquantifiable that they’re either virtually impossible to achieve, but the goal setter doesn’t even realize when the goals have been achieved.
You’ve likely said one of the following to yourself (especially around this time of year)… “This will be the year I get rich”, “this will be the year I get in shape”, “this is the year I really start saving money” or “this will be the year I write that book I’ve been thinking about”. These are all noble goals. It would be lovely to be rich, to get in shape and to write a book. It’s easy to imagine running your newly toned body on a yacht drinking champagne to toast the great sales of your book. Your only worries are catching sunburn or calling Marine Electrical to check the wiring on your massive yacht. Nonetheless, as seductive as this image may be, starting your journey with such lofty and nebulous goals is like trying to cover a journey of a thousand miles in a single bound.
Here, we’ll look at some solutions for productive and achievable goal setting.
A desire is not a goal
We’ve already been over the dangers of setting goals that are too nebulous, unrealistic or ill-defined, but there are many other ways in which we can set ourselves up for a fall in establishing our goals.
Many of us use the word “goal” interchangeably with the word “desire” (see the yacht image). While the desire may be the endgame, your goals are measures that you will put in place to facilitate them.
Micro and macro goals
It’s important to establish your macro (long-term goals) and the micro (short-term) goals that you will accomplish to achieve your micro goals. When setting your goals, even macro goals, it’s important to be realistic and to be able to quantify your progress, your success and your failure. This will help you to chart your progress and will be instrumental in staying on track.
It’s not essential, but it’s a good idea to phrase your goals positively. Your goal might be to lose 20 lbs by the end of the year. That’s a pretty specific goal, and it’s achievable… Great! But it’s even better to all your goals to a positive effect. So your goal to drop 30 lbs and therefore gain energy, feel better and be more self-confident will keep you motivated and remind you of the fruits of your labors.
Staying on track
With clear goals in place, you just need to make sure that you’re motivated and on track. Try some of these helpful strategies:
- Plan rewards for each micro goal achieved
- Plan contingencies that you will be able to accomplish if you fail in your micro goals
- Set deadlines
These will prevent you from drifting off track. With this infrastructure in place, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your goals in no time!