8 Key factors for successful goal achievement

As a marketer, I always talk about goal setting and how important it is to achieve what you want. But, in order to accomplish your goals, you can’t just set them and expect them to happen. It’s about thinking carefully about what you want to achieve…and then work out what you need to do to get there. Each goal needs hard work and goals need to have specific steps to follow.

So, it’s important to set goals that will actually make a difference to your business and help you push your business forward, be that achieving more customers, selling more products or goals set around gaining more engagement or followers on social media.

Set goals that motivate

It’s crucial to have goals that motivate you. Motivation is what will help you achieve them. Make sure that your goals are focused specifically on what you want from your business. Each goal needs you to commit to them so that you can make them a reality.

When writing down your goals, include a sentence about why each goal is valuable to your business and important to you. If I asked you to share your goals with me, could you convince me that each one is worthwhile? You need to know your ‘why.’

SMART Goals

I’ve talked about SMART goals in previous blogs and on social media, but it’s a valuable way to make sure your goals are viable.

They should all be…

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

For example, if you have a goal that is to ‘lose weight in 2022’. This is not a SMART goal. If it were SMART, it would say…

I will lose 2 stone by Christmas 2022 and will weigh myself once a month to keep on track.

This is specific (2 stone); Measurable, (as you can easily keep track using scales to measure how you are doing against your goal; Attainable, (2 stone in a year is perfectly achievable); Relevant, (because this is where you want your weight to be and can give the focus to your goal with a sensible timeline); Timely (12 months to lose 2 stone is timely, as it is a goal of losing less then 1lb per month).

Write your goals down

When you write them down, it makes them real and holds you accountable. You can’t forget about them if you write them down.

Be positive with the language you use when writing down your goals. Don’t use words like, ‘I would like to ….’ Use positive language, such as ‘I will…’  

Keep your goals somewhere visible so you can refer to them on a regular basis. It’s no good writing them in a word document, saving it and not looking at it again until the end of the year.

Set deadlines for your goals

You may have a goal that can be achieved within a month or two – set a deadline for each of your goals, or at least a deadline for achieving part of them. This helps to keep you accountable. If your deadlines are realistic, then you know that you will be able to achieve them with a bit or hard work and dedication.

Have an action plan

Once you have written down your goals, now spend some time thinking about exactly how you will achieve that specifically. If a goal is particularly big, you could break it down into more manageable chunks, or mini goals. Your action plan is your step-by-step guide, so you know exactly what you need to do. It gives you a structure to follow.

Put reminders in your diary

Once you have your action plan, go to your diary, and make regular time slots each month to review how you are doing. This enables you to tweak your goals if you need to and to ensure you are keeping on track. This will help you avoid the overwhelm and the last-minute panic at the end of the year.

Think about obstacles

Have a good look at your goals. Can you foresee any obstacles that would stop you from achieving them? This is a kind of risk assessment. What might stand in your way? And how will you overcome that?

Celebrate your small wins

With every goal, there will be small wins along the way. When you achieve a goal, or even achieve some of the small steps to that goal, celebrate! It’s hard to stick to your goals 23/7 and there will be times when you go way off course or procrastinate…or you might succumb to imposter syndrome. These can all help to scupper your plans, so be aware of these things. When you do achieve something small and celebrate, it will motivate you more to carry on achieving the bigger picture.

Conclusion

Setting goals is about seeing what we want for ourselves and our businesses in the future. I find goal setting an exciting venture, not a chore. If I work hard, I can achieve them and so my business will be more successful.

It’s important to be motivated and yes, EXCITED about where you want to take your business. All you need to do is to prioritise your time, energy and focus to make sure that you have a relevant action plan, with formal steps or a path to achieving what you want.

Be committed, believe in yourself and what you can achieve, take yourself out of your comfort zone…and most of all be confident.

I’ve always told myself and my children that they can achieve anything they want to – there are just blank pages ahead and it’s up to them to fill them with what they want. They just need to focus and go for it. Be confident, and with a sustainable action plan, you can achieve whatever you want.

Once you have this plan in place and you can see it working, you will always want to have one in place for your business.

