A new year is just around the corner, so many of us are already thinking about how to improve our lives and businesses in 2019. We are eagerly buying new calendars and planners, thinking of how we will fill their empty pages with all the fun activities and amazing opportunities that are ahead of us.
Unfortunately, our good intentions to change our lives are usually forgotten by February and we go back to live and work as we did before. However, I believe that there is a way to avoid this kind of roller coaster effect on our behavior. That is to take enough time for setting meaningful goals and planning how you can effectively achieve them.
In order to make this easier for you, I want to share the goal-setting process I use with my coaching clients. It consists of eight steps:
1) Analyze the status quo
On a scale of 1-10, how satisfied are you with the different areas of your life or business? Which parts need to be improved more than others? You can also use some business data (if you have it) to help you determine this.
2) Prioritize your needs
If you could improve only one or two areas in your life/business, which would have the biggest impact on other areas? This question will help you focus on the things that truly matter.
3) Create a vision
For the area you selected, what would be the ideal situation at the end of 2019? If your satisfaction were 10 in that area, what would it mean concretely and what would it look like? What would need to happen to achieve this and what kind of value would it bring you?
4) Set goal(s) basED oN this vision
Set yourself one or more big, but specific and measurable goals related to the selected area. The purpose of this goal is to inspire you to achieve more than you think is currently possible, so aim high. You should also think about how you can measure and follow your progress, as well as what your deadline should be.
I have previously written a blog article about the specifics of setting a good goal, so if you need help with this step, check it out.
5) Define smaller goals related to your big goal
If the deadline for your big goal is, for example, a year from now, think of what kind of smaller goals related to it you could achieve along the way. What would be a good goal in, for example, nine months from now? Or six months from now? Or even three months from now?
The purpose of these smaller goals is to give you confidence that you can achieve your bigger goal, so you should apply the same goal-setting principles to them as well.
6) Generate ideas for ways to achieve your goals
When you have set your goals, generate as many ideas as you can for achieving them. In this step, the quantity of the ideas is much more important than their quality, so try not to censor yourself too much. A simple way to get started is to generate 10 action ideas for each goal every day. Even after one week, you will already have 70 different ideas!
7) Think about your next step (and do it!)
Prioritize the best ideas and formulate them into a concrete action. What will you do and when? Where and how will you do it? Can someone help you with that? Repeat this thought process every time you finish an action.
8) Follow up and reward yourself regularly
Now that you have thought about how you can measure your goal achievement, follow up regularly, and whenever you achieve even one small goal, remember to celebrate!
In a nutshell, the process looks like this:
I warmly recommend writing all your thoughts down during each step, so you can go back to them when needed. I know this may sound like a time-consuming process, but I promise it is worth the effort IF you really want to achieve your goals and not just dream about them.
So, give it a try and tell me what kind of results you have achieved in comments or via email to coach@nettaneva!
P.S. Do you want to grow your business, work towards your big goals effectively and get peer support from other creative entrepreneurs? Sign up for my From Hustling to Entrepreneurship small group coaching starting at the beginning of February 2019! Learn more at the Small group coaching page.