I think as adults we all understand the logic of chipping away at our goals to achieve them over time – it is said to make large goals more approachable or achievable. But I think we skim past the part where consistency is pointed out as the key. We all want difficult things to be done for us instead of having to do them ourselves. We still shy away from hard work (even if we want the result it brings) and look for the . This is where we separate the wheat from the chaff in small business ownership.
In a small business sometimes you can only spare a few minutes a day. Even small goals are something to be chipped away at when your weeks over little rest. And it’s the motivation of those who take those minutes and apply them wisely that make a difference in the success of their organization. But how do we do it? How do we start changing our habits or sticking to a schedule?
There are several tactics out there to assist you with motivation and morale. But I find this needs to be combined with goal setting and priorities to become realistic.
I break down my goals into smaller pieces by working my way backwards from a desired result. This helps me map out my timing. So a large goal like a specific subscriber base could take up to a year and I’d break this down into quarterly, monthly and weekly goals. This can also be done with large marketing projects where the achievement of a series of smaller goals i.e. writing a specific number of blog posts on a topic, can lead to the creation of a targeted email series or article submission or white paper. You get the idea. Breaking down goals in this way can also help explain why your goals are not being achieved. For example, if you haven’t achieved your weekly goal then the monthly goal may be off.
Personally, I use lists and write my ‘To-Do’s every morning. I cross them off as I go. I post my weekly ‘To-Do’s on my whiteboard, and my monthly or quarterly are visited every two weeks to monitor progress. I’ve built some of my goals into time scheduling by blocking off time in my calendar. This helps me prioritize as well. But mostly it’s a great way of learning how long some of these goals will take to achieve. If you’re just starting out you may not be used to estimating your time for these types of projects. Make sure you are being realistic on what you can achieve and when. Setting unachievable goals is counterproductive!
The above is what I do to ensure a consistent effort towards achieving my goals. I hold myself accountable and responsible and when my goals are not achieved I can clearly see why (inconsistent effort) which helps me plan a realistic year ahead.
Working alone or as a small team, it’s important to be specific on what your goals are and when you want to achieve them. Make sure you look at obstacles and plan how you’ll overcome them before you’re facing them – be prepared. And always celebrate the small wins!!