Would you agree that there is just too much to do in a day? Have you ever wished for a few more hours just to get one or two more items ticked off the list?
As a work from home mum myself, this has happened to me quite frequently in the past. It was before I realized the power of setting goals and ACTUALLY making a plan to achieve those goals.
When you set goals, you know what it is you are working towards achieving. When you break down each goal into action steps, your mindset changes. You start working with a clearer focus towards completing each task and can visually see your efforts towards your goals.
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But, setting goals is one thing, actually sticking to them isn’t always easy. Life happens. You have kids to look after, work to attend to, household chores and errands to run. Life can appear to get in the way and you can find yourself back to square one. A list of goals and tasks in one hand, the appearance of no time to complete them in the other hand.
We all have the same 24 hours in a day, the difference between those who achieve their goals compared to those who don’t is all in the planning and preparation.
Here are a couple of methods you can implement to help you set your goals:
How to Set Goals
Evaluate Your Situation
The first step towards achieving your goals and dreams is to understand where you are.
So, where are you?
Do a SWOT analysis of your situation. SWOT means
Strengths – things you are good at and do well with
Weaknesses – limitations or areas your business could improve in
Opportunities – a gap in the market you can fill, solutions to problems your clients are looking for or simply guest posting to grow your reputation
Threats – competitors, potential risks
Through spending time completing your SWOT analysis will help to give a clear and more importantly, realistic picture of what’s happening in your life.
Create S.M.A.R.T Goals
When most people think of goals, they think of the end goal. That’s totally fine. Dream big!
But to make those goals achievable (and hence smart), it’s good to not rush through and spend time planning out your goals according to the SMART method:
The problem with creating goals in our minds is that they are often vague. When it comes to setting goals, be very specific. Ask yourself the who, what, why, where, when and how of your goals.
Let me explain this with an example. Say your goal is to build a successful blog. To write down your specific goal, ask yourself:
- Who is your audience? Are they moms, professionals, beauty enthusiasts, teachers?
- What do you want to achieve with your blog? Is it money, audience, a creative platform?
- Why do you want to blog?
- Where will you start?
- When do you expect the blog to show you results?
- How will you measure success?
How do you know you are moving in the right direction, and at the right pace? You know this only when you measure your success.
Remember, your goal was to build a successful blog. But what does success look like to you?
Some ways you can measure the success of a blog are:
- Daily hits and visits
- Email List or subscribers
- A strong community
We call these the key metrics for measuring the success of a plan. When writing your measurable goal, give numbers to the above metric. I want X visitors and XX subscribers to make Y amount of money in Z time.
Remember, I talked about dream big. Your dreams should always be big. It’s how we can push ourselves to achieve so much. But at the same time, it is still important to ensure that our goals are achievable and realistic.
Create your baby steps. If you want to earn $1000 a month with your goal, break down that goal into smaller attainable steps. For instance, you might want to focus on how you will earn our first $100 and then repeat the actions to magnify that goal of earning $1000 in the next 6 months.
These baby steps will also help you ascertain whether you are on the right path to attain your goals or if you need to put in more effort in certain areas of your business.
Sometimes we make goals, and then we start to stray. And it might feel like you are working and moving all the time, but are you moving in the right direction?
That’s where relevancy comes in. The tasks that you will do daily to achieve your goals- are they relevant to your goal?
If you are looking to increase traffic to your site, is spending time on Facebook going to help instead of content creation and focusing on SEO and Pinterest? Probably not unless a huge percentage of your target audience happens to stumble upon your Facebook business page.
With a relevant goal in mind, you will get there much faster, trust me.
Having a time frame in mind will help you stay focused. It pushes you to put in time and effort. Give yourself a deadline, both long term, and short term. Create your weekly, monthly and yearly deadlines.
In the end, your SMART goal should ideally look something like this:
Goal: To Establish A Successful Blog in 12 Months
Timeline: 12 months
- XXX visitors
- X Followers
- XX blog posts
- $X revenue
- Launch X website and social media pages
- Create X Blog posts in a month
- Reach X followers in 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.
- Create a blog monetization plan.
This is just an example of a SMART goal. Yours would be different depending on what goal you are setting for yourself.
How to Stick to Goals
As I mentioned above, life happens. There are different daily tasks we must complete, people to visit, and our children to take care of day in day out. It comes as no surprise that people find it a struggle to achieve the goals they set for their business.
In many ways, sticking to your goals is so much harder than setting them. I’d even say that creating goals is the easy part. Sticking to them is the real challenge.
Here are some useful tips to help you stick to your set goals:
Set One Goal At A Time
When creating your SMART goals, I would suggest you focus on one goal at a time. Almost all of us have multiple goals. But if you want to really actualize your goals, adopt a single-minded approach.
Prioritize those goals and begin with your most important one. You are only one person. When you work on two or three goals at the same time, you can sometimes find yourself spread too thinly, splitting your time between too many tasks. When this happens, you end up burnt out and left with incomplete goals.
Think of it like Dominos. When you knock down one, the others start following as a result of momentum. Achieving the first goal will give you the confidence to approach the rest of them with an even stronger amount of energy, drive and determination.
Write it Down
Once you have created your S.M.A.R.T goal, write it down. Put it up somewhere where you can always see it.
