1. Write Down Your Goals
Write down your personal and professional goals on a piece of paper. Start with the big picture. Be specific, be clear and be realistic. A lot of people have asked me that standard business question: “What is your five-year plan?” The truth is, I never had a five-year plan, but I always had a one-year plan, and even that was broken down by month, week and day. Making clear and simple goals which are achievable is the key to running a successful business.
2. Break Those Goals Down
Breaking down these goals into smaller bites – how these would look monthly, weekly and daily – will set you on your path, establish your markers and deadlines, and prepare you to review them in time. Goals are much more achievable when you have broken them down this way: it’s easier to realise how you are going to get to the bigger picture one step at a time. Taking the time to really plan them out will also provide you with daily motivation.
3. Constantly Remind Yourself
Keeping a summary of your goals on a small piece of paper and carrying it around with you will allow you to remind yourself of them as often as you need. It’ll also force you to keep pursuing them and motivate you to get where you want to get be, sooner.
4. Don’t Set Yourself Up To Fail
Once you’ve established some daily goals, really look at them to decide whether they are actually achievable. Especially at the beginning, making progress will mean you stick with them long term. It’s important not to set yourself up to fail, but always remember to dream big. Look at what you need to achieve your goals, and don’t be afraid of the bigger picture. Instead, focus on the smaller steps you need to take. Success will follow.
5. Start Small
It’s a common mistake to overindulge on goals at the beginning by setting too many, or trying to achieve too much too soon. The truth is, you will end up either burning out or not reaching them, which will result in you losing confidence in yourself and your business. Don’t be scared about setting some easier-to-achieve goals: it helps you to stick with them and push yourself that little bit harder each time.
6. Review Your Progress
As time goes by, it’s crucial to take the time to review your goals and adjust them as needed. See them as dynamic and constantly in flux: as your life and circumstances change you need to be able to make them relevant.
7. Reward Yourself
Setting up a business – particularly in the beginning – doesn’t always feel like a rewarding process. So be sure you reward yourself periodically for achieving some of the smaller things along the way and celebrate the small successes as they come. Remember that you’re on a journey and you’re making it happen. It’s critical to celebrate that.
8. Keep Pushing The Boundaries
What I call ‘stretch goals’ are the “if onlys”. They are great add-ons to your list of smaller, more achievable goals. This means you should only really be looking at them once you’ve achieved some of your main goals. Think of it as the bigger and better version. For example, for my first book Overnight Success, my main goal was to get it published, but my stretch goal was to make it a bestseller. It’s a good idea to create a vision board with your stretch goals, which you can look at every few months to remind yourself to dream big. You might even find it motivates you to achieve your smaller, daily goals more quickly.
9. Be Consistent
If you miss out on achieving some daily goals for a few days in a row, it’s okay to start fresh. It happens to us all: when our team has a bad week in sales, we always try to turn over a new leaf. See it this way: a new day, a new week, a new month is always coming. Nothing is perfect, and as much as you plan, there are always going to be setbacks. Instead of getting frustrated or giving up, see them as an opportunity to reset, which can give you renewed energy and motivation.
10. Set A Deadline
If you need an extra push to get things done, try setting yourself some deadlines and measure yourself against them. A little sense of urgency can work wonders and be a big motivator. Deadlines also help make your goals feel more realistic and achieving them by a certain date is added motivation to keep moving onto the next thing.
For more of Maria’s tips, order yourself a copy of How To Make It Happen here.
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