Published: Sep 07, 2022 | Updated at: Jun 17, 2023
Did you know that only one-third of senior managers can name their firm's top priorities?
When the time comes to sit down and set goals, people may have ideas, but it can be hard to reach them without a clear plan of action. Without goals and aspirations, though, your business's growth is limited. That's why taking the proper steps to notify your team and then working to carry those out is so essential.
What does that look like, though? We're here to help you learn. Read on to learn everything you need to know.
1. Write Everything Down
The first step you need to take is writing everything down. No idea is bad when it comes to this step, and it can make a bigger impact than you might think. You can keep it simple with a bulleted list or go all out with an extensive spreadsheet that notes and tracks all your goals as necessary.
The biggest thing to remember, no matter what you're aiming for, is to be specific and identify what you want to accomplish for your business. What will things look like once you've reached those goals? What will that success mean for your company as a whole?
Remember, vague planning won't be enough here. All you're doing at that point is ensuring your goals stay exactly that.
2. Set Short and Long-Term Goals
While setting long-term goals is admirable, setting short-term ones can provide faster gratification.
It's frustrating to work towards something for so long without feeling like there have been tangible results. That's where creating smaller goals that align with your larger ones comes into play. Things are always going to come up that need to be immediately tended to, but having your long-term goals to zoom out on and look toward can come in handy when too many things come up.
The point here is to give yourself a balance. You want to make sure you're working towards something grand, but you also want to be sure you're tending to your team's everyday needs.
3. Remain Realistic
This is where remaining realistic with your business goals is so important. Setting small deadlines that help you work towards your bigger end goals is important, but you want to be sure you're leaving space for unexpected things to be tended to in the meantime. Be honest about your own expectations, and don't expect too much of yourself.
The less you can put on your plate when you're first getting started, the better. If things do start weighing you down and you get off track with your business goals, remember to give yourself a break and focus on the things you have accomplished.
4. Keep Yourself Accountable
When it comes to business goals, 40 percent of managers say their greatest challenge is aligning on company strategy. That's why keeping yourself and your team accountable once you've committed to certain goals is so essential. That means involving other team members in your goal planning so you can all not only stay on the same page but keep each other accountable as time goes on.
They can check in on your progress periodically, which can be a great help when it comes to staying focused throughout the year.
5. Find a Mentor
It might seem impossible, but finding a mentor to help you along your journey can help keep things in perspective. Chances are, they've gone through experiences similar to yours and they can help you through the process. Things can seem like they're falling out of control when you're feeling overwhelmed, but having another person there to help talk you down is a great way to stay on track.
If you can find someone and they offer advice, listen to it. There are platforms that can help you connect with mentors, or you can search on social sites like LinkedIn.
6. Give Yourself a Time Limit
It's important to set a time limit for your goals, otherwise, you'll just keep putting it off. You've already mapped out what it's going to take to accomplish your goal, so now it's time to match things up to a timeline.
Remember, though, to make sure you're giving yourself enough time. There's no need to speed things along for the sake of progress when you have an unlimited timeline. Start with giving yourself more time than you need, and as things progress you'll be able to gauge an accurate time limit for certain things and you'll know what's realistic for you.
7. Make Sure It's What You Want
As a business owner, you need to make sure your goals are aligned with yourself, your company's values, and also your team's. You already know that being a business owner isn't for the faint of heart, otherwise, you wouldn't be where you're at. Well, growing a business isn't a small task either.
If your goals aren't aligned with your vision for your company and team, then it's only going to be harder to reach that goal. When you're coming up with goals, try to fit them into your company's brand and values. If things don't seem to click, it might be best to go back to the drawing board.
8. Make Time to Celebrate
Whether it's a big win or a small win, remember to make time to celebrate. Rewarding yourself for your achievements with something you want to have or experience is a great motivator to continue pushing forward.
Work-life balance is important to attain, and it can be hard to stay motivated if all you're doing is working. Neglecting yourself can be unhealthy, and at some point, it's going to have an impact on your team and your business. Even if it's a small win and a small celebration, remember to make time to celebrate and be in the moment.
9. Automate What You Can
The global business process automation market was worth $9.8 billion in 2020, and it's expected to grow to $19.6 billion by 2026.
With such a focus being placed on optimization for company workflows, it's worth looking into things yours could do to potentially improve its own. When you're setting goals, if there are small tasks that you notice may become repetitive (like data management), there's probably a way to automate them. If there are certain team members with more stake, start by talking to them before you try automation.
They'll have a much clearer picture of what would work with their processes, and they'll be able to tell you honestly about the things that would and would not work well.
Once you've talked to those key stakeholders, you can create a workflow diagram that incorporates everything they told you along with the project's needs. Test things out, deploy, and train your team to use everything. After a certain amount of time, gather feedback and then work to improve the things your team members pointed out.
This step can take some trial and error (especially with different software), but it's worth it in the end.
10. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself
As things go on, it's important to reflect on the journey to reaching your goal. What worked? What could you do better next time?
Once you've answered those questions, think about specific actions you can take to improve. Not only can this help bolster your confidence for the future, but it can also help you identify the activities you found truly enjoyable along the way.
For example, maybe you enjoyed creating blocks in your calendar for daily meetings, but you didn't enjoy eating your lunch alone. While one thing helped you to accomplish your work tasks, it might've also left you feeling isolated. Now, you can take that lesson and apply it the next time you're working towards something.
It can help you stay on track without feeling like you're falling behind.
Be Ambitious When You Set Goals
It's easy to knock your ambitions down a level or two when you set goals, but you don't have to fear the unknown. Of course, a bit of fear is healthy, but allowing it to stop you before you've even started can hinder you from making any progress at all — especially when it comes to your business goals. Also, remember that some goals take time to accomplish, and it's OK to stumble before you succeed.
Having the right tools on your side throughout the process can be helpful, though, and that's where we come in. With our project management tools, you'll be well on your way in no time. Check out our pricing today to choose a plan that fits you.