What are you hoping to achieve next year as an entrepreneur? Do you want more profit, more time with family, more sales, to learn a new skill or software tool? What is one thing you can do to make that change stick?
First, get clear on your goals.
Quantity is important here. If you have more than three goals, your attention will be too divided. If you only have one, then you’re often in a holding pattern while things are in process. Three seems to be a sweet spot. Clarity is also important; make sure you can know when that goal is completed. You want your goals to be a bit of a stretch but not impossible. Something that you will feel excited to celebrate when you achieve it.
You may need to work towards your goal all year long.
If so, break it down into smaller goals that you can accomplish each week or month. Small consistent steps yield better results than a flurry of massive action a few times a quarter. Also, blocking time on your calendar to work on those goals will ensure you don’t leave it until the day’s end.
You may also need to develop some new habits.
If so, what can you do to set yourself up for success? Notice the time of day you are most productive and set that time aside and perhaps set up a meeting with a colleague to work on the project. Exercise for me is always a chore, so I have a friend that I work out with. Knowing she is waiting for me gets me out the door on those cold rainy days when I would prefer to sleep in.
You can do the same with your work goals. If you get distracted by emails, then set up a Zoom meeting with a colleague where you both work on your project as a sprint. Just checking in with each other at the beginning of the session and declaring your goal for the hour you will both work will set you on the right path. Then cut off your notifications and get to work. Check in again at the ½ hour and give yourself a chance to stretch and then dive back in.
If you are going to set financial goals, I suggest that you look at your yearly numbers and break them down by quarter or month. Then ask yourself, “What do I have to do to make this happen?” Increasing sales or profit by xx percent is really a meaningless goal. You want to ensure you are clear about the change in actions you will take to hit that new sales number. I prefer to go at it from the direction of, “What are the easiest actions I can take that will have the biggest impact to improve revenue?” If I am successful, what is the financial impact? Consider your low-hanging fruit first. You know those things you never get around to, but if you did would make everything easier or better? Consider improvement in efficiency, cost-cutting, or innovation. These changes can add up to dollars.
The New Year is a great time to begin again.
Make sure you are focused on the activities that you can sustain and that will drive real change in your business. Wishing you all the best in 2022!
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