In Setting Goals for 2011: 2010 Habits to Keep or Leave Behind, I challenged you to assess the past year and commit to only keeping those habits that would benefit you and your business. The idea was to use that list to create concrete goals that would propel your company forward throughout the new year. It’s June now. How have your goals been holding up? Have you proudly checked off the majority of your 6 month goals, or are you still working on things that should’ve been done in January? My progress has been good but not perfect. One major goal I completed was launching my new Get the SPARK™ eBook series…yay! However, you’ll see from the “Setting Goals” article that one habit I needed to leave behind was being a workaholic. I’ve only started to rein that in over the past month by committing to a smaller set of tasks on my to-do list and putting work down at a decent hour. It’s been a process.
If you’re one of those entrepreneurs who feels like your new year’s business resolutions went out the window, hope is not lost. You still have 6 months to get back on track, but you have to do things differently. Here’s what you can do now to make sure you end the year with a list of completed goals.
1. Pull out your new year’s business resolutions, and make sure they were realistic. Sometimes we get so caught up in creating goals that we never check to make sure they are something we can really attain. It’s like those people who commit to losing 20 lbs in one month. Unless they have 2+ hours a day to commit to working out or will be paying a long-term visit to The Biggest Loser ranch, that goal is not realistic. It’s the same for your business. Did you write down that you’d gain 10 new clients each week or that you’d increase sales 50% in the first quarter without a solid plan to back it up? Remember that goals need to be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound).
2. Examine the importance of the original list of goals & create a new list. Have the needs of your customers changed, or did you decide to take your business in a new direction? If so, then what you want to accomplish between June to December may have changed as well. That’s okay. It just means that you need to revise your current list. When writing out your goals for the remainder of the year, use the S.M.A.R.T. format mentioned above.
3. Get an accountability partner. It’s easier to fall off track if you have no one checking for your progress. Having an accountability partner, or someone who will hold you to your goals, helps to ensure that you keep moving forward. Find someone who is also a small business owner and perhaps in a similar field. Schedule regular meetings (I recommend starting with 2x a month) where you both have a chance to share your goals for the next 2 weeks, your progress on previous goals and any help needed from the other person. I have 2 accountability partners, and it never feels good to report that I made zero progress on my goals. If I do nothing else in between meetings, I make sure that I accomplish something for each of my goals, if not fully complete them.
For more information on how you can maximize the rest of your year, read Mid-Year Check-in.
What progress have you made on your goals in the 1st six months of this year? What help do you need to make it a stronger back-half of the year?