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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Keeping your eye on the goal

In your business, whether a consultant or owner, you need to always have your eye on your goals. Without goals you have no direction. Goals are vital to your success. You cannot succeed if you don't know what the means and have a plan of action to get there.

The competition for business is heating up especially in this economy. The advances in technology, ease of communication, and increasing expectations from customers when combined make the marketplace more competitive than ever. In this day it is crucial for businesses to be proactive about creating their future. Without this, things happen without your control and usually for the bad.

It sounds simple enough, but most consultants and businesses don’t set goals ever. The idea of setting goals can feel intimidating if you don’t know where to start. The process is not difficult and can be very simple but there is a process. You may already have an idea but haven't gone any further.

There are 3 steps in the goal setting process:
* Your goals - what you want to achieve
* Actions needed to achieve your goals
* Review your goals

Sounds simple right? Of course it does. But that is also why you probably haven't taken the time to do this. You have it in mind what your goal is so why bother writing it down? Because until you lay it all out it is a dream not a goal to work towards. Achieving goals doesn't just happen. You make them happen.

So what are your goals? You may have several "dreams" but we want goals right now. Financial freedom is not a goal. It is a dream. Making $1000 a month is a goal. This may spell financial freedom but when you get down to the nitty gritty and make it specific you have a certain level to reach - a goal. See the difference?

Now ask yourself this, what do you not like about where you are in your business? Why ask yourself this? You need to know what you do not like so you know what you need to improve. This may be a long list and that is OK. When you are done with your list I want you to list your top 3. These are the most negative when it comes to impacting your business. Be specific. This is your list of goals. You will work on the other goals but lets concentrate on your top 3 right now.

Next I want you to write down all that you have not been doing that you could be doing. This list can include things that you don't know how to do, afraid to do, or simply just put off. This will become your actions to achieve your goals. Being a WAHM does not make this list easier or more flexible. You have to work and work towards what you want to achieve.

Last write down all that has been going well. What is working for your business. This should also include what is working well but can still be improved upon. Nothing is perfect in business so include all that you like. This is your review of your current business and will give you what you need in the future for reviewing.

You have identified your goals so match those to the actions you have listed. Don't list what you want to do. List what you need to do. If we only did what we want to do we may never get anywhere. Each goal will have more than one action and you may have more than 1 goal with the same set of actions. This is OK.

Keep your goals reachable and reasonable. It is OK to reach a bit but don't go too big. Making a million dollars your first year sounds great but this is not realistic. Separate your wishes from your wants. At the same time don't only go after goals you know you can do. You have to go beyond.

Each goal you have specified you will break down into steps based on your matched actions. There are steps. These steps will be broken down into time frames. Set short term, incremental goals. Short range goals are very important. Begin the first month and increase a little bit each month. Work up to larger goals. Never put yourself under huge pressure from the word go. This will only set you up for discouragement leading you to give up and quit.

Set your time frames in increments. Give yourself a chance to succeed. Never give up too early.

Every week you need revisit your goals and where you are in your progress. Each week list your progress and honestly. This is not the time to lie to yourself about what you have and have not done. There are also no excuses here. You either do or don't. Partner with someone who will help you stay on track. Stay on track. Always revisit your goals and be sure you are still after the same things.

Your confidence builds as you move along. If you fall down, get back up. If you miss a goal by its selected time frame, correct the problem and move on. Do not stop and dwell. Keep going with the same passion and determination as before. If this was your problem, fix it.

This process is a constant review and resetting of goals and actions based on actual progress. It is never over. You will also be adding to your list of goals as you complete goals. This is business not a to do list.

Make the time and set your business up for success. Put this on your schedule. Invest a few hours each week in the careful planning and goal setting for your business. Only then will you and your business reach it’s full and true potential.

Olivia Vidal
© 2009


Kmphillips73 said...

I found you over at the Mom Blogs. This is a great blog post. I'll have to read it again and again! I really need help with goal setting. Right now I feel like I'm a feather in a windstorm. Thanks for sharing this. I'll be sure to check back often!

Olivia - http://sochicbagboutique.com said...

I hope it helps. I wish you much success.

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