Did you make any New Year’s resolutions last month? Are you on track to meet them? Whether you set goals for the New Year or not, every business owner has goals they’re working to achieve. But with the whirlwind that is life and running a business, it’s easy to get distracted and run off-course. So how can you set goals that help you stay highly motivated and focused? It takes a little magic.
You’ve probably already heard that goals should be SMART. That is, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited. Why? The SMART method helps you set goals that you can actually meet. However, there’s something this method doesn’t account for that is critical to your success – your mindset.
How much you care about meeting any given goal has a huge impact on your ability to do so. So how do you ensure that you only set goals you’re passionate about from the start? It begins with setting goals you want to achieve rather than those you think you should achieve.
Setting goals that you want to achieve will help you make a positive emotional connection to the goal, which naturally helps drive your desire to achieve it. Even goals that are objective in nature, such as increasing your annual revenue by 10%, can be enhanced by giving it a more subjective bent. What does meeting this goal mean for you, your family, your business, etc.? Why is this important to you? Answering questions like these give your goals deeper meaning.
Once you’ve made sure your SMART goals include things you want to do not things you should do, add these five simple elements to ensure you stay motivated and focused on achieving them.
Again, making a positive emotional connection to your goals will help keep you on track. When you think about achieving the goal, do you get excited? Does the prospect of achieving the goal fill you with passion? If you’re honest with yourself, are you really motivated to meet this goal? If your answer to these questions is “No”, ask yourself – should this goal even be on the list or will it just distract you from other goals and leave you with feelings of guilt?
While you want your goals to be achievable, you also want them to be challenging and exciting. Without this ingredient, you run the risk of getting bored and losing motivation. You may have a tendency of setting goals that are too ambitious or you may tend to set goals you know 100% you can meet. Neither of these strategies will keep you motivated. Instead, set a goal you know is ambitious, but think is achievable if you really work at it. Then, write down any challenges you think you may face so you can get ahead of them.
Create a vision board with images of what it will look like when you achieve your goals. Would you take a vacation? Lease a new workspace? Release a new product or service? Buy a new car? Whatever is motivating you, represent it visually in a place you can look at it daily. Envision yourself enjoying the outcomes.
It’s important to share your goals with anyone who plays a part in helping to achieve them. You’ll also want to make the effort to provide them with an emotional connection to the outcome. Sharing your goals and plans to meet them with your support system can also provide additional accountability and motivation.
Make sure you’re being realistic when giving time frames to your goals. One mistake that a lot of people make is becoming impatient about a perceived lack of results when it may be too early to realistically expect to see results. If you tend to do this, breaking your ultimate goal into smaller, more quickly achievable parts can help you stay focused and positive.Bottom Line
When you set SMART goals, and add these five extra ingredients, you’ll increase your ability to stay motivated and focused. Remember to celebrate small victories along the way and if you feel yourself slipping, revisit your vision board for a reminder of why you’re doing all of this in the first place.