Goal-setting—physically writing goals down on paper— may seem formal, or even scary. However, the commitment that goes along with this exercise is exactly what will accelerate your entrepreneurial journey.
Stop procrastinating, and start working. Pledge to complete the task at hand. By creating a measurable goal and writing it down, you’ll be more likely to complete the task.
Creating, documenting and tracking goals isn’t a difficult process, yet few people take the time to actually commit themselves. Why?
- They perceive their goals as not serious enough to write down.
- They think it’s good enough to simply try their hardest.
- They’re afraid of being judged by others.
- They’re afraid of failure.
- They think they don’t deserve success.
These are excuses. The benefits of intentionally setting goals is real, and you’ll feel a pop in motivation. If you want to find five investors, you won’t stop at four. We are particularly good at achieving the bar that’s been set.
As an entrepreneur, you have to manage yourself — which can be more difficult than managing a team of 20. Writing down goals, you will keep yourself accountable, measure your performance, and see where you and your business needs to improve.
Follow these 7 goal setting steps to start cultivating your own entrepreneurial success:
- 1. Pick a specific goal.
The more specific you are, the more successful you will be. Don’t write down “Start my own business”. Instead, write “start my own e-commerce business by the end of the year.”
- 2. Break long-term goals up into smaller, sub-goals.
Once you have a specific long-term goal, start creating the steps necessary to reach that goal. For example, “to create my e-commerce business I will need to do X, Y, and Z”.
- 3. Do a reality check.
Why is this goal important to you? Is it ethically sound? Who else will this goal affect? Is this goal humanly possible?
- 4. Commit. Take the goal seriously.
Take the first step, which is generally the hardest. When your commitment is strongest, write a note to yourself and pull it out when you need a friendly reminder of your commitment.
- 5. Use tangible measures of success.
Goal setting is only useful if you have some way of evaluating your progress. For example, “increase profits by 20% – from $10,000 to $12,000” is better than “become more profitable” because it’s measurable. For more abstract goals, imagine what they will look like when you complete them. For example, “guest bedroom clean enough for mother in-law to use next week” is better than “move boxes out of guest bedroom.”
- 6. Record the goal.
Put pen to paper. It may seem tedious, but the thirty seconds it takes to write down your goals at the beginning of the day and the thirty seconds it takes to review them at the end of the day (see Step 7) will help you maintain quality time management.
- 7. Review your goal progress (daily, weekly, and/or monthly).
Take stock of your progress and make notes for how you can continue making progress.