Setting goals and planning can seem such a huge and daunting task. It’s just easier to go with what each day brings. You’re not doing too badly, you think to yourself. Paying the bills, putting food on the table and a few holidays thrown in for good measure. In fact, you’re doing pretty great.
So why do you feel that you could do more? What’s that making you toss and turn at night? You know you have more in you. More to give and more to achieve if you could only get more time. Every day you rush from one task to the other, hoping to at least tick off some of your to-do list. And the days you get a few things done, you feel like a champ… till you remember that all those tasks were just ‘busy’ work. You still haven’t moved the needle on the things that really matter.
For me, moving the needle is tied to planning ahead. It seems such a simple thing but it’s so hard to get it done. Why is planning and following the plan so hard for even the most dedicated amongst us? I think it’s because we make it so complicated. Let’s break it down to some easy steps.
First things first
What do you really want? And don’t say to be happy. Happiness is a state of mind you can achieve curled up in bed with your favourite book and a glass of wine (or tea if you prefer). What would give you a sense accomplishment? What do you like to do that you would like to do more of?
My sense of accomplishment comes from teaching / coaching. I love to help people acquire new skills and develop new depths to themselves. What is your thing? Making pretty soft furnishings? Writing short stories? Being the best investment analyst there ever was?
Once you figure out what that thing is, then you want to create some space for you to do the thing. How can you make time to practice your craft until you can expand it to fill up more of your time and you can start to earn a living from it or improve your earnings from it. If you could do anything you wanted, what would you like to be doing in 3 years time?
Grab a pen and a notepad and allow your imagination to run wild. Where could you be in 3 years time if you took action now?
- Selling your own line of handmade bespoke soft furnishings
- Running a finishing school for mid-level executives to prepare them for leadership roles
- Teaching dance to primary school children in your state-of-the-art dance studio
- Leading the organisation you currently work in
It’s all up to you. Dream big and identify what you really want to be doing. Note that planning and goal setting isn’t only for business owners. You owe it to yourself as an employee or entrepreneur to aim for the best version of yourself.
Planning out your goals and working your plan is the surest path to success. Make a plan but be flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities as they arise or adjust your plan when needed.
Goal setting is effective in every area of your life. Giving yourself a clear picture of what you really want in life – in the immediate future and years down the road – is an excellent way to keep yourself motivated and energised to take action. Start the process by asking yourself:
“What do I really want to do with my life?”
Don’t allow limitations of time and money distort your answer. Just assume that there is nothing that can stop you from eventually achieving and having what you truly want.
These goals do have to be written down and kept somewhere you can look at regularly. Put your goals into concise sentences. Be specific about what you want to achieve and by when.
For example, by January 2021, I will have established a brand as a leading provider of luxury hand-made soft furnishings. I will have a repeat customer base of at least 50 clients with a revenue of XXX per annum.