How To Set Successful Goals

by | Dec 11, 2017

Goal Setting

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

Have you thought about where you want your business to be in five years’ time?  Are you clear about what your main objective is at the moment?  Do you know what you are working towards?

If you want to succeed, you need to set goals.  Without goals you lack focus and direction.  Goal setting not only allows you to take control of your business’s direction; it also highlights whether you are actually succeeding.

Why are goals important?

“As Alice says to the Cheshire Cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, ‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’

‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.

‘I don’t much care where,’ said Alice.

‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.” – Lewis Carroll

So if you do care about the direction you’re going in, set goals. Goals:

  • Provide focus
  • Give us the ability to set the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life
  • Cause us to stretch and grow
  • Provide long-term vision in our lives to help us get past any short-term obstacles

“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them.  They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfilment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” – Jack Canfield

 What do you want from your business?

So think about what you want from your business.  In order to reach your goals, you need to follow specific steps for this to happen.  Unfortunately, you can’t just wave a magic wand!

In order to decide what you want from your business, it’s important to give yourself some quiet time away from your business.  I know it’s not easy to achieve, so book a morning or afternoon slot in your diary; it’s the only way that this will actually happen.  I speak from experience!

Think through where you are right now and what your current level of satisfaction is.

You can then determine what you need to do to move forward.

“Goal setting is a very important first step, but achievement is a continuous, lifelong process.” – Jim Rohn

As per Jim Rohn, write down these 5 questions and ask yourself:

  1. What do I want to do?
  2. Who do I want to be?
  3. What do I want to see?
  4. What do I want to have?
  5. Where do I want to go?

Think big!  Don’t let negative thinking stop you from dreaming!

Allow your mind to flow and come up with ideas for each question.  Jot these ideas down – don’t start organising them yet!

What would you love to do?  What would you love to accomplish?  What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed?

Remember the credo of Walt Disney: Think.  Believe.  Dream.  Dare.”

When you’re satisfied with your list of long-term goals, read through the list once again.  Then beside each item, write the number of years (one, three, five or ten years) that you believe it will take you to achieve that particular goal.

Now look at your list and ask yourself what’s really important to you and your business.

Prioritise your goals and start seeing them very clearly in your mind’s eye.

If you are thinking of changing the way you work or even setting up a new business write down a detailed description of what the new business will look like.

What type of business will it be?  When will you open it?  Will you need premises?  If so, how much space will you need?  Will you have employees?

Think of all the questions that need to be answered in order to see your goal with absolute clarity, and then write the information down.

To keep motivated to achieve your goals you need to ask yourself, why do I want to achieve this goal?

For each goal write down why you want to achieve it, use as much detail as possible.  If you can’t find a clear and convincing reason for each goal, then think again – is this goal important to you?

How to set successful goals

  1. Belief. The first step to goal setting is to have absolute belief and faith in the process.  Make your thoughts turn into reality.  Know that if you work hard and others help you, you can achieve your goal.
  2. Visualise what you want. Think of what you deeply desire in your life or where you want your company to be a year from now.  What changes have to take place?  The clearer you are, the easier it will be to focus on making it happen.
  3. Get it down! Writing down your goals is key to success.  Have them written down where you can see them every day e.g. put them on the walls, desk, mirror, etc.  This will help you focus on them.  Use “I will” not “I would” as it’s more powerful.  For example, I will increase my income by 10% in one month.
  4. Purpose. Knowing why you want to achieve your goals is powerful.  Identifying the purpose of your goal helps you instantly recognise why you want that particular goal and whether it’s worth working toward.  It will motivate you to achieve your goal.
  5. Commit. This is a step that can be overlooked but it is crucial.  Write a few sentences about why and how you are committing to each goal; why it’s important to you.  This is crucial to achieving your goal and without it success is unlikely.
  6. Stay focused. By focusing on your goals, you manifest.  You may not know how you’ll reach your goals but when you make a daily practice of focus, they become easier to reach.
  7. Plan of action.

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success” – Pablo Picasso

In order to achieve your goal you need a list of action steps.  You may not know all the steps ahead of time but you will know the next steps that take you in that direction.  By writing out your actions and crossing them off when completed, this will be motivating. This is even more important if your goal is big or challenging.  You need to sit down, on a regular basis, and plan out your strategy for achieving the dream.  Think through all of the details.  Break the whole plan down into small, workable parts.  Then set a time frame for accomplishing each task.

  1. No time like the present. Think of something you can do right now that will get you moving toward fulfilling your goals.  Even if it’s just making a phone call, do it now.  You will be surprised how taking this simple step gets you motivated and moving toward what you desire.
  2. Accountability. Tell people about your goal as it will spur you on to achieve your goal.  People will ask you how you are getting on with achieving your goal.  It makes the goal more powerful!  It makes sense to have someone beside yourself who can provide valuable feedback and keep you motivated, like a friend or a mentor.For me, having Sian-Elin Flint-Freel on board as my proof-reader and editor, when writing my books, makes a big difference to my motivation.
  1. Review and celebrate. Make it part of your day to review your goals and take action.  This will help you to keep on track.  Give yourself some rewards along the way.  Give yourself a huge reward when you get there.

To summarise

Your goal should be:

Specific
Your goal must be clear and well defined.  This will provide you with focus and direction

Measurable
Include precise amounts, dates and so on in your goals so you can measure your degree of success.  If your goal is simply defined as “To increase income” how will you know when you have been successful?  In one month’s time if you have a 10% increase or in two years’ time when you have a 20% increase?

Attainable
When setting a goal it is important to keep a balance between setting a goal which is too easy or too hard.  Know yourself and know whether a massive goal will stretch you to achieve more or demoralise you!  The goal needs to be realistic yet challenging.

Relevant
Goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life and career to take.  This will help you to stay focused.

Have a deadline
Your goals must have a deadline.  When I started writing my first book, “Accountants Don’t Bite”, I immediately posted my publication date on my FaceBook page to keep my motivation high.

Goal setting requires time and preparation to make it successful.  It is important to give yourself that time, as without goals you won’t have the focus you need for your business.

“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written.  We can help write that story by setting goals.” – Melody Beattie

Good luck with setting and achieving your goals and if I can help in any way then get in touch.

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About Anna Goodwin

With over 30 years’ experience in delivering an exceptional accountancy service, and more than 12 years of being in business herself, Anna Goodwin knows small businesses, how they work and also the highs and lows that come with self-employment. It’s hard work but also immensely satisfying and this has inspired her to enable more of you amazing people out there to succeed at what you do!

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