Top Tips for Setting Goals from our FG business coaches

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How much time do you spend ON your business compared to IN your business? As founders, freelancers, sole traders and side-hustlers finding the time to spend on your business – growth plans, financial planning, business goals – while you’re deep in the hustle can be like finding a matching pair of socks in a hurry. But all the successful entrepreneurs, books and podcasts will tell you it’s the best investment you can make in your business.

Setting goals are very important to define a clear direction for your business and work on your vision becoming a reality. By setting SMART goals, you can measure, take pride and even gain self-confidence that these are possible. But do you know where to begin or get started? No worries, we’ve got your back as we have asked some of Freelancing Gems Business Coaches Cherie, Laura, Vari, Gry and Karen to share some tips on how you can set powerful business goals.

So, grab a pen and your favourite planner, start a new Asana board, or open your notes app, ’cause it’s time to set some bold boss lady goals.

Make the goal exciting and a place of abundance

According to Cherie, a facilitator and coach from Luminate Leadership, when we create goals, it’s important to come from a place of abundance rather than lack. 

Focus on what you will gain and positive impacts it will have. Always focus on the language. Keep it future-focused, optimistic and use positive words. 

For example instead of using limiting and negative phrases and words like, “I want to stop______”, “I need to give up ______or “I will quit _____” 

Flip it.

Use things like “gain”, “create a new”, “enhance” etc.

Courage Coach Vari, says “you need to make the goal exciting. Look at the language you are using, and try to put yourself in the shoes of your future self who has already smashed the goal.”

Make it specific and measurable but over achievable

 Cherie, a facilitator and coach from Luminate Leadership says the SMART goals acronym is a great guide for this and to ask yourself these questions:

What steps do you need to take?
Define your measure for success.
How will you know when you have achieved your goal?
How will you celebrate it? . –

It may sound contrary to Vari’s 2nd tip to make it over achievable.

Especially for new year’s resolutions and goals. Stay away from anything which could easily become demotivating like “every day in 2022 I will..”, ’cause by 2nd Jan you could already dislike it and/or give up.– Vari, a courage coach and events leadership

She emphasises to look at it like Mt. Everest, reaching the summit is incredible, but how amazing is reaching Camp 3? Base Camp?

Be truthful with yourself when setting your goals and align them with your life purpose.

According to Laura Furiosi, a business coach from Bossy Mummy, “Goal setting is about putting on paper what your dreams are so you can achieve them. But I see so many people create goals that couldn’t possibly be their dreams or seem like a dim version of their real dream. I don’t dream about increasing my sales by 10%. I dream about changing the world for the better. Hard to write down into a goal I know, but some goals have to be what your dream really is.”

“Don’t self limit your goals because you’re embarrassed your dreams are too big or you feel they are too unachievable. That’s the beauty of goal setting, once you’ve set your goal, you then create baby mini goals (way less exciting but helpful) to get you to the big one. That’s when you write down mini goals that no one actually dreams about, like increasing profitability by 10% etc.”

If you create goals that are small, just so you can achieve them in a short time, are you setting goals so you can achieve your dreams or just so you can say you’ve achieved a goal? Your goals take longer to achieve but you’ll be a million times happier when you finally get there. – Laura

Vari has also recommended that you have to make sure the goal is aligned with your life purpose, your big picture goals and who you really want to be.

“Imagine yourself in front of a mirror looking at your happiest, healthiest, most peaceful and successful self…

Is the goal moving you towards that person? If not – rethink the goal. If so – you go for it.” – Vari

Check your new goal list for “SHOULD GOALS” and get rid of them.

Create goals that serve you and not the other way around. Goals can feel like a heavy burden if you create “should goals”.

What is a should goal? These are the goals that you think you SHOULD aim for. These are the goals perhaps your parents expect you to achieve, your peers or you’ve seen on Instagram or your industry has benchmarks for. SHOULD goals, don’t serve you. You end up serving them. With each morning when you wake up and remember what you SHOULD be working towards, your mindset is already negatively geared to let you down. Your goals need to serve you, or they don’t work.

How do you get goals to serve you? Create goals that you actually want. Sure we all have societal and industry expectations, but don’t go setting goals about that. Forget it, it won’t work. Set goals for things you burn to achieve, for things that you know will make your life better, things your intuition tell you is next for your business. Those goals, true goals, from the heart will have you springing out of bed in the morning and are more likely to succeed. – Laura explained

Priority is Your Saviour – Write it down, no matter how long it takes!