As always, if you need my help and would like to have a 1:1 session on setting your goals and pulling together an action plan for your business, please contact me.

What does it mean to be goal oriented?

If you are goal oriented as a person, it means you are focused on achieving a specific objective or to accomplishing a given task.

It can also refer to your business or marketing plan…or even a project plan – you can make your targets goal oriented, which means they are designed to achieve the results you want.

As Albert Einstein once said, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”  I agree with this to a certain extent, but I do also think that people, such as family also contribute to helping you live a happy life, but I get where he was coming from!

You can apply goal setting to all parts of your life, not just to your business objectives. It just means that you set yourself targets and objectives that will help you make progress. For example, if you join a gym, you can’t expect to be lifting the heavy weights or running for 20km, the minute you step into the gym. You have to build up to that in small steps…or goals. The same could be applied to losing weight… you might have to lose 52lbs, but that isn’t going to come off in a couple of weeks, you need to have a plan with set goals (or little milestones) to get you there. Your first goal might be to lose 7lbs in one month – that’s easier to achieve as it’s realistic and specific. No matter what your goals are for, whether for you in your general life, for your health or for your business, your goals should be SMART goals.

For the purpose of this article, I am going to focus on being goal oriented for your business.

Habits determine whether you will achieve your goals

Many of us ponder the question, “How can I be more successful?” What we don’t realise is that we all hold the tools to become successful inside us, we just need to bring them out. Successful people are where they are because of the habits they adopt. Habits determine our behaviour. If you create good habits and adopt positive behaviour, you will have the ability to be successful.    

A goal driven person will work much harder whenever there are deadlines to be met. If you have a goal in your sights, plan how you are going to achieve it – have a clear idea of all the steps needed to get to that goal, breaking it all down into manageable chunks. You may not achieve parts of your goal first time around, but it’s about being focused on that end result and recognising all the steps in between.

What can you do to motivate yourself to achieve?

One of the key things that will help you achieve your goals is motivation. How do you stay motivated to achieve your goals? This is not always easy.

  • Make sure that the goals you want to achieve are really YOUR goals. You have to absolutely want that goal to be able to achieve it, so don’t look at what other people do and want out of life, look into yourself and what it is that you want – what is important to you?

    We sometimes think we want something, just because one of our friends or business colleagues talks about it. For me, a good example is Instagram and getting a good following. I’m still in the early stages of this, but at the very beginning, I was really hung up on how many followers I had, compared to others. So I did all the wrong things to get followers – one in particular, was the ‘follow for follow’ mentality, (or on Facebook, the ‘like for like’ mentality). For a start, after you have done the initial follow or like, several people will unlike or unfollow you and this is depressing when you see your follows going down instead of up. It’s because these followers aren’t the right people for your business. You need followers to follow you because they GENUINELY like your content, or are genuinely interested in your business. The same applies the other way around – only follow or like the businesses that you absolutely feel a connection with or are genuinely interested in their products or services. The follow for follow people will never become your customers.  
  • Money… Lots of people feel that money alone will be enough to motivate them…and maybe for some it does, often to the detriment of everything else. Obviously all of us who are in business for ourselves have money in our minds…we need to pay bills, we want to buy nice things and to do that, you need money. But it’s not a good idea to let it control your every move and fill your every waking thought. You still need some downtime to pursue a hobby or to be with your family and friends. It’s important to still have a life outside of work and making money.
  • Motivation also comes from the people around you. It’s important to be able to bounce ideas off like-minded people, so it’s good to surround yourself with positive thinkers who emanate positive vibes. We’re human and most humans give and receive energy and inspiration, so make sure you are receiving as much as you are giving away.
  • Self-awareness. Some of your goals may need you to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are in order for you to achieve the end result. You may need to learn new skills or get someone who has those skills to help you. 
  • Be organised! It’s very easy when you’re focusing on a particular goal to let your thoughts and ideas run away with you. Sometimes your energy and motivation can be seriously damaged by over-stimulation or a cluttered mind, because you just have so much going on in there!

