4 Tips to Help You Set and Achieve Your Annual Objectives
The close of a year and the birth of a new one traditionally serves as a time for reflection and excitement. It’s important to look back upon your successes and shortcomings from the past year, as this then lays the groundwork for building anticipation about what is to come.
That’s right – as clichéd as the concept might be, engaging in a goal-setting exercise for your business can serve as the launching pad for success throughout the entire year.
Yet while goal-setting may seem straightforward on its face, you need to set yourself up to define, attain, and then surpass those goals. So whether these goals are for your personal or professional life, we’ve assembled a few helpful pointers for getting yourself on the right path to achieve them.
1) Prime Yourself for Success
It may sound silly, but it’s important to take a moment to celebrate your achievements from the past year. No achievement is too big or too small! This is a great way to get yourself in the right headspace to dream big as well as provide perspective on the goals you want to set for the new year.
Your seemingly lofty goals could look much more achievable when you list out the things you were able to accomplish last year, and this exercise should definitely get you pumped up and ready to conquer the new year.
2) Refine Your Goals
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a big picture goal?
- Is it the same as last year, or has it changed?
- Are you excited about it?
- How close are you to achieving it?
- What are you doing to accomplish that goal?
You must have a big picture goal, so you should find time to create one or thoroughly revisit the one you already have. That process could even look like this:
- Imagine where you want to be this time next year.
- Focus on the outcome first.
- What do you want to see happen?
- How do you want to feel?
- Why are those outcomes important to you?
Describing and documenting the way you want to feel and why is key to this process. For example, say your goal is to meditate every day, and the “why” could be “to reduce stress.” Even if you only meditate a few days a week, you will likely experience a reduction in stress. This way, though you may have “failed” to reach the goal of daily meditation, you did achieve your goal of reducing stress – and that might have been the most important goal all along.
Remember, there are usually many paths to reaching a goal. Flexibility is essential in your approach, especially if you focus on the “Why” over the “What.”
3) Determine How You Will Get There
Once you have refined your goals, you need to ask yourself: “What needs to be true for this to happen?”
From here, we start to work backward from the conclusion to the present day. If your goal is to hit $2 million in annual revenue, you should calculate how much you need to bring in every month, and then break down what work is required to bring in that monthly revenue.
The process can feel overwhelming, which is why we suggest breaking your goal up into deadlines throughout the year. For example, “To hit $2 million in revenue, we need to bring in 3 new accounts by July.”
These deadlines give you a chance to regularly evaluate your progress so you can adjust as needed. And this leads us right into our next tip:
4) Hold Yourself Accountable
Having both a visual reminder of your goal and a way to track your progress will help focus your efforts. This could be something as granular as a project plan on a spreadsheet with monthly or even weekly tasks broken out, or it could be something as big picture as a vision board.
In addition to documenting your goals and tracking your own progress, we recommend you make your goals known to your inner circle so they may hold you accountable as well.
Don’t let another year of progress pass you by! Ultimately, goal setting boils down to recognizing where you’ve come from, setting definitive objectives, creating a clear path forward, and holding yourself responsible. You will be surprised what you can achieve by taking these simple but effective steps.
May you reach the goals you set, and cheers to the new year!