Welcome to Lightspeed’s brief goal setting guide. This article is intended to help you set and achieve your goals in a simple, actionable way. As a small business owner, it’s easy to mistake being busy with making real progress. The power of knowing how to set and then achieve your goals is knowing that you will always be moving your business forward. Reach your goal in five steps.
- Decide what you want to accomplish
- Determine when you will achieve your goal
- Find meaning in your goal to motivate yourself
- Prioritize and break down mini goals
- Celebrate your success
Tools to help you reach your goals
The right POS saves you time, so you can focus on the big picture.
What do you want to accomplish?
Write it down
It’s important to write down your goal. And we mean ‘goal’ in the singular. It’s a time-consuming mistake to work on multiple goals at the same time. While we all have more than one goal, staying focused on one major goal is important. Choose one goal that you feel will have the biggest impact on your business and start there.
Make it measurable
Your goal should be specific and outcome oriented. An example would be “I want to increase revenue 25% this month” instead of “I want to increase revenue.” Setting goals in this manner allows you to judge the impact you’re having against a concrete benchmark. What’s more, this kind of specific goal is proven to increase your chance of success.
Sharing your goals with friends, colleagues and family increases the probability that you will achieve them. The more people who know about your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. This is positive peer pressure. Writing down a specific goal and sharing it widely is the surest possible way to hold yourself accountable and drive yourself forward.
When will you achieve this goal?
Keep your timeline short
A good goal should always be short term. In fact, the closer to it being achieved, the better. If your goal is five years away, it’s too abstract. Think about it: if you simply had to get something done today, you would figure out a way to do it, right? It’s much harder to create the same urgency in yourself to accomplish something years from now.
Pick a deadline
It’s important to know the exact date when you will achieve a goal. You’re more likely to achieve something, and to achieve it faster, if you say, “I’ll write my business plan by next Monday” instead of simply having the goal of writing a business plan.
Why is this goal important to accomplish?
Find your motivation
This is the reason you are going to achieve this goal. It’s why you will persevere, stay on task and complete your tasks. Maybe it’s the mental image of your restaurant opening, or the dream of signing your first store lease.
It’s easy to get distracted, so zoom in on your goal and push through when your brain says, “It’s okay, it can wait until tomorrow.” Success isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would be successful. Success is for those that persevere, those who can set goals and then motivate themselves to achieve them.
How will you achieve this goal?
Break it down
Break your large goal down into small, actionable mini goals and associate a deadline with each. Think back to those big tests in high school. If you were like most people, the majority of your studying happened at the very last minute. Why? Because we naturally perform better when there is a sense of urgency. If you want to write a business plan in a week, then you should break that task down into the specific items you want to accomplish each day. Having regular mini goals will help you create the daily drive you need to make that big goal a reality.
What must be done first? Which of these mini goals is the most important? By placing your mini-goals into a prioritized timeline, you are creating a clear path between you and success.
How will you celebrate when you have achieved this goal?
Visualize the prize
You should always have a visual reminder of what you will get when you achieve your goal. Make it tangible, like a picture hanging in your office, and allow this image to serve as a constant reminder of why you are working so hard to achieve your goal.
It’s very important to give yourself a tangible reward for achieving a goal. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or expensive, but it should be a reminder of the hard work that you put in to accomplish this goal. Take a moment to enjoy this, you deserve it.
The best time to get started is now
Remember, achieving your goals is typically doing something that you have never done before. This isn’t easy, which is why many people don’t achieve as much as they want to in life. You can make your dreams a reality with the proper planning, motivation and tools.
Want to learn more about tools that drive your business forward and help you achieve your goals? Let’s chat.