Brand Essense & Connection Expert, Karen Osorio, says “As a brand new mum to my bub (who is only 3 months) and still running my business, I now have more things than ever to do each day.”

Karen has learnt, however, to do the most important thing first – not the easiest or the quickest.

When bub was asleep, I’d try to fit as many things as I could in the hour he’d be sleeping… only to realise that what I really needed was a shower and as soon as I would turn on the tap… he’d wake! Showering was most definitely more important than stacking the dishwasher – which was a task someone else could have done. – Karen

Cherie suggests creating a visual board, image/tracker and keeping it from and centre. Somewhere you will see it regularly, your fridge, office or your diary. Regularly check in on your progress, update your visual tracker and celebrate milestones along the way.

Take Baby Steps, Set time for Reflecting & Redirecting.

According to Laura, Business Coach of Bossy Mummy, goals are useless if you don’t schedule in time to reflect and redirect.  The main difference between someone who achieves their goals and someone who doesn’t is the frequency that they look over their goals, measure them, and reflect on them.

Laura said “that we must aim to look at them each morning and ask yourself, is “what I am doing today helping me reach my current goals?” You’ve probably got a diary or a desk planner etc. Your goals should be written out on it so you can see it each week. When you plan your schedule for the day, it is a good reminder to check you are actually working towards those goals. However, one thing that people are afraid of doing is sticking to the goal even if it isn’t serving them anymore.”

When checking your goals and task each morning to see if they marry up and you consistently find they are not, it’s time to reflect on why that is. Is it that the goal isn’t what you really want? Or is it that you are procrastinating and avoiding your goal? Constant reflection will help you overcome mindset issues to achieve your goals. Adjusting and tweaking your goals to serve you and your business better will help you in the end.”

Additionally, Vari also suggests to look at options like “12 times this year” or “twice a week”, celebrate the goal and remember you can reach further while celebrating each step along the way.

“Achieving your goals is hard work, and it takes commitment and consistency. It’s easy to lose momentum if our goals are long-term and we don’t see immediate results. So, break it down and reward yourself for all the ‘little things’ you do that bring you closer to your grand finale. Babies can only concentrate on what is right in front of them, and they keep doing that ‘one thing’ until they get it.” – Karen Osrio, Brand Essence & Connection Expert

Gry shared from her tips to place yourself in the future ( I like to set the date 12 months from now ) and use your imagination to place yourself in the future. Picture your own success and describe where you are across a variety of areas, including business, health, wealth, family & friends, team, customers, partners…. Imagine your success and put it down on paper. Make sure you are clear on your WHY, WHO, WHAT, HOW and WHEN (and accept that it WILL change – continuously). 

Be Kind to yourself! Be authentic and congruent, Don’t Compare – Just be YOU!

Whatever you do, make sure that your goals are relevant to you and what you are passionate about. Being authentic and genuine makes life so much easier. By adding congruent, you create another dimension of creating goals that you can hold yourself accountable to. 

Every time I do something, I think “is this congruent with my mission, vision, values and goals”? Am I walking the talk? By incorporating congruency into your goal setting, you can set yourself up for success. – Gry, a coach and mentor for Women in Tech

Karen also agrees with one of her tips on this as she mentioned that:

“Be authentic in what your goals truly are and why you are setting them. Do what is right for you and what aligns with your values.” – Karen Osrio, Brand Essence & Connection Expert

Think big, but don’t forget to pick the low-hanging fruit

Gry, a coach and mentor for Women in Tech says “it is easy to get overwhelmed about ALL the things that you may want to achieve, and I always encourage you to aim high. However, it is important to not lose sight of the low-hanging fruit. The things right in front of your eyes that can be your bread and butter while you still work out the detailed what, how and when of your big items.”

Lastly, celebrate it.

According to Cherie, we should celebrate each minor milestone along the way. This is where the measure of success is so critical.

“Half of the joy and satisfaction of achieving a goal is what you learn and experience through the process so enjoy the journey and celebrate your wins!” -Cherie

Most importantly, balance and gratification, make sure you celebrate the wins! Positive thoughts drive positive outcomes. Organisation is a tool to lead a simple and fulfilling life and the best version of ourselves.

Your dream goal doesn’t have to be achieved overnight. There is nothing wrong with having great ambitions. Yes, it might be overwhelming when you look at it, but if you structure it correctly and break it down into small tiny steps and focus on those tiny steps, it will no longer seem so impossible.