Keep on track with goals.
Just make sure you do not get into the habit of setting a goal, feeling better about your situation because you set a goal, then going on with your day as if nothing happened.
When you set a goal you must make sure to achieve the goal. Goal setting is a worthless activity without the final component of goal achievement.
If you are at a point where you simply don’t even know where to start use the following three techniques to make goal attainment a successful experience.
- SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threats)
- SMART goal setting (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Reward, and Time Bound)
- Eat an elephant (Break down into smaller piece)
This is a useful tool to determine four areas of your business or segment of your business. If you have a business with several profit centers you may choose to conduct a SWOT analysis for each profit center separately.
Use each of the four areas to analyze your business.
Strengths: Determine your business strengths. List your competitive advantages. List what you do best. List your Unique Selling Propositions (USPs)
Weakness: Be honest, where do others out do you? List the things you need to improve or the things you should avoid.
Opportunities: Where is the market heading? Look to population changes, government regulations, advancements in technology, new areas opening up in your field.
Threats: What are your competitors doing and what obstacles stand in your way.
As you’ve created your SWOT analysis, do you see weakness that can be turned into opportunity or threats that can be transformed into strengths. This is a great way to determine what areas of your business can be utilized for your goal setting activities.
2 - SMART Technique
Once you’ve identified the areas you want to improve and are ready to make the change, learn to implement SMART goal setting. Let’s say for example you want to increase sales or should I say you need to increase sales. Well, stating you want to increase sales will not result in increased sales. However, if you write down your goal of increasing sales 20% by December 31, you will have a specific goal. This is a goal with a deadline and a specific measurable quantity.
The quick definition of SMART goal setting is that your goal must be
Specific – get clear on what you really want to accomplish
Measurable – give your goal a number, something you can measure.
Attainable – You must be able to reach your goal
Reward – Give yourself an incentive, something you get to do when you accomplish the goal.
Time Bound – Deadlines! You’ve got to have a deadline
As you are working toward your goal, if you need to adjust along the way, that’s ok! The most important thing is that you don’t get discouraged but you start a habit of goal attainment.
3- Break it down, “How do you eat an elephant… one bite at a time!”
This is such an important part of goal setting, you must be able to break a goal down into it’s smaller parts.
If you want to increase sales by $30,000 this year, that’s a little overwhelming. However, if you take the $30,000 and divide into 12 months it becomes more attainable. This way you realize your monthly goal is $2,500 a month. Next break it down further into your weekly goal. The weekly increase becomes an extra $625. Suddenly your big goal of $30,000 seems much more attainable at $625 a week.
I wrote a fun paper on how to become a millionaire.
Download it for free AND receive my daily inspiration blog for small businesses called the “Two Minute Commute”