Writing down your goal helps you clear your mind. It brings focus to your action plan. And for me, it motivates me. It’s the thing I come back to when I have lost my way a little or become side-tracked on what I am working on.
Time to roll up those socks, and jump into action. Many times, the biggest obstacle towards our goal is our procrastination and self-doubt. We tell ourselves, we will do it tomorrow, next week, next month, etc.
The best time to achieve that goal is not today, it is NOW.
Don’t wait for the perfect time. Done is better than perfect.
Whatever you can achieve today is a small step towards completing your goal. Things will start falling into place once you make up your mind to cross all obstacles when they come.
Give It Time
If you want to achieve and stick to your goals, you will need to dedicate and set aside time for it.
Depending on what goal you have set for yourself, you must set out specific time to work on that goal. For example, if my goal was to write and publish one blog post every month, I would need to work out how long it takes me to research, write, edit, schedule, and create graphics for each post. Then, I can plan out my week based on the number of hours needed and write when I will complete each task.
It helps to be specific with your planning so that you know what it is you have to do each day to stick to your goals.
Tell The World
Make your goal public. Let the world know. Announce it on social media. Tell your friends and family. Do you know what happens when you do that?
Your determination to achieve that goal increases. You have publicly announced what it is you are going to achieve with your goal and hence it provides you with even more drive to work hard and stick to your goals.
People are now following what it is you are doing. When you show them your goal was possible by sticking to it and achieving it, you show others that it is possible and fill them with confidence and belief.
Spend Time with Your Role Models
Think of three people you are almost always hanging out with. Would you say these people are successful or goal-oriented?
Did you know that hanging out with successful people can actually help you succeed? How?
Spending time with your role models helps you to stick to your goals and hence, succeed with your business. You can see that with determination, your role models have started off where you are and ended up where you want to be. You can learn from their story and top tips they share. They can show you that no matter what obstacles you face, you can still achieve the goals you set out to accomplish.
Your role models can be your biggest cheer-leaders which is hugely motivating. They want to see you succeed.
Get An Accountability Partner
Do you know someone with the same goal, or even the same drive to achieve a goal like you? Get in touch with them. Recruit them as your accountability partner.
An accountability partner is someone who has similar goals as you, or it can be a coach too. This person helps you stay on track with your goal by touching base with you on a regular basis.
Accountability could be in the form of weekly messages to each other with an update of what action you have taken. Or a weekly zoom call to discuss the ups and downs of your week.
Accountability partners are great because you are in it together and both experiencing the ups and downs of business. So unlike family members and friends, your accountability partner knows what you are going through in terms of trying to build a business for yourself whilst still managing other aspects of everyday life.
If you can’t think of someone with that same success mindset, you can always find yourself a virtual accountability partner. Network in relevant Facebook Groups. Simply ask people if they would like to be your accountability partner. You’d be surprised how many people are looking for one.
Evaluate Your Performance
Do regular performance appraisals of your situation. When you see results, it propels you to work towards your goal with an even higher enthusiasm. Even if you are not achieving your goals on time, you can reevaluate your process and tweak it to give you results faster.
To evaluate your performance, create an Excel Sheet. Write down your goal at the very top.
Now list down the key metrics that will measure the success of your goal. Let’s get back to our example of building a successful blog. The key metrics for those were XXX visitors, X Followers, XX blog posts and $X revenue. Now break them down into achievable goals for every month.
Now if your deadline to build that successful blog is 12 months, I suggest doing monthly appraisals of your work. Write down your number of visitors, followers, blog posts and also your revenue at the end of each month. Compare them with the goal you set yourself. Doesn’t that give you a better idea of your entire situation?
Don’t Beat Yourself
Sometimes even the best-laid out plans don’t work. If you have done everything when it comes to setting goals and sticking to them, and you still find achieving that goal a challenge, then give yourself a break.
Go out for a long walk. Clear your mind. Come back and evaluate your performance. Don’t give up. Tweak your performance and your goal. Get back into action with an even bigger drive.
Never rob yourself a reason to be happy, and to celebrate your life’s successes. If you find yourself achieving, or hopefully even overachieving your goals, give yourself a pat on the back.
Even when you haven’t reached your goal yet, achieving each step and action you have taken towards each goal is worth celebrating.
It is bloody hard growing a business, let alone if you don’t do it full-time and are trying to juggle it around other life responsibilities. You deserve a big ol’ high five for each tick in the box you’ve completed.
Go out and celebrate. Enjoy and share your wins with your accountability partner.
Celebrating success makes your goal feel within reach. It makes you feel like you can achieve it. Focusing in on every single win, no matter how big or small, will help to propel you forwards.
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Are you ready to take action and achieve your goal?
You have nothing to lose other than by doing nothing. Will it be easy? No, of course not. Nothing of value is ever easy, but what it will give you is a huge self-esteem boost and growth in confidence that you CAN grow your business working from home.
Done is better than perfect remember. You have got this.
Go ahead and write those goals. Break them down into actionable and achievable steps. Plan your schedule and dedicate a set amount of time daily to taking action and sticking to your goals.
Now go and write those goals and share them in the comments below. Then in 1, 3, 6 months or a year, you can come back and see where you are at and how much you have grown since creating those goals below.