Strategic Planning

Goal Setting 101

Despite the clichés of starting anew, the beginning of the year is the ideal moment for business leaders to plan for measurable growth, development and improvement. To get from your current place to the goal you’ve set for yourself or your business, you’ll need a plan of action and there are a couple of important factors of planning with intention for achieving that goal:

  • What do you want?
  • Make it SMART
  • Check Yourself
  • Up the Ante

Determining what you would like to accomplish is your starting point.

Lots of times we can see where we’d like to be, but it is not so easy to see the processes and milestones between you and your goals. This requires not only knowing what you want to achieve, but what you would like to gain from your total experience. Start with a general plan, then for each step begin to name specific processes that must or may need to happen. Try to plan without fast forwarding through less important steps or skipping even the minutiae of the processes that you’ll possibly encounter. If you make detailed plans, you can prepare yourself for all possible outcomes and diminish the probability of you being thwarted or discouraged from less favorable surprises along your journey to achieving your goals.

Making “SMART” goals is the KEY.

This mnemonic device created in 1981 has held true to being a great model for goal-setting and planning. Creating Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based goals is pivotal in gaining an understanding of not only how to plan what you want, but what it will take to achieve and for how long. Essentially, you will create a smart plan to achieve your SMART goal.

Evaluating the progress of your process is important.

Are you able to take on new clients? Has your audience grown? Is your website receiving more traffic or due for an upgrade? Have your likes/views increased on your social media pages? The questions that correlate with the goals you’ve set and the plan you’ve made will require periodic inventory of your work. Don’t look at the evaluation as only an inventory of numbers, but also the content and quality of work being produced. The evaluation of your work is for you to determine if your approach is beneficial to your ultimate goals and what potential aspects to your plan may be enhanced or removed.

With a healthy evaluation of your goals behind you, it is time to up the ante.

Maximize output in areas you decided needed improvement. Dedicate an extra hour or two toward an area that may be doing just “okay”. Tailoring your energy and resources to the aspects of your plan that will produce greater results is a key factor in making your plans work. This is the time to hone in on what will push you to the next milestone or phase of your plan.

Staying focused on those goals set for you but developing and implementing a solid plan may be the game changer you need to enhance your business or yourself. Remembering that every accomplishment has its own process and acknowledging how much time and effort you have placed into your goals, and following a plan that has you prepared for each phase of our journey should render a prosperous year for you and your business.

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