Like most people who own their own businesses, I am very “goal orientated” and again like most people who own their own businesses, those goals can and have changed on a daily basis.
The below advice to put the goals into some sort of order of priority is something that, quite frankly needs to be done! The way that I find easier to do this type of thing is to have a 10 year, 5 year and then 1 year plan, and at this time I am referring specifically to the work arena.
Looking forward into my life and into the future for me, makes what I do and how I achieve those goals very important. So I take the most difficult of all and ask the question – what would I like to be doing in 10 years time. Where would I like to be in terms of my business and what would I have liked to achieve. For me these are the 3 most important questions and they are listed separately, with all the bits and pieces going on in rows beneath them.
Once that is complete, I tend to break it down and so here comes the 5 year plan. Looking at the 10 year plan, many of them are automatically achievable if certain of the other goals are met and brought to fruition, those do not get transferred to the 5 year list, but remain on the 10 year list. Again what is on the list is broken down into easier to achieve “bite size portions”.
Again, once that is complete, I break things down and out of this the 1 year plan is born. As with the 10 year plan, many of the points on the 5 year plan are automatically achievable if certain goals are met and brought to fruition, those do not get transferred to the 1 year list but remain on the 5 year list.
I now have a list that is ‘doable’, even if it is somewhat daunting! Now for me, here comes the challenge. There may still be goals that are automatically achievable if other goals are met – these are split out from the others and listed to one side. The remainder of goals are then taken one at a time and what needs to be done to achieve each one is listed as a sub-heading under the goal to be achieved. These are then given a ‘due date’ by which they are to be completed – those due dates are diarized, and also put down into my year planner so that they can be seen at a glance. By checking my year planner on a weekly basis the task can be planned out into daily expectations and what I like to call “mini targets”.
I now have a workable solution to something that at the beginning of the exercise, was a hugely daunting, frightening and quite frankly an overwhelming task.
On a daily basis, use your diary, or a journal to record what you have done and what you have achieved or have not achieved and why. Apart from documenting your life, you are also cleansing your mind and settling emotions!
So what am I saying here . . . . Well basically it is this – If you want to be a success in life or in business, you have to have a plan! Issues need to be put into perspective. You need to achieve your goals, one little step at a time – remember the statement (I forget now who wrote it, but it is very true) that the greatest of journey’s begin with a single step. Note it says step – not leap, or sprint or anything else that you may want to conjure up in your mind’s eye.
At the end of the year, take your lists and look at what you have achieved. Now is also not the time to beat yourself up over what hasn’t been achieved! I have no doubt that you have done this sufficiently during the course of the year. Remember daily goals have changed to accommodate ever changing needs and there are goals that have been achieved that were not even recorded or considered. Because of the changes there are also many goals that are now obsolete, so they now no longer feature.
Adjust your goals for the coming year. Take time out – I mean quality time with yourself, turnaround and have a look at where you were 12 months ago, what you have achieved and the journey that you have walked. Pat yourself on the back and give yourself credit for what you have done! Too often we are too busy bashing our own selves on the head because of what we haven’t done, instead of congratulating ourselves and patting ourselves on the back for what we have achieved . . . more often than not with more tasks that had not been on the list than what were.
And remember . . . focus on the goal that is in front of you – don’t gaze into the future and try and complete the 10 year plan in the 1 year space.