The start of a new year (whether that be financial year or calendar year) or the start of a new venture can be a very exciting and motivating time. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and forget about proper planning and thinking about your goals.
However, goal setting is the foundation of planning for success. Whether you are embarking on a personal journey or a new business venture, setting goals will help you maintain focus and achieve tangible results. Without specific goals, you might not realise if you are going astray or losing focus and this can easily end up costing valuable time, money and resources.
Once you have set your goals, it is important to write them down. This simple act will help you remember what you are striving for and will make them more real (as opposed to remembering them). It is important to remember that goal setting is not a rigid process. Goals can change or evolve from the time they were set and it is good practice to come back to them as you progress through your journey. Just because you set a goal in the early stages, it doesn’t mean it will remain relevant. This is because the economy and technology change rapidly and require the ability to change your strategy in order to adapt.
In order to help you with the process of setting your goals, I have created a Goal Planning Worksheet, which will help you to plan your goals. You can download this worksheet for FREE. Complete this worksheet and print it out, pinning it somewhere you can see it every day (for example, on a whiteboard above your desk).
Your daily To Do list.
With your longer term goals set, you can now work on your daily To Do list. The priority here should be growth activities. This means focusing on things that will help you grow (for example, marketing initiatives, newsletters and business development). When looking at everything you need to do on a daily basis, growth-generating activities should always come first. Once you have done these things, you can move on to other tasks, even if they extend well into the night (remember that your customers should be your focus during working hours).
How do I set my goals and daily tasks?
Setting goals and daily tasks can be a daunting task, however I find that starting high level and then working your way into the details is the best approach. I like to name each project, write down an annual financial target and my high level goals and print it out. Over time, I will add to this sheet as I achieve greater clarity around my goals.
After completing the annual sheet, I break my goals into quarterly goals. At the end of each week, I plan out my tasks for the following week, prioritising urgent items. The quarterly goals and weekly plans make it easier to digest the ultimate annual goals, but a daily To Do list will help you to achieve individual tasks. At the beginning of each day, I prepare my To Do list on a sticky note on my desk. This ensure it is always visible to me and allows me to strike out tasks as I complete them, which is important for feeling the progress being made.
Download the FREE Goal Planning Worksheet and feel free to share it. I am confident that by setting goals and creating To Do lists, you will achieve more with less effort.