Kickstart Your Goals for 2014It’s that time of year again.  Time to set some goals.  For many, goal-setting is an oft-dreaded activity, one where you sit in front of a blank screen or sheet of paper, infected with writer’s block, unable to bring anything of value to mind.

What about setting goals is so difficult?

It’s a number of things, the most powerful of which is tied right into our humanity – the fear of failing.  The fear of setting a goal, not reaching it, and dealing with the feelings that follow.

I’m here to tell you that not setting a goal is a far worse failure than setting one you don’t achieve.

Just because you haven’t written down your goals and tracked progress on them doesn’t mean you’ve missed the mark in some way – by avoiding the “making goals” part, you’ve just given yourself an out from the guilt, but I guarantee you it’s going to creep up in some other, far more detrimental way.  You’ll have to let an employee go because you aren’t making enough to keep them on.  You’ll have to cut Christmas bonuses next December.  You’ll have to stop charitable programs or community outreach.

“That stinks!”  I know.  So let’s get started with some Kickstart Tips for Goal Setting!

1.)    What do you WANT, and what do you NEED to get it?  Want to be the best at customer service in your market?  You need to get an extra $30,000 from your top-line to afford customer service training for staff.  How can marketing help you do that?  This is a great way to start rough-drafting your goals and gain momentum –  stuff you can get excited about.

2.)    Get back to the basics.  Revisit your mission statement, your core values, and the dream you have for your business.  Have you been on track in the past year’s efforts?  If you lost the way, what happened?  If you did a good job in creating your mission statement, and you truly believe it, weaving it in to your goals will make them much easier to achieve because they’re aligned with your beliefs – your purpose.  And it’s much more fulfilling at the end.

3.)    What’s bugging you?  In the last year, what’s come up most often at team meetings? What battles have you been fighting? What problems have you sought help with that are still unresolved?  Create some goals about tearing down those barriers and putting those issues to rest.

4.)    Everyone says it because it’s true. Make your goals SMART.  You may know about SMART goals – goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Timebound.  Whether you are familiar with them or not, it’s easy to miss a step when you add 5 new steps to creating one single goal.  Make sure you don’t miss a beat by using a SMART Goal Template designed by our friends @HubSpot.