You can’t go anywhere in January without hearing about how you should be setting goals for the year. But as we enter the second quarter of 2013, your goals may be long forgotten. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can set and achieve goals at any time of the year.
One place where I’ve made a big step forward this year is in joining a mastermind group. Once a week I get together with three other online business owners and we work through our challenges, plus what we want to achieve. It’s a lot harder to wriggle out of a goal when you know you have to report back to three other people each week! If you haven’t tried a mastermind group I really recommend setting one up.
Here are some more tips to help you set goals and stick to them:
1. Be realistic
Do you set large and totally unrealistic goals? Or maybe you don’t set goals at all? Perhaps the goals are so small that they don’t help you accomplish anything? When creating your goals, take the time to make sure they’re realistic.
For example, if you have a goal to write an e-book to promote your business, make sure you give yourself enough time to get the job done. Trying to complete the report in a single day may be biting off more than you can chew. Instead, a two-week goal writing two or three pages a day may be more realistic.
2. Leave time for things to go wrong
One common mistake is to push your schedule to the deadline. Inevitably something will happen to get in you’re way, especially when you’re working around a family. So don’t save that e-book until the last minute. Your internet will drop out, your four-year-old will wake up with a stomach ache or your car will break down and you’ll have to wait for the AA. Make sure you schedule your days so that your project is completed on or before you need it.
3. Learn your triggers
Everyone has a few triggers that prevent them from being as productive as they’d like to be. Maybe you are easily distracted by Facebook or do you get caught up in email or daytime talk shows?
Learn your triggers and then create systems to manage them. For example, if you get caught up in Facebook, block the site on your computer during your productive working hours. If you enjoy watching daytime television, structure your work hours around your favourite shows and don’t turn on the TV until you’ve accomplished your set tasks for the day.
Finally, make time to relax and celebrate your successes. Taking time off from being productive is just as important as setting and achieving your goals. In fact, it may be more important. When you allow yourself to step away from your goals and your business, you’re able to return to them renewed and refreshed. It helps you maintain focus and a positive attitude.
Once you learn how to identify triggers and set realistic goals, you’ll find that you’re able to accomplish much more in less time. There’s satisfaction in that. There are profits and business growth too.
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