Wow! I can’t believe that we are at the end of the last quarter of the year. For me, getting ready for next year is already in progress. Over the past few months, I have been contemplating what I would like to see my business do over the next year. While I haven’t been writing things down, I have realized that there are things that I must accomplish in order for my business to keep in its upward trend. Now is the time for me to get started on plans for having a successful year and put them in writing.

Plan Your SMART Goals

Review what happened this past year

That really means to critically look at what went well, what could have been handled differently and what I can improve. It’s important to me to keep the momentum going on the positives and adjusting or eliminating those activities that are not productive to my success.

Next on my agenda is planning my SMART goals.

Simply stated, these goals need to be:

Specific to my business. Listing items that I want to accomplish, when each will happen, what the benefits are to my business, what requirements or obstacles that I foresee and why each goal is important to my business success.

Measurable in some way. Whether it’s increasing my client base, profit earned or learning new software, I need to make sure that I can see and measure the progress on my goals.

Achievable is critical. Goals must be attainable. Stretch your abilities with your goals, however, be realistic in developing them.

Realistic is a priority. If goals are too farfetched, frustration occurs and possible failure. For instance, if I have a goal of flying to the moon, there is no way that this is happening, however, creating a new website within three months is attainable.

Timely is a valuable requirement for your goals. Setting goals to be accomplished during specific time frames provides a way to break down tasks. Ask yourself…what can I do in 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months?

Now that I have a list of goals, what is the next step?

Place goal dates on the calendar

This allows you the opportunity to begin the task of breaking down the goals. I take each goal and make a list of tasks that will help me achieve the goal. Don’t try and to do everything at once because this would become overwhelming. By placing items on the calendar, I can visually see where I need to be in my goals each week.

Set dates to review goals

I review goals every few months to see what is working and what I need to adjust. Yes, there are some goals that need to be adjusted throughout the year. This is especially true if outside influences occur that impact your business.

Celebrate a successful accomplishment

It’s ok to give yourself a pat on the back if you have accomplished a goal ahead of schedule. Any goal that you complete is a reason to celebrate.

I have discovered that SMART goals are a reasonable way for me to accomplish what I want for my business. Try being SMART to see what you can achieve.

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