“I don’t know what I want.” So, how can I set any goals? I have been hearing that over and over and over as I speak at different events for women in business.
In my signature keynote goals and goal setting, I speak about ‘7 Steps to Growing Your Business By Getting Out of Your Own Way!” That content is only useful to those who DO know what they want and are stuck, in some ways.
I have always been very good at setting goals. In this article, I will give you some guidelines that will help you get the process started.
FIGURING OUT WHAT YOU WANT.
That seems to be the big problem, right there, for many of you. Human nature makes it easy for us to know what we DO NOT want, though. So, I recommend you start with that. Make a list of all the things you know for absolute certain that you do NOT WANT in life and in business.
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Once you are clear on that – and I mean make a really BIG list – get into the nitty gritty – then flip some of those things to the positive.
For example: I know that I do NOT WANT a brick and mortar environment for my coaching and speaking business. When I think that through and consider other options, I ask myself what else is there? I have a home-based office that is in a segregated area of my house. Perfect!
What about you? Make a list of all the things you keep telling yourself that you do not want. You are certain to be able to pull out 3-5 things that can be flipped to the positive that you DO want, both in life and in business.
(Another exercise that I recommend to my clients is to become very conscious of your world. By that, I mean – take a look around you, at your life. What books do you like to read? What movies do you enjoy? What music do you listen to? When you go to a bookstore, what section draws you in? What hobbies do you like? All of these are clues as to what you really like because you will note a common thread.)
Now get going to the next step.
PUT ALL THOSE POSITIVE ITEMS ON A SEPARATE LIST.
Once you have that list complete, it’s time to identify which items are a priority for you. I start to pull those out, and grab a calendar and start writing it down. Once I have my priority items on a calendar, this whole goal-setting process gets easier.
For example, another thing I DO NOT want this year is to work non-stop. As entrepreneurs, we tend to throw ourselves right into our business – particularly in the early years. What I DO want is a vacation – so that becomes a priority item and it gets marked on the calendar. You may only start with a long weekend, or two, throughout the summer. But commit to it – get away – and recharge.
Keep listing the priority items on a calendar – space them out – some of the items you’ve identified may be seasonal (for me, my goal is to do more cycling this summer). That gives you a visual sense of some of the things you want to accomplish – you can use the same process for business.
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For example – I know that, each year, I want to attend at least 2 professional conferences so that I can learn the latest marketing and sales techniques in my industry, and beyond. I may have on my ‘Don’t Want” list that I travel far and wide for these sessions – but on the DO WANT list, it would be to find these types of professional development events in a major city near home.
See how that works?
THE NEXT STEPS IN THE PROCESS:
- Be sure to write down your goals and be specific
- Only share/show your goals to people who will support you and help you
- Attach measurable outcomes to each goal so you know you are making progress
- Ensure you celebrate each achievement along the way! This is important!
- And always ‘goal set through’ each item – and not TO the goal. (Think about the stress, worry and preparation that goes into Christmas Day! The day after can hit women pretty hard… so this process works in this instance also. Do your goal setting through Christmas Day and plan some fun activity for the few days following.)
- Keep adding to your list. This is a ‘living, breathing’ document and you deserve the best.
As human beings, we are goal-oriented. For those who want to live their best life, to grow the best business and to be their best self, goals are essential. And goals are fun, too.
“People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.” – Earl Nightingale
Make a decision to begin today.