Achieving any goal requires some effort on your part and if you want to get methodical about it then I highly recommend a bit of a goal setting session (Ahhh, I remember when back in the day a session involved far too much snakebite and lots and lots of dancing)
It all starts with figuring out:-
1) What you REALLY want and why?
2) What has to happen for you to get it/there?
After that it’s about working backwards.
Some coaches I know refer to this as the desire, drive and do method which I think is pretty cool, I have a little love for calling it the Spice Girl method (tell me what you want, what you really really want).
First is my favourite step because you can go alllll out and it can also reignite your inner child a little – remember those days when you would play games with your friends and/or siblings and would be pretending to be grown ups and the time would fly by and you would sleep hard dreaming of what might be.
Anyway, this step requires that you get comfortable and start daydreaming. Keep your computer screen open or if you’re like me – a pen and paper to hand in case you need to note anything down and get to thinking about what you really, really want.
I know this imagination part can be tough, you might feel silly or unworthy but honestly, this is setting the foundations for your success in goal setting and it’s so important.
I remember the first time I chose to do this. I was alone and I felt embarrassed – can you believe that, embarrassed because I was giving voice to something I’d long ago buried.
My circumstances weren’t that great and I needed to change but I had no idea what to do to make that happen. This exercise was something I just learned to do for myself but over my years of study into self development it turned out that it was an actual method for building a life and business you love!
Let me be clear, it’s ok to be embarrassed or feel awkward but don’t let that put you off. If I hadn’t started that exercise 10 years ago, I would not be self employed with my own business, living in my own home in a town I love and feeling more content than I have ever felt.
I digress, give yourself time to daydream – not ages – but a healthy amount of time for this. I like to spend some quality time alone in the house with a vat of tea and my favourite biscuits. When I set myself some big goals back in September I was on holiday so at 5am I was on the balcony, daydreaming with a hot coffee and the sun on my face – it was bliss.
Whatever environment makes you feel relaxed and happy is the one you want to be in for this exercise.
I’m going to assume that you’re here because you want to set big goals for your business and find a way to make them achievable. So, I want you to use this daydreaming time to imagine where you see yourself and your business/career in 5-10 years. I’m an old hand at this so generally I start with imagining myself waking up in the morning. Where am I, how do I feel, what do I look like, what’s in my diary for the day etc. I imagine who I’m talking to and why, I imagine the day my family are having because of my level of business success and I imagine myself discussing or planning the week ahead too.
If you’re doing this now give yourself a good 30 minutes to imagine and then come back to me afterwards, you don’t need to jump ahead – this part of the process is invaluable.
Now another of my favourite things to do – brainstorming!
That’s right, write down everything you can think of that made you feel successful in your business. It can be big or small. Here are a couple of examples if you’re feeling weird again:
- Checked my email and have had a booking confirmed for speaking at Youpreneur Live for next year, I am fully booked with speaking gigs a year in advance
- I went to the office and discussed our next big ‘launch’ with my team
- I had a gallery wall of all the magazine features I had been in
- I have been asked to be an expert on XYZ show
- My husband/wife/son/daughter/mum work with me in the business full time
- I got a text off of XYZ to confirm our lunch date
- I had a meeting with XYZ and we confirmed that I have been hired to XYZ for their…
You get the picture right?
This will look different for you depending on what your business is. For me, my vision often sees me retiring my family from their jobs (if they want to) and with them then working freelance with me in my business as it’s financially capable of supporting them.
I want you to write literally everything you can remember that made you feel like a success in your daydreaming session. I’ve even written down what I was wearing and what I could see out of my window. This level of detail is useful because it creates more form for your dreams and more form makes you feel like you can set them as goals.
If you’re a stationery lover like me, grab yourself a highlighter and highlight anything that will most likely need a year to come to pass. For me I assess long term goals as exceeding 12 months so here is where we start drawing our focus to the long term goals.
It’s probably a pretty busy list right now. Focus on the highlighted ones and take a good look (these are technically all of your long term goals) and take a moment to group items that are similar. When there are several similar items it can be more sensible to have them as 1 significant long term goal.
For instance several of the goals I mentioned above as examples relate to being recognised as an authority figure in the chosen industry – speaking gigs/guest expert/hired by a well known brand or person etc. I would therefore group them together at this stage and create 1 larger goal.
It’s time to choose and prioritise.
Now your list should be a fair bit smaller. I want you to number them consecutively – 1 being your highest priority and 2 the next highest and so on and so forth.
Let’s crack open your top priority now. This is the long term goal to go on your board and to actively work towards. (Keep all the others somewhere safe and remind yourself to take a look in a month or so – I like to take a look at them regularly as it helps me stay on track)
We need to really take a look at this top priority in depth because this next step is to identify 2 things that need to happen this year in order to move us closer to that goal.
Lets see, becoming an authority in my industry.
Here is an example of two things I can do that will take the duration of this next year and will make the biggest impact on that goal
- Get featured in a popular and genre appropriate magazines/newspapers/podcasts – PR
- Build a highly engaged following on Social Media – Visibility
Here we have it. These are my two long term goals for this year for my business. Of course there are tonnes more that I *want* to achieve but these are the two linked to my highest priority goal.
Breakdown the goals into lots of actions you can take – these then allow you to do something towards that goal every single day – these smaller actions are the real needle movers.
Some will be one offs, some will be regular but the key is to making them manageable. (if they’re not manageable, they’re not actionable)
For example a bad action point would be ‘Earn 100k on one launch’ – that’s because it’s not actually an action but is in fact the consequence of other actions.
An example of a good action would be – reach out to the ‘podcasts/magazines/newspapers’ and ask what they require from me in order to be featured.
A recurring action would be – do a weekly live to share and showcase my experience etc.
As you take these small actions you’re going to progress along the path to your long term goal. That means that you’ll learn more, understand more and you will need to add more or reevaluate old actions. So review regularly, I like to do this once a month – personally it just helps me get excited for the month ahead and appreciate the changes in the month just gone.
This method of breaking down your major goals will help to keep you inspired and it will also give you something that you refer back to when you’re struggling, confused or simply reviewing.
Okay I admit it, I’m definitely a ‘blossoms under positive reinforcement’ kind of a girl. This means that if I find it hard to see the needle move I can get easily discouraged (FYI this apparent slow progress is normal when you set long term goals because the needle moves behind the scenes way more than it does up front to start with)
So I use these ‘actionable steps’ to set milestones and I celebrate when I hit them, they are my way of reminding myself that what I’m doing may be small but it is also mighty.
- Dinner out at fave quality restaurant when I reach 50(100/1000/10000) email subscribers
- A spa day when you hit a certain number of words written in your book
- A bottle of favourite wine when you hear back from the newspaper/podcast/magazine with the information you need
- A midweek day off when you have 50 people in your Facebook group
Etc. etc. Milestone celebrations are uniquely personal to you. Mine would mostly consist of eating out.
If you’re struggling with figuring this all out by yourself I have a great mentorship package. Register (with no obligation) for information on the next availability by clicking SIGN UP TODAY.
Catch you later, Amy x