People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. —Earl Nightingale
I don’t typically start my day off on a mathematical note, but a date of 12/12/12 is hard to ignore. Add into the mix, the approaching season of resolutions and goal-setting, and suddenly 3, 6 & 9—all divisors of 12 and standard monthly intervals—popped into my head. From there it was an instantaneous leap to thinking about business goals for the coming year.
10 minutes of web surfing led to a few sound musings on this topic, and though I generally aspire to craft my own take when writing, I landed on a webpage that I couldn’t pass up sharing. No disrespect to the website’s owner, however, it was the guest post that grabbed me. Before you dive in (to both the read and the goal-setting), here’s an exercise to get your head in the game:
1. Take a look back on the past year and draft a list of the following:
- What worked and what didn’t?
- What could you have delegated, but didn’t?
- What (and who) wasted your time?
- How many business planning meetings did you have?
- What steps did you take to increase your skill-set (aka value)?
- What contributions did you/your business make to the community?
- What conversations did you not have with clients or co-workers that you should have?
- What are you most proud of or most remorseful about?
2. Compare notes with your business partner, co-worker or boss then ask, “Are we on the same page?” If not, it’s time to review and append your business objectives as a team.
3. Get out the (financial) books for a quarterly comparison (hopefully it’s not the first time this year). Next, write down an emotion that bests describes your reaction to the numbers. Thrilled, disappointed, not surprised, scared, hopeful… Finally, jot down your magic number for 2013.
4. Take note of the services or products that generated the most income, and why you think this occurred. Do the same for those that didn’t do much to boost the bottom line.
5. Ask yourself: What did I enjoy the most about this past year? What got me down and/or wore me out? What engaged me the most? What would I be happy to never do again?
Seems like a lot of prep work, but trust me, having these answers is going to make your goal-setting a breeze.
When you’re ready, pick your vehicle: traditional outline, handwritten diagram, a Prezi, a wall of stickies… It’s important to be organized, but looks won’t count as much as follow-through; have a little fun.
Now that you’re both feet in, I’ll refer you back to Jaime Tardy‘s post. It’s just one way of looking at things, but it’s certainly worth a few minutes of your reading time. And, in mid-December, when it’s easy to get distracted, you—and me—need all the inspiration we can get.