The best advice you could ever get about goal setting

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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. 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.

Brand Essence and Connection Expert Karen Osorio suggests that the first step to setting powerful business goals is to determine the TYPE of goal first. “Is it a process, performance or outcome goal? And which one is the priority right now?” Next, she warns us against “goal envy”. “Set goals that are relevant to you and your business – don’t get ‘goal envy’ or compare yourself with others.”

Ever set goals that you just know are completely out of reach? Whether they’re too big or you’ve set too many, Karen tells us to start with smaller goals first, get some runs on the board and build momentum for the bigger goals. “Don’t set yourself too many goals – this becomes overwhelming and you’re likely to abandon ship.” And her final tip – “Be accountable. Check-in with yourself and keep on target.”

Tara-Jay Rimmer, Director and business coach at Resting Boss Face tells us that goal setting is critical to getting where you want to be and creating a roadmap to success.

“Goals should be written like a roadmap so that you can pick them up and figure out where to go and what to do at any given moment in your business. Imagine you are driving somewhere new, you already know how to get halfway there but you want to quickly check google maps for the rest of the journey – that is what we want to achieve here.”

Tara suggests we start with our dream goal, the one that makes you a little nervous to say outloud, but causes a smile to spread across your face at the thought of smashing it. Now, get that pen and paper ready for Tara’s six critical questions:

1. To achieve your dream goal what is the #1 thing that you need to accomplish over the next 5 years?
2. To achieve your dream goal, what is the #1 thing you need to accomplish in 12 months?
3. To achieve your dream goal, what is the #1 thing you need to accomplish this quarter?
4. To achieve your dream goal, what is the #1 thing you need to accomplish this month?
5. To achieve your dream goal, what is the #1 thing you need to accomplish this week?
6. To achieve your dream goal, what is the #1 thing you need to accomplish today?

Like Karen, Tara says that in the end it’s all about accountability.

“Make sure that you review these goals and action steps every week. It is important to stay on track as it is so easy to get busy doing things that don’t take us closer to our goals. My biggest tip to ensure that you are staying on track is to get an accountability partner and arrange weekly accountability calls (a gem that is also self-employed is perfect) or a business mentor – someone that will remind you of what you said you would do when you just CBA :)”

Check out @Resting_Boss_Face on Instagram for more tips and tricks to become a 7 figure entrepreneur.

It’s not just about making a list of business goals and holding yourself accountable to it though. What about the other elements in your life that might get in the way or that you want on that list as well. Our friends over at Collins Debden, the makers of beautiful planners know a thing or two (three, in fact) about list making.

Before you look forward, start by looking back. Reflect on the last 12 months and make a list of all the things you have learned, missed, loved and wanted more of. Categorise them into career, relationships and personal sects, and use this as a guide to figure out how to plan for the next year. Do less of what you didn’t love, more of what you missed and loved and set yourself measurable goals to help you maintain these changes for the long term.

The hustle life lends itself to late nights, weird eating habits, way too much coffee, and little sleep. We know it’s bad for us and a difficult habit to break, but change starts with creating space to support new health habits. Take time to notice where clutter builds in your life, through journaling or mindful note-taking so you can uncover where both mental and physical clutter can be simplified. Don’t aim for perfection, but instead aim for simplicity and fulfilment. Order is a poor substitute for happiness, take the time to rethink your to-do lists, write them down and get them out of your head. This will clear mental clutter and you can then focus on achieving your goals and ticking things of your daily lists. So satisfying.

At the end of it, make sure you celebrate the wins! Writing lists and getting information out of your head is important to clear mental space, but it is equally as important to celebrate when you complete a task. While it’s true, some to-do lists are endless, let’s focus less on getting to the end of it, but instead focus more on our accomplishments. Positive thoughts drive positive outcomes. Organisation is a tool to lead a simple and fulfilling life and a way that can lead us to our best selves.

Collins Debden is featuring in our upcoming 12-days of Sparkle giveaway. Join in on Instagram @freelancinggems.

But wait, before you get your goal setting snacks ready to go, Laura Furiosi, business coach at Bossy Mummy warns us against three common mistakes in goal setting and has the tricks to avoid them.

1. People set goals they don’t actually want to achieve.

Number one in goal setting is you need to actually know what you want. There is no point setting goals that everyone tells you you should achieve or what you think you should. You need to set goals for what you know you want to achieve. For fast forward hustlers like us, sometimes this is hard, you find yourself just wanting to start getting things done. Stopping and reflecting isn’t our jam. I get it

But you need to stop and reflect and think about what you actually want. Or you will wake up with burnout in 5 years down a path you never really wanted to go. Not all business owners have to say their goal is more sales. Not all freelancers need their goals to be, to become an international name. These are good goals, but they might not be yours. The best tip I can offer is close your eyes and imagine your perfect workday. What do you do, what does your business do, how long do you work for, who do you work with? What does success look like for you? Because it looks different for everyone. Once you know this, your goals are instantly more achievable because they are goals you actually want to achieve.

2. People see goal setting as a once a year event.

Writing your goals down at the beginning of the year is great. Revisiting them and continuing to monitor and measure them throughout the year is better. Once you’ve set clear and measurable goals, you should be revisiting them monthly, if not weekly to ensure you are on the right path. I ask myself every morning when I create my schedule, are the tasks I am doing today helping me get closer to my dream goal?

3. People are shrinking their goals because of their self-confidence issues.

Got big dreams? Wanna have big goals, but you think there is no possible way you could ever achieve it? I am here to tell you to stop selling yourself short just because the goal seems so hard to achieve. Your goals need to match your dream. If your dream is huge, then so be it. This is the universe giving you your mountain to climb. Every path towards achieving goals starts with the first step. No matter how mammoth the goal is. So you might as well take that first step.

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.