    Instead of trying to keep it all in and wing it, sit down and take time to put all your ideas onto paper (or on a word doc) and make a list. Talk it through with someone who understands where you’re coming from and talk out your ideas – they might suggest some solutions. Put your ideas into specific tasks and allocate a time period. You will feel so much better for it.

    Whilst on the subject of being organised, it’s also crucial to work in an uncluttered and organised space. If your desk space or work area is cluttered and untidy, it will affect the way you work.
  • Keep your eye on the bigger picture. When you’re working on some of the more menial tasks in order to reach a particular goal, you might be tempted to cut corners or not bother with some elements. But if you keep that end result in mind, it will help you stay on track.
  • Time management is also crucial to achieving your goals. Each goal, or each part of a goal should have a clear deadline so you are accountable for making progress.  
  • Sometimes things will go wrong – it’s inevitable that it won’t all be plain sailing. To keep yourself motivated during these moments, it’s important to remember that things do go wrong and sometimes it’s completely out of your control. Take the Covid-19 virus for example. None of us could predict that a virus that would affect the whole world…just come out of nowhere and stop many businesses in their tracks. But it did, and it is still affecting many businesses, including mine. But we have to keep believing that it will pass and things will slowly get back to normal. It might be a different kind of normal, but we will get there. And we have all adapted and thought of other ways to get our business moving and still try and achieve our goals.
  • Finally, try and be consistent. If you want to get to that goal, you have to do something towards it every day. Some days you might not feel like doing anything…and you should have at least one day off a week, when you can switch off and be with your friends or family and relax. But, on your work days, if you’re feeling a bit lethargic, just do something small towards your goal – speak to your positive friend; write a social media post; make a new list with smaller, more achievable chunks.

It’s also good to be process oriented

Being goal oriented is nothing new. Whether you realise it or not, you are set goals from the minute you’re born. Your parents or guardians encourage you to take a bottle, to crawl, to walk, to talk, to use cutlery…the list is endless. But these are all goals that you are encouraged to achieve and you are rewarded if you achieve them.

I remember my Mum taking me to a birthday party and she put me in knickers instead of a nappy for the first time out of our own house. All the way there, she reminded me to ask if I needed to use the bathroom and what a good girl I was, and how clever I was. And, if I managed to do this all afternoon, she would take me to the toy shop and I could have a new dolly….and there you have it…I had a goal to work for. The goal was getting the dolly….the process was that I asked to use the bathroom and didn’t pee my knickers!  Needless to say, I got the dolly and I was so proud that I’d achieved my goal!

So, setting your goals is good but achieving them is also about the processes you go through to get there.  

If you’re setting goals, then you need to have an action plan in place to describe the process you will go through to get the end result. And you need to make sure it is the right process.

Make the process enjoyable and rewarding

None of us can do something we don’t like doing for very long. For example, if you have decided you will follow a particular fad diet for the next six months, it is unlikely you will get to the six month point. Fad diets tend to include things we don’t like eating, or don’t like doing, so it makes it harder to stick to, than a sensible eating diet where nothing is forbidden, it’s just that certain foods are limited.

You need to wake up every morning, looking forward to going to work so you can start work on the next part of your process to achieve your goals. If the process you have chosen is unworkable, you won’t stick with it. Both the goals you want to achieve AND the process must both be rewarding. If the processes you choose are ones you like, they become part of the goal in that they lead you there. And if there is a process you don’t yet understand, take the time to learn about it and always be on the look out to learn new skills.

I love writing, so any goal I set for my business always includes a large element of writing, as that is what I enjoy and it makes my goal feel closer. When you can find the right process for you, you’ll love working on them and you’ll most likely not only achieve your goals, but surpass them!

Conclusion

It’s good to set goals for your business, so you are working towards making your business a success. However, don’t let your goals rule your life or ruin your life! Make sure you strike the right balance and still live a little, spend time with your family and enjoy some rest and relaxation. Work is not the be all and end all for a happy life!

Ensure your goals have a process to get you there that you will enjoy. It will of course, involve hard work and dedication, but if you can make the process rewarding by incorporating things you like to do, you’ll enjoy the journey and it won’t be so stressful.  

If you have any comments or more ideas, please feel free to comment below.