Navigating the New Year: Achievable Goals for Business Growth

As entrepreneurs our brains are often buzzing with new ideas, and it doesn’t take long for our to-do lists to grow a mile long and seem overwhelming and unachievable. This is precisely why mastering the art of goal setting is a total game-changer, and what separates those who smash through their goals from those who seemingly stay put.

I know you have grand plans for your business and I want to help you achieve them! In this post, I’ll guide you through a clever goal-setting tactic so you can stay focused, organized, and kick butt this year.

1. The Strategic Power of Goal-Setting

Setting clear goals serves as the foundational step towards achieving sustainable growth. It’s not merely a checklist; rather, it functions as a strategic GPS, guiding your business through the twists and turns of the market. Each goal becomes a milestone, a measurable marker of progress that propels your venture forward.

When your team shares a common understanding of these objectives, collaboration becomes more purposeful. Moreover, clearly defined goals provide a framework for decision-making. They help you prioritize tasks, allocate resources efficiently, and stay focused on what truly matters. This strategic clarity minimizes distractions, preventing your business from being swayed by fleeting trends or short-term challenges. In essence, goal-setting isn’t just about reaching endpoints; it’s about crafting a well-planned journey for your business, that you actually enjoy too!

And let’s face it, you can only follow through and keep track of your goals if you actually enjoy them!

2. The Challenges of Follow-Through

It’s January. You sit down and plan your entire year, and feel very excited about it. Why not? You just gave purpose to the whole year and this can lead your business + life to better realms.

Then February comes, and suddenly it’s March and you can’t even recall where you saved that document with the plan. Things and life happen and by the time you wake up it’s already Q4. You might find that sneaky plan and realize half of the things weren’t done and you didn’t even remember planning them in the first place.

Well…maybe next year…

Does this sound familiar? It happened to me every year – so I’m not here to preach about my amazing system.

I’m learning as well and trying to find the tools and systems that fit my schedule, and my goals and I can keep track of them.

 

3. Why is it so hard to achieve goals?

I used to beat myself up for not doing what I planned in the beginning of the year. It felt like if I could have just focused more, have been more organized, productive, etc I could have done it…

Then I started to dig deep into the science part of why it is actually hard to achieve goals and why we fall off the wagon quite quickly.

By the way, I am always fascinated by scientific proof and I want to share my findings so you can start being more gentle with yourself the next time it happens.

a. Cognitive Overload: The human brain has a limited capacity for processing information. When faced with the demands of daily tasks, unexpected challenges, and a multitude of goals, cognitive overload can occur. This overload hampers the brain’s ability to prioritize and execute tasks effectively, leading to a lack of follow-through on set goals.

So next time you feel tired after a long week of craziness at work, don’t blame yourself for not making progress. It’s literally not possible for your brain to function more and it needs rest.

b. Lack of Intrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation, the internal desire to engage in an activity for its own sake, plays a pivotal role in goal pursuit. When goals are not inherently fulfilling or connected to personal values, motivation can wane. Nope, external pressures, such as societal expectations or superficial rewards are not enough to send you off the roof with achieving your goals, so you better find some internal motivation if you want to follow through.

c. The Planning Fallacy: Psychologically, people tend to be optimistic about the time, resources, and effort required to achieve a goal—a phenomenon known as the planning fallacy. This optimistic bias can result in setting unrealistic expectations (I am definitely guilty in this one…every week lol), leading to frustration and a diminished likelihood of consistent follow-through when faced with the actual complexities of implementation.

d. Procrastination and Time Discounting: Procrastination, a prevalent human behavior, involves delaying tasks despite knowing the potential negative consequences. When the benefits of achieving a goal are not immediately apparent, we may struggle to maintain commitment.

Start to think of ways that you can get some reward earlier to keep you motivation high.

e. Lack of Goal Monitoring: Regularly monitoring progress is vital for sustained motivation and follow-through. Yes, it is scary to look at your bank account and realize you don’t have enough money for the next 6 months, but this can also be your driving force to motivation to do something about it.

This is applicable to anything that you want to grow. You heard it by now: what you focus on grows, and in this context, what you focus on gets done.

