It’s January and I’m sure you have already had your fill of New Year, New Me posts. When seeing these I can’t help but roll my eyes. Seriously, how many times have we set goals at the beginning of the year only to forget them as the year progresses leaving us with the same exact goals the following year?
I have chosen the word “elevate” as my theme of the year and have resolved that I will not only reach the goals I’ve set for myself this year I’m going to help you do the same. So you’re in luck. I am going to show you how to set goals that you’ll actually achieve and if you join the SKC Business Organization Challenge I’ll be here to hold you accountable. I am going to teach you my process of setting grace-filled goals that are realistic and responsive.
The problem with the way that most of us have been taught to set goals is that we are taught to merely focus on the outcomes we want. With my process, we determine the outcomes we want to achieve, the indicators of progress towards the outcomes and the action steps needed to make that progress. This process also includes intervals of scheduled reflection and assessment.
The first step is to get all of your ideas out onto paper. Write out all the things you want to do or accomplish in your business. Don’t hold back here. Write all of those ideas that have been floating around in your head, those ideas that you’ve started working on but never quite got there and even any new ideas that just come to you. This is your chance to put everything on paper so you can see it. If you experience trouble remembering previous ideas it may be helpful to step away from your brainstorm and write down the ideas as they pop up or when you are feeling mentally fresh.
Next, you are going to eliminate anything that does not directly support your purpose or your vision. If you don’t know how to articulate your vision you can join my Facebook Community: Action-Taking Mavens to access my free Vision Casting Training. Eliminating these things helps to strengthen your brand and focus your energy on the things that’ll help build your business in a meaningful way.
From your brain dump you are going to circle 3 goals that you can realistically accomplish within one year. Each goal should have a key performance indicator (KPI) as a way to measure. As we continue to go through this process there is quite a bit of work setting up each goal. Having too many goals prevents us from making significant progress on any one goal. 3 goals are manageable. And, if you accomplish any of these goals early you can always add a new goal to work towards. By limiting the goals you are actively working on you can make more progress quicker.
When setting goals you want to make sure it is specific. You don’t want generic goals. Your goal should define what the conditions of success are. Instead of saying “I want to make more money”, say “I want to increase my revenue by 25%” or “I want to make 100K in revenue”.
As a brand strategist, I believe that all of your business goals should stem from your brand. So I like to set one brand goal (identity, awareness, recognition, engagement, loyalty, advocacy), one operations goal and one financial goal that all supports each other. For example, My business goal statement for 2020 is “I want to build brand awareness (brand goal) by building and maintaining 4 high-converting evergreen funnels (operations goal) so that I can make 200K in revenue (financial goal) this year”. My KPIs for brand awareness include social media and website statistics. For my high-converting funnels my KPIs center on conversion rate. Lastly, my KPI for revenue is booked and paid revenue.
Now that we have our 3 goals for the year we are going to set some indicators that’ll let us know we are on our way to success. Your Progress Indicators (PIs) are different from KPIs in that they focus on achieving certain actions as opposed to certain results.
Progress Indicators help you conceptualize the steps in achieving your goals. These indicators are the high-level activities you need to do in order to make progress towards your goals. Let’s take my operations goal for example. The progress indicators for my sales funnel include figuring out what topic they should focus on (collecting and assessing data), creating the product or service that it leads to or other resources that I’ll need for the funnel (creating resources), nailing down my sales process (securing sales), building trust with my audience (nurturing leads) and getting people to my content (generating traffic). You’ll notice that I started at my goal and worked my way backward to determine the activities I needed to take.
Using the PIs you’ve written down, we are going to detail all the steps you need to do to make progress. This can take some time especially if it’s something you are new to this. But don’t worry, you can add to this list anytime.
To make my list of steps I’ll use my progress indicator, collecting and assessing data. Compiling a list of topics, choosing some topics for the year that align with my income sources, and determine my content strategy would be some of the steps.
Finally, using the list of steps you created you are going to write out the tasks you need to complete for each one. Again, don’t worry if you don’t know every task yet. This list will adjust as you work to complete each step. As an example, my tasks for “compile a list of topics…” may include talking to my audience and former clients to ask what they need help with or is interested in learning about, creating a survey to send out them, creating a spreadsheet to record insights discovered and organizing the information I learned.
At this point, you know everything you need to do to accomplish your goals. The last step is to add your goals to your planner. If you don’t have one check out this dated one or this undated one. Your first progress indicator for each goal you set is going to be your first monthly goals. You’ll list the first steps as your first weekly goal and the tasks as your daily goals during the first week. Adding these things to your schedule helps you to stay focus because your efforts aren’t scattered and you aren’t distracted by shiny object syndrome because you already have what you are to work on in your business. Any progress indicator, step or task that does not get completed gets forwarded to the next month, week or day, respectively. If you finish one early you can either enjoy the free time you earned or you can add another one to your planner.
This process is super flexible. You can use it for any type of goal you can think up. If one of your goals is to get organized in your business then I have just the thing for you. I’ll be setting you up for success in the SKC Business Organization Challenge. Each week for 12 weeks I’ll be sharing a weekly task that’ll get your business organized. Learn more about it here.