6 Steps to Keep Your January Goals on Track for December Success
Studies reveal that about 50% of American adults make New Year’s Resolutions, and over 90% do not keep them for more than a few months. Did you set small business goals as part of your New Year’s Resolutions in January? Are you facing the harsh reality of being in the 90% who fail to keep them? You don’t have to be! It is a choice.
Here are 6 steps to help you stay on track so you can celebrate December success. The steps work with goals you set at any time of the year, not only your New Year’s Resolutions.
Step 1: Check to Make Sure You Set the Right Goals
Your goals should stretch you, push you, challenge you. You should not settle and make a goal smaller just because it is hard. On the other hand, make sure your goals set you up for success.
No judgment here! Look at your goals again. Now that you are a couple of months into this, are they still the right goals for you? Besides making sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely, are they relevant to you? Are you committed to making them happen? Are you making them a priority in your life? Do they support your values and desires? If your answers are yes, great. If not, take the time now to reevaluate your goals and set ones that are right for you.
Step 2: Journal Your Progress Daily
Keep a journal to track your progress. When you set your goals back in January, you would have broken your annual goals into quarterly, monthly and then weekly goals.
In a daily journal, set three tasks each morning you commit to accomplish to help you achieve your weekly goals (remembering they feed into your quarterly and annual goals). Each evening review your tasks, and be honest with yourself in your journal about what you accomplished that day, what you didn’t accomplish, and why. Jot down what challenges you faced, and what steps you can take the next day to overcome those challenges. Take note of your victories
Step 3: Two-Week Review
Every 14 days review your progress over the past two weeks as one journal entry. By taking this longer review perspective, you will spot even more emerging patterns than you did in your day-to-day reviews.
What worked well? How can you schedule more of THAT in your workday? What didn’t work well? Consciously look for patterns. What do you need to overcome your challenges? Do you need more knowledge? Different tools? How is your mental attitude? What resources and support do you need to turn any negatives into positives?
Step 4: Reevaluate Your Goals
Reevaluate your goals on a regular basis. You may choose to do this during your two-week review, or monthly or quarterly. Are your goals too small or too large? Neither serves you. Are they specific enough? Are they still a priority in your life? As I said at the beginning, your goals should stretch, push and challenge you, and you should not settle and make your goal smaller just because it is hard. However, you should not punish yourself with an unachievable goal, either. Reevaluate your goals as only you, the person in control of your life, can. Set yourself up for success.
Step 5: Mindset, Knowledge, Tools and Resources
Your mindset is one of your chief weapons to achieve your goals. Henry Ford’s famous quote sums it up: “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Do you need to adjust your mindset?
Next, make sure you have the necessary knowledge, tools and resources. One of the most common reasons people give for not achieving their business goals is they don’t know how to accomplish it, they don’t know what their next steps should be, or what tools they should use. It is not lack of willpower, determination, or even a matter of changing their habits…they just don’t have the knowledge, tools and resources for success in place.
This becomes critically important in today’s rapidly evolving technological and digital small business world. There are many online resources to help you gain the “how-to” knowledge you need. Be mindful of the resources you choose, and make sure they are credible. Those resources will range from free to hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Choose wisely. In addition, you might also need used automatic bill counters to keep track of your business finances.
Step 6: Results Require Action
As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing is not enough; we must do.” Now it is time for action!
I often tell clients that success is rarely accidental and that results require action. Reaching your goals is no exception. It is up to you!
Now you have a plan to reach your goals. Set the right goals for you, journal your progress, conduct reviews to note trends and patterns, reevaluate your goals based on your progress, and make sure you have the right mindset, knowledge, tools and resources for success, and take action. Do not give up! Turn your January Resolutions into December Success!
As an example of affordable, reputable resources that are available, check out our MEG (My Entrepreneurial Group) Membership program. It is filled with “knowledge, tools and resources” in the form of how-to videos from experts on critical small business topics, such as digital strategy, general marketing strategy, elevator speeches, graphic design, and YouTube and podcast marketing. We will soon be adding videos on writing a business book, Facebook and Instagram marketing, sales, creating your website, and many more topics. Other videos are in the planning stages, and we continue to add videos regularly to our MEG Library. In March we are launching our MEG Community and Live Events.
If you would like to discuss this post, your small business goals, MEG, or any other small business topic on your mind, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will set up a chat. I love meeting small business owners, learning more about their businesses, and seeing how I can help.
Robin Suomi, MBA, is an experienced small business expert and founder of Startup to Growth. She has worked with thousands of small business owners through coaching, mastermind groups, education and training. Robin believes success is rarely accidental and her passion is to help her clients set and reach their goals. Working with clients remotely through video platforms, she helps clients answer their technical business planning and execution questions as well as supporting them while they explore their potential. She encourages clients to dig deeper, dream bigger, and works with them to create their tangible Success Steps. Check out the website for ongoing virtual Small Business Coaching, Small Business Blueprint Coaching, MEG (My Entrepreneurial Group) Membership program. From time to time we launch new MEG Connect and MEG Startup mastermind groups. Email email@example.com with your questions or to set up a free 1-1 consultation.