And it’s the start of a new year.
Time to set new goals for your business and scale new heights. And time for making New Year resolutions.
Are you resolute to make this year different? Or do you not bother with making the same resolutions anymore?
Of those who make New Year resolutions, about 8% will achieve their goals.
This post explores tips you can use to stay inspired and to work out your dreams.
What’s the biggest issue in setting goals?
Most people would like to try something new in the new year. Business owners especially would have lists of things they want accomplished.
Excited to make things work, they get the latest marketing reports, applications or courses. And before long, they find themselves inundated with too much information telling them all the things they should do and how they can do these with the latest tools.
Sounds familiar? Those new year resolutions remain on paper when business owners run out of energy and enthusiasm.
And the results?
Disappointment and the feeling that they’ve failed again.
So what can you do to make your New Year resolutions work?
1. Focus on one main objective at any point in time
When I ask new clients what their main marketing goal is, the answer generally sounds like this, “We want to have a strong presence on major social media platforms and draw in lots of new leads who’ll buy our products. We also want to increase sales and be a leader in the market and maybe expand our product line in Q2 …”
Sounds like a business with some good goals. So what’s the problem?
Too many good goals that’ll jeopardize the core goal, the real goal.
Trying to accomplish everything does not give clarity to what you really want in that time period. And in many cases, unless the basics are taken care off, we can’t discuss expansion.
Further more, different objectives work best with different strategies. It’s not wise to shoot for “everything” at the same time.
In practical terms, this
means that instead of having broad and multiple goals for the entire year, you need to have focused and chunk down milestone objectives.
For example, say you want to have healthy diets, exercise more regularly, spend more time with the family, and do more of what you enjoy this year.
Where do you start? Everything written here is good. To make it work, you’ll need to plan the day to day details. So, for example you can work on:
- Phasing out canned food
- Forming new healthy eating habits (according to your definition) and
- Having juice in the morning
This involves planning the menus and buying more fruits and vegetables. You chart these action items down onto paper for the first 3 months and stick to it like it’s a business plan. And by the end of 3 months, you would have established the goal of healthy eating habits.
Then for the next 3 months you can work on having morning walks with your family or doing 30 minutes of exercise as you listen to TED talks or Tony Robin’s motivational speeches.
You get the picture. You do this in incremental steps so you focus on one major thing at a time. This way you won’t feel overwhelmed and you’ll be able to work out the plans you have on paper.
The principle applies whether you run a training business or a farm.
It’s natural to want to achieve many things but it’s important to focus on the core goal so your efforts are intent on getting the results you want.
Even farmers have different goals for their work at different phases. There is a season for ploughing, and a season for seeding and another one for planting. They focus on achieving one thing at a time.
Trying to do too much at once will distract and stress you out, reduce your effectiveness and deplete you of the limited energy and resources you have. Coaches, trainers and new business owners have very limited time and resources.
You’ll also feel more fulfilled as you achieve incremental milestone goals.
Business Mindset 1: Focus on one thing at a time.
2. Focus on who your business want to serve
If you want to reach everybody, then nobody will be attracted to you. Because nobody wants to be “everybody”.
Everyone wants to feel special and they have unique needs.
When you feel pain in your eyes, you wouldn’t go to the optician around the corner. You would seek out an eye doctor or specialist. Why? Because specialists have the expert knowledge and they know how to help people with special issues.
You have the unique marketing or writing skills, a customized business solution, a passionate message and a cause you want to champion. You need to decide on what special people you want to work with the most.
Who do you think will benefit from your services the most?
Specialists attract special people
My fitness coach client who helps career-minded women get back into shape after delivery will attract a special group of clients.
Another fitness coach who specializes in helping women prepare for marathons will attract some other types of clients.
There’s no way we can help everyone and do that effectively.
Less is more focused
Most people do not like to make choices. They want to have it all because they don’t want to lose out. This is a mindset issue that needs addressing. But less is more focused. And being more focused will help you achieve your goals faster.
Working with a niche market does not restrict you from helping others. On the contrary people will still come to you but you’ll be very good at one thing for a very special group of people.
Business Mindset 2: Be a specialist and focus on your niche market.
3. Focus on completing the work at hand
There are many opportunities and too many new things to try.
But starting new marketing campaign before you complete the current one will distract you from both initiatives. And it will drain you of energy. Plus, it’ll take you a much longer time to complete both.
And worst of all, abandoning incomplete campaigns leaves you with a sense of being incomplete.
Completion brings fulfilment.
Remember the time when you finished writing a post? Or when you finished compiling all the data for your market research project? You feel great because you’ve worked through the job and completed it. You’ve achieved your objective. You feel fulfilled.
It is too easy to start strong and then neglect the work when new attractions arise. Inspiration is good but it takes discipline to stay on course and to see the project through.
Sometimes it’s hard to resist not taking up new initiatives. I get that. Every few weeks there’s changes, new marketing trends, new algorithm, and new platforms that are said to be game changers and you don’t want to be left behind.
I believe it’s important to keep up with the trends and to stay relevant. But before you start working on something new, you’ll need to make sure you can fit that into your current schedule so you can complete what you’re working on.
Otherwise, you’ll have ten different unfinished business projects by mid year and that won’t give you any sense of satisfaction.
Marathon Versus Sprint
We need consistent work and perseverance to help us complete the task especially when there’s distraction and when the going gets tough.
And we need the discipline to be consistent in implementation.
Inspiration alone will not carry us through to the finishing line.
Business Mindset 3: Focus on completing the task we’ve committed to work on.
Do you make New Year Resolutions? What’ your tip for making them work? Love to hear your thoughts and let’s catch up on Google+.
If you’d like some help with working out your goals this year, get in touch. I enjoy the customized one-on-one coaching calls.
This post was first published on 1st Jan 2014. It has been modified and updated for this publication.
Image credit: Sura Nualpradid for runner was taken from FreeDigitalPhotoNet
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