4. How to plan strategically and follow through

To ensure success, it’s important to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (SMART). To give your goal-setting an extra boost, add accountability, flexibility and celebration into the mix too.

Enter SMART GOALS:

    1. Write down your long-term goal. What do you want to achieve in the next year or two?
      PRO TIP. If you can separate your goals into 4 big goals, then you can focus on one each quarter. For example, “Create my new coaching packages” could be one of your big goals and include a number of tasks such as the services included, pricing, delivery, etc.
    2. Break your long-term goal into short-term goals or tasks. What tasks do you need to do to reach your long-term goal?
      PRO TIP: Put your goals for the next year into the 4 different quarters. This will help you see where is too much to do and have a more realistic idea of whether things are achievable or not.
    3. Make sure your goals are measurable. This will help you keep track of your progress and stay motivated.
      PRO TIP: Rather than simply saying “more clients”, instead make it measurable by saying “booking at least 1 new coaching client each month for 3 months”
    4. Set achievable, realistic goals. Consider commitments or other factors that might get in your way and don’t set goals that are too ambitious or out of reach.
      PRO TIP: Put these to your calendar first. These are your non-negotiables, holidays, doctor appointments, kids school activities, etc. Build your business around your life and not the other way around.
    5. Set goals that are relevant to you and your business dreams. Ensure they’re aligned with what’s important to you and what you want your work/life to look & feel like. For some of us earning more money might be a priority. For others, it could be we want to have more free time, or reduce headaches clients or boring tasks to make work more enjoyable.
    6. Set a timeline for your goals. Having a timeline will help you focus and stay on track. Again, looking at your goals in a quarterly basis can help to see if they are doable and move them around accordingly.
      PRO TIP: Ideally, focus on one goal at a time to avoid being overwhelmed and feeling like you’re being pulled in too many directions. Focusing on one of your big goals each quarter works well. – This was one of the biggest for me!
    7. Create an accountability system. This could be a friend, family member, or fellow business pier who can help you stay motivated, and on track, and provide feedback and extra brainpower.
    8. Stay flexible. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals if your situation or dreams change. This is completely normal and it’s part of life.
      Part of the reason why it is great to look at your goals regularly is to adjust when necessary. This can help you to do them still by the end of the year.
    9. Celebrate your successes. Celebrating your successes will keep you motivated and excited about reaching your goals.
      PRO TIP: For each goal put down a gift or celebration you will do when achieving that goal. The precipitation of the celebration helps to keep you motivated.

5. BONUS ACTIVITY

Perhaps you’re wondering which big goal to focus on first, second, and so on? Here’s our strategy for working this out to give you the best bang for your buck (or efforts) and the best possible chance of succeeding.

The Action Priority Matrix

It sounds boring AF but the Action Priority Matrix is a sneaky hack for getting the most out of your precious time and energy. It helps you figure out which tasks, projects or goals are the most important, so you can focus your energy and talents on the activities that will have the biggest impact. By using the matrix to prioritize your goals, you’ll achieve more of the things that really matter and confidently eliminate any low-value tasks from your to-do list. To use the matrix, you assess tasks by their impact and how much effort they’ll require. Then use your scores to put these activities into one of four categories:

    1. Quick Wins (High Impact, Low Effort) – These are the best ones – they give you great results for less effort. Focus on these as much as you can. Major
    2. Projects (High Impact, High Effort) – These give good returns, but they take a lot of time or effort. That means focussing on just one major project can take the place of lots of quick wins.
    3. Fill Ins (Low Impact, Low Effort) – No need to sweat over these tasks — if you have the time for them, go for it, but don’t hesitate to drop them if something better comes along.
    4. Thankless Tasks (Low Impact, High Effort) – Do your best to steer clear of these time-sucks. Not only do they give minimal returns, but they also take up precious time you could be using to smash out some quick wins or major projects.

Do you need help being consistent with your goals and achieving them? I’m here for you!

Sign up for my weekly newsletter and let me be your accountability partner in achieving your wildest dreams.

Orsi

Product, Brand & Web Designer

I help businesses create great websites that attract more customers and increase sales. I use my skills in consulting, design, and e-commerce to tell your business’s story and improve customer service. We’ll work together to understand your business and create a website that meets your goals.