Ivy Slater – Guest Blogger
We are already two months into the New Year. Time flies, doesn’t it? Do you remember sitting at your desk in January creating the dreaded “resolutions?” Or maybe they weren’t resolutions, but rather plans and goals for the upcoming year?
I’m sure you were confident as you made that list. We all start off the year with this renewed sense of energy. But why does that only happen the first month of the year? Any month can feel like January. And any month, or any week, or any day that we choose, can be day one of our new beginning.
To achieve any goal you need to be SMART.
Your goal needs to be SPECIFIC. Think about it in terms of going to the store and shopping for a new dress. If in your head you only decide upon the color, let’s say red, you’re going to have a heck of a time when you get to the mall. There are dozens and dozens of styles of dresses, different lengths, even different shades of red. Now if you go in armed with specifics, you will be much better prepared. A burgundy dress, with a sweetheart neckline, knee length…
Goal: The addition of $100,000 a year in sales.
You must ask yourself if your goal is MEASURABLE. Frequency and time factor in here. What will happen if you launch one new product a year? Sure, revenue will increase, but what else needs to happen to reach this? Will more team members need to be hired? How much time will you personally need to spend on tasks? If you can’t create the blueprint for your goals, you can’t build your business.
Your goal must be ACHIEVABLE. You often hear people say, “Well, it looked good on paper.” That doesn’t create results. In order to be successful, your behavior and attitude has to change to reflect what you want. “Doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results” is the definition of insanity, per the great Albert Einstein. So take it from him, let your hair down…or up…and get to work.
Ask yourself if your goal is REALISTIC. Can you actually pull off this idea? Get out of your own head and work with a coach, colleague, even friend or family member, and listen to their feedback. Too often, we get wrapped up in an idea or goal, like a comfortable blanket, and we feel cozy and snuggly and like all is right with the world. But sometimes that goal, that blanket, can start to suffocate us. We feel hot, we need out, and just because the goal seemed great at the beginning, sometimes we have to toss that blanket aside and get out of our literal comfort zone.
Lastly, is your goal TIME-ORIENTED? A goal is only a goal if there is an end date, a deadline for it to be achieved. When we plan a trip, we plan every little detail. We know what time we will leave in the morning to get to the airport, we know what airline, what flight, how many bags we have to check, how long it will take to get there. Just like a trip, a goal is a destination. And there are a lot of stopping points along the way. Map it out and get there.
There are other simple ways to make your goals a reality, like writing them down. Sometimes seeing something on paper, in black and white, or red or blue, or whatever color you want to use, will make it real. Make it permanent. Write it on your whiteboard at home, at the office. Write it on your hand. Write it on your chalkboard fridge. Put it somewhere you will see every day.
Know what makes this goal important and why you want to make it happen. If you aren’t passionate about it, if it isn’t going to make a huge difference in your business, is it worth being a goal at all?
You’re going to make mistakes and you’re going to face challenges. But that’s life. The first time you got into a car and someone was teaching you how to drive, you never thought you’d be able to navigate the road without fear or anxiety. You were weary to take that step, but it was time. Trying to achieve a goal can feel a lot like doing something for the first time, but eventually, it all falls into place. And you will find your style, your ways, your gas and your brakes.
Form new habits at the same time you start to reach for that goal. Follow up faster; attend more meetings; network with three people every week, no matter what it is, just get it done. The more routine your daily life, the better disciplined and more strategic you will become.
Find a friend. You don’t need to be going at this all by yourself. When famous singers go on tour, they may be the star. They are the one the audience paid to see. But without their crews, their agents, their songwriters, their friends, would they have ever gotten to that main stage?
Believe in yourself. You can do this. We all surprise ourselves with our capabilities at one time or another, so get out of the safe zone.
Finally, see the goal being achieved. Put yourself at that desk, looking at your monthly sales, seeing the revenue increases. Feel the heart flutters, see the smiles of your team, and embrace the feeling of success.
Now go set some goals. I believe in you!
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Ivy Slater is dedicated to helping Women Entrepreneurs and Solo-Practitioners to achieve thriving business success on their terms – to gracefully achieve their goals, to earn a lucrative income, to love what they do, to stay in robust health physically, mentally, and emotionally, and to enjoy ample time for all their most heartfelt priorities.