What will your new year bring? Are you hoping to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, hire your first employee or simply get better at balancing work and family? Whatever your goal, a new year is always a great time to dream big.
Thing is, we know it’s tough enough to clearly define business goals, let alone meet them.
That’s why we’ve asked business owner and consultant Sarah Harrison to share some practical ideas for turning business dreams into reality. Sarah’s wisdom comes from experience: This former product-team manager left her full-time job feeling burned-out and exhausted. When she decided to start working for herself, Sarah applied the same systems she used successfully during her career to to create systems for her own goal-setting, planning and accountability.
Here, Sarah explains her tried-and-tested strategies for setting and achieving goals in your business -- or even in your life.
Sarah commits to monthly planning, weekly planning and two daily check-ins. That might sound like a lot, but in reality the time commitment is minimal. The important thing is to create a regular practice of reviewing what you accomplished each day (or each week or month), then quickly moving the appropriate “to-dos” and related tasks forward. Sarah describes each part of her 3-part system here.
(Sarah credits this blog post from James Clear as the inspiration for her own personal goal system.)
Do you struggle with time management when there’s a flexible time frame or an undefined deadline for a project? Yep, so do we.
Thankfully, there are tools and systems to help you stay focused and on track, especially when it comes to completing small but necessary (or unavoidable) tasks. Sarah recommends using the Pomodoro Technique or the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology to create structure when you're working through smaller to-dos. You can also use apps to help you stay organized or stick with low-tech strategies if you prefer.
Whatever solution you use, get those mundane tasks out of the way in a timely fashion. Check ‘em off your list so you’re free to tackle the big-picture goals.
When it comes to dreaming big in your small business, Sarah says having a framework to refer back to and build on throughout the year is key for moving your business forward.
Her own power planning guide includes sections for visualizing your ideal life one-to-three years out, planning your life by category and mapping out each year ahead. The guide also provides a framework for how to break down those big goals into manageable tasks you can keep tabs on throughout the year.
Another tip? Share your goal-setting and planning process with a trusted friend you know will help you stay accountable -- both to your business and to yourself.
Before you go
QB Community members, are you setting new goals for the new year? What strategies or solutions will help you stay on track? Please let us know!
Speaking of goals, here are some helpful links:
Excited to read this post. I just listened to a Coaching For Leaders podcast with David Allan this morning and this post brings to light how much productivity you really can get done in a day.
I believe your dreams should feel unreachable.
If they feel like you can easily achieve them, you're not dreaming big enough.
If a ton of people call you crazy and say there's no way you could possibly achieve your dreams, then you're likely on the right track.
Embrace their 'no-can-do' attitude (read more about why you should embrace a no-can-do attitude on my blog).
People told me I was out of my mind when I went to Afghanistan to film my first documentary. Now that video is one of the best pieces, I've ever produced. Even though I created it only 6 months after getting into video. Guess what? In a month I'm going to fly to South East Asia to film my second documentary - this time it's dealing with the subject of Child Slave Labor. You know what, no one says I'm crazy anymore…
You can watch On Wings of Hope here and see what happens when you dream unreachable big: