The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step…
It’s difficult to put your goals into perspective when you can’t even see them on the horizon. It’s hard to keep your mind focused on what you want, when all you have is a vague notion of it and no idea how to get there.
But in order for success in business and life, we need long-term goal setting!
It’s said that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. In business, this could not be more accurate. We all start our businesses for a reason. They’re our lifeline, our ticket out of the mundane, our pride and joy. So it stands to reason that we should be putting the same amount of effort into long term planning, as we do our short term goals!
We all want to be profitable, right? But in order to get there, we need a clear and concise idea of what our business is all about. What makes us different from the competition? How can we add value to our clients that they won’t find anywhere else? These are essential questions when it comes down to long term planning.
If you’re not sure where your business fits in the big picture, your goals are going to be scattered and unfocused. We all have a million things we want our businesses to do for us, but is that what they’re meant for? Without setting clear goals or knowing where you fit in the industry – it’s unlikely!
Just like with short term goal setting-you need to have a plan.
You need analytics to tell you where your business stands in the marketplace, and a clear idea of what it can do for you long term. If we all know our place in this world-it’s easier to get there! It’s never too late or early to set goals and keep your business on track with them.
Sometimes though – it’s easier said than done. Setting a goal often ends up being another thing on our never-ending to do list! Here’s a bit about what I have learned over the years – I hope that it helps you!
Maintaining a process
We’ve all heard about S.M.A.R.T Goals, right? In fact, I remember learning about them in school! (Funny how it applies to life years later!)
But what does S.M.A.R.T stand for? It’s basically about making your goals specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely! I think we can all agree that these are the keys to a successful business strategy-we just have to do it in a way that works best for us! There is no right or wrong way to do this!
Long term planning takes a lot of time and energy, but it will be worth it in the end. It’s never too late to start setting goals for your business.
Setting Goals Like A Boss
Here are my tried and tested tips for setting attainable goals.
- Don’t get overwhelmed. (This is a big one!)
Take it one step at a time-and don’t worry about where you’re going! Just focus on the next task that needs to be completed before your goal is met, and you’ll find yourself meeting more than just goals along the way. This method works even if long term planning isn’t something you’re used to.
- Begin with the end in mind.
When you can see it, when your imagination conjures up a picture of what success looks like to you… that’s when you know that these are goals worth pursuing! You’ve got big dreams, don’t let them die on the vine because they’re too hard for now. Write down your goals, share them with your employees if you have any!
- Be specific and realistic-but not too comfortable!
It’s easy enough for us all, as entrepreneurs, to get so wrapped up in what we do that it becomes a bit of a lifestyle choice. Don’t forget about your goals! If you’re constantly putting off the things you need to be doing – you’ll never make progress.
- Don’t be afraid to change things up if you’re not making headway!
It’s easy enough to get distracted by the next shiny thing, but long term planning is about staying focused on what really matters-and that doesn’t always mean staying in one place or taking the same route every time. Whether it means switching business models or even your social media strategy-if it’s not working for you – then there must be a reason why. The best thing that can happen when we’re trying to achieve something is having options!
- Don’t stop once you’ve reached the goal. (I know, I don’t get this one either!)
It’s only natural to want to take a break once we’ve reached the end of our journey, but long term planning is not about where you are-it’s about where you’re going. Keep your eyes on the prize!
- Don’t beat yourself up if things don’t go according to plan either!
That defeats the whole purpose. If you get off track or run into problems-it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Just get back on the horse and try again!
These are just a few things about long term goal setting that I’ve learned over the years – there is so much more out there if you’d like to know more, but these points have certainly helped me make my way through some pretty tough times and continue to do so.
This is not something that should be done alone. This can also help to keep you accountable for what you’re doing-and give others the chance to celebrate alongside you when success finally does come knocking.
Now that you’ve read about what I have learned-why not put these tips into practice? It’s never too late or early for anything, so start setting goals today – then leave a comment below with your thoughts!