You’re now two-thirds of the way into the first quarter of the business year and already, you can see you aren’t on track. If you feel you aren’t achieving what you set out to do as quickly as you wanted, it is time to step back and dig deeper and ask some hard questions about your business goals.
Have you made it real? So many of us are fuzzy about what the goal really looks like. We don’t give it detail and because of this, there is lack of focus.
I encourage clients to set fewer goals and be really clear about them. Set precise, positively worded goals with times, dates, amounts and action steps.
Then make them visual. Your goals can be written or you can get a pictorial representation. By being creative, you can make your goals more concrete, visual and ever present by putting them where you can see them regularly.
Someone once said "The confused mind never buys.” In this case, your mind won’t "buy” your goals unless you help it get clear. Put them where you can see them and enjoy the process.
What are your hidden negative beliefs about this goal? Do you really believe you can achieve this goal? Does some part of you say this is too hard? Is someone going to get hurt if you achieve this? Is it you?
Many of us are raised with cautions about reaching too far and getting a big head. Do you believe this goal might have repercussions you aren’t ready to handle?
Sometimes on the path to achieving a goal we see that certain actions will set things in motion we weren’t prepared for. By examining the goal carefully, and looking at your reaction to taking the necessary steps required, and the actual results you will achieve, you may uncover the very thing, usually a fear of some sort that is holding you back.
Is this "your” goal? Or did you set it because it seemed right because the "experts” or your superior said so. If you are your own boss, is it society’s goal, your parent’s goal or your spouse’s goal? Goals set by others, spoken or unspoken are doomed to failure at some point because unless we are clear about why we are doing it, when problems arise, we will lose momentum.
Sometimes we set a goal because we think we should be at a particular place in our life. We try to live up to a false self-image of where we think we "ought” to be. Goals set from a place of ego enhancement or duty just don’t fly.
You must own the goal and be sure it is in alignment with your overall plan for yourself and your business.
Is it about give as well as take? We set goals because we want to get something more from our efforts in our business. This is good. The question then is, what are you going to give? Better service? An improved product? Improved customer relationships?
Focusing only on what you can get shows in every way we relate to others. Don’t think people won’t notice. They may not tell you, but they will know if think of them as the latest kill. Always being on the hunt is exhausting. Creating give and take business relationships is far more rewarding.
If you need a bit of guidance and accountability, you may want to consider meeting with a business coach or mentor. The Arizona Small Business Association has a valuable coaching program offering members the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an experienced, credentialed business coach. You can find out more about it by calling the Tucson office at (520) 327-0222.
In his book on achieving success, Deepok Chopra writes, "Success in life (and we assume this means business as well) can be defined as continued expansion of happiness and the progression of worthy goals.”
With this attitude, combined with a fearless look at our roadblocks and a commitment to doing our best, we are likely to not only achieve our business goals, but be a lot happier over all.
Louise Abbott works in the Southern Arizona office of the Arizona Small Business Association, 4811 E. Grant Road, Suite 262, in Crossroads Festival, phone (520) 327-0222.
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