This time of year is rejuvenating because it gives all of us an opportunity to shed old skin and recalibrate our thinking. But the hype often gives way to habit. You only need to turn to your local gym to see this phenomenon in action. Throngs of people sign up in January but more than half don’t make it to swimsuit season. In fact, gyms typically anticipate a 20-30% drop out rate by April.
In their 4th Annual National Small Business Survey, Staples found that more than 80% of small business owners don’t keep track of their business goals.
Most of these companies are plagued with a dichotomy. They are either convinced that big challenges require complex ideas and end up building a plan that is too difficult to execute or become anxious at the thought of introspective thinking and instead focus on independent tasks that lack a unified direction.
There’s a quote by Lewis Carroll that says, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” Goal planning provides a distinct path that takes you from where you are to where you want to go. It helps you know if you’re heading in the right direction, ensures that you spend time doing things that are most important to the business and aligns employees behind a direction. Establishing and maintaining goals are fundamental contributors to small business success.
One of the most useful tools I’ve developed for my business is a simple and easy-to-use 3-Step Goal Setting Worksheet.
I schedule 1 hour every Friday planning my next week to ensure that I’m working my way through to my milestones. And I spend 1/2 hr at the end of each day planning the specific tasks I’ll be doing the following day. The important thing is to not get caught up in the monotony of bad habits and always keep your eye on the end game.
Click here to download the worksheet.
What tools and processes do you use to define and maintain your business goals?