Chances are you’ve heard that buzz word recently “pivoting” in “unprecedented times” (only a couple hundred times, I’m sure!). It’s true, remaining in the driver’s seat, on track and achieving your business goals can be hard right now. If you’re anything like me, current events have been a huge distraction and it’s been challenging to find focus and clarity.
Today, I’d love to share with you how to set achievable goals at this time, as well proven strategies to keep on track towards them!
If you want to overcome challenges in your business and your life, you must be very clear about your goals. According to Brian Tracy, a well known psychologist, fewer than 3% of people have clear, written goals, and a plan for achieving them. So having a strategy in place for this will have you well ahead of the curve! Let’s dive in.
How to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve
You need goals to get things done. However, not every goal is effective. I know first-hand how constant striving can lead to feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and disconnected. That’s why I’m so happy to be sharing this strategy with you, so you can set goals that focus your efforts and deliver real results for you.
The way that you word your goals will have a big impact on whether or not you reach them. In this article, you’ll learn how to set goals you’ll actually achieve, ones that will keep you energised and motivated long-term. You’ll do this using the Four P’s of goal setting –positive, personal, possible, and prioritised.
Your Goals Need to Be Positive
When you are creating goals, remember to make sure that they are positive. This means that you focus on what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid. For example, you would write, “I will achieve a promotion” rather than “I will no longer work at this horrible job”.
Staying focused on the positive will help improve your outlook and remove any negativity. This, in turn, will improve your chances for success. Reaching your goals will automatically help you avoid your present circumstances. When creating positive goals, remember to be as specific as possible.
Your Goals Need to Be Personal
When creating goals, they need to reflect your dreams and desires. Goals that are not personal are ineffective. Your goals should be about you and only you. For example, “My patients will appreciate me.” is an ineffective goal because it is not about you. It is possible to be a wonderful service provider and still be unappreciated. A better goal would be, “I will find a market niche where I am appreciated for my specific skill set.”
If your goals are not personal, you will never achieve them. Making goals personal places the burden of responsibility on you, but it also means that other people do not determine when you reach your goals.
Your Goals Need to Be Possible
When creating goals, you need to make sure that they are possible. When you set impossible goals, you set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Creating possible goals demands that you be honest with yourself. Some goals may require continued education or experience to achieve while others will remain out of reach. For example, it is not possible for someone to become a famous singer without any talent whatsoever. You need to assess your talents and determine what you can achieve with hard work and what will be impossible for you to accomplish. Once you have determined which goals are possible for you to achieve, success will be within reach.
Your Goals Need to Be Prioritised
Writing goals can become overwhelming. You will probably have more goals than you can handle. This why it is important to prioritise your goals.
Begin by numerically ranking your goals and choosing the five goals that are the most important to you. Choose these goals based on your passions, and make sure that they cover all areas of your life: professional, health, personal growth, finances, etc. All of your time and energy should be spent working towards these goals.
Place your other goals on the back burner. It is not possible to focus on 20 goals at the same time. In fact, you should avoid the other goals at all cost. You risk becoming side tracked with less important goals if you continue to entertain them.
You will need to reprioritise your goals periodically. For example, you can reprioritise after you achieve one of your top five goals.
And don’t forget…
You won’t achieve success by doing more or working longer hours. Success comes from setting goals that matter to YOU and prioritising them consistently every day.
How To Keep On Track
Now that you’ve set some clear goals, it’s important to have a strategy in place to stay on track to achieve them. Learning how to say no is an essential skill for keeping on track. This is doubly important in times of change and uncertainty!
I’d like to take a moment to tell you about my friend Jessica. Jessica has the best intentions when she begins in the morning, but always ends up working late into the night. Most of her time is spent fixing other people’s problems or dealing with urgent, last-minute requests. She proofread her friend’s workshop flyer when he was stuck with the wording. She lost track of time scrolling through social media. She dialled in for yet another webinar that could have been an email. Jessica always says ‘yes’ when asked to help.
Her average work week is 60 hours and she is nowhere near her personal goals for developing her own business. Not to mention her home life is suffering as her kids need more of her time and she hasn’t done anything nice for herself in ages. And yet, when any of her patients ask her to log in last minute to change their appointment, she knows she will drop everything to get it done.
…Does any of that sound familiar?
During times of change particularly, you can find yourself pulled towards many urgent tasks, distractions and time consuming calls. If you want to keep on track, it is important to say “no” to the things that keep you from achieving your goal. These can be other people’s tasks, social media notifications, or even unnecessary meetings.
As an assertive and self-confident business owner, you will be able to say “no” in a positive way, without damaging your relationships or reputation. Yes, sometimes requests from others may be really important and need your attention. Most of the time, however, these requests divert your focus and take time away from working toward goals that really mattered YOU.
This quote from Steve Jobs highlights how essential this skill is:
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things we have done.Steve Jobs
Saying NO doesn’t limit your opportunities, it opens you up to the right ones.
Do not allow people to talk you into urgent tasks. You need to stick with a schedule and plan of action. Do not deviate unless it is a true emergency. For example, proofing a friend’s workshop flyer is not an emergency that you must complete at once. Complete your important tasks first.
Saying a “Positive No”
You already know you should say no to some requests, but exactly HOW can you possibly say this without harming relationships? Try this simple, works-every-time strategy. It’s called saying a Positive No. And it’s really going to turn things around for you!
The ability to say No in a positive way is the secret behind maintaining your focus and keeping control of how you spend your time. This ability is an important aspect of success for every business person you admire. Use these rules of thumb to say “no” kindly but firmly:
Give a Reason
Provide an Alternative
Don’t Make Excuses
When someone asks for your time, try empathetically repeating the request so they feel heard and understood, and then re-state your position. Here’s some examples of a positive no in action:
- “I am uncomfortable doing that because…”
- Say “no” and briefly clarify your reasoning (without making excuses).
- Say “no”, then provide an alternative option or compromise.
- Empathetically repeat the request in your own words, and then say “No”
- Say “Yes”, give your reasoning for not doing it right now, and provide an alternative time or solution.
- Say “As a rule, I don’t __“. This is an assertive refusal for firm clarity, and can be a good strategy for keeping emotions in check.
Try one of these strategies today, and see how it helps you maintain focus and direction towards the goals that matter to you!
You’re In The Driver’s Seat
Once Jessica implemented boundaries by saying a positive no, she was able to stay on track towards her goal of a more successful business. She established better professional relationships with her patients by keeping a firm schedule for bookings. She shut down her laptop on time and spend the evening with her kids, and on Saturday she made it to her yoga class to relax. Because she had this time to unwind and recharge, she had a tonne of positive energy to give back in all areas of her life and everyone benefited!
Remember – saying no doesn’t limit your opportunities, it opens you up to the right ones.
I hope this encourages you to get back in that driver’s seat, set the right goals, and stay on track towards your success!
If this has been helpful for you, I’d love to support you further. Reach out to me for a free, no-obligation strategy session today to see how I can help you grow your dream business into a profitable, sustainable reality! Call me on 0479 090 670 or email [email protected]
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