Know what you want to achieve before setting your goals
Published 09/12/2010 | 05:00
WE all know the first step towards something that seems overwhelming is always the hardest.
A new year gives us a fresh beginning; a new opportunity to do things better and finally achieve something for which we haven't made room before.
However, it can be daunting figuring out what it is we want and how to accomplish it.
The secret to taking that first step is creating a good plan. We're not talking about resolutions here, but realistic goals.
A productive, organised and successful (however you define it) New Year is possible if you set up achievable steps towards your goals for yourself. Seek help and delegate when needed, and remember, you're an entrepreneur -- you can do this!
To help get you started, the following are basic objectives that will give you a fresh perspective and a strong foundation to tackle the challenges ahead.
- Take care of yourself and others that rely on you. Eat right, exercise, and don't overload your schedule so you find yourself frazzled and impatient.
Spend time with family and friends. Re-assess your relationships with your employees and colleagues; make sure they know they are appreciated and valued so they are working up to their potential.
- Step back -- literally and figuratively. Get out of the day-to-day grind and take a fresh look at your priorities, your business, and try to look at your life with a new perspective and ask yourself questions.
Do you really need to make changes? Do you need to arrange more time for yourself, friends, or family?
Have technologies, methods and markets moved on, but your business hasn't? Are you taking care of your customers the best you can?
- Build a support network. Seek out relationships with people with whom you can share ideas and inspire each other.
Networking doesn't just mean exchanging business cards at conferences.
Try walking around and chatting with your employees, call old colleagues and friends, search for new contacts on social media networks.
- Make room in your life to achieve your goals. Take a new look at your to-do list and calendar.
You probably will be able to move around or even eliminate something to make room for the important things in your life.
Try a class that only meets once instead of for six weeks.
- Keep your finances healthy even in thin times. Watch your cash flow and keep excellent records -- or hire someone else to do it.
Good money management can allow you to stay focused on other areas of your life.
- Create a plan that is broken down into doable steps. For instance, don't tell yourself that your entire business office will be clutter free by January 31.
Break these positive goals into steps and set achievable but flexible due dates. Maybe you can work on one desk or office space for one month and then move on.
Don't just put de-cluttering or market research in your diary, get yourself organised prior to the appointment, move to a quiet area, make yourself a drink, get all the resources you need to hand before you start to ensure you are off on the right foot.
- See the full picture. If you stick with your step-by-step process and you achieve your goals, where will this lead you? How will this make you happier and more successful?
Stay flexible, be easy on yourself, and make adjustments as you go along to make sure you are heading where you want to go.
Share your hopes and ideas with family, friends and employees so they can be on board and help you and your business make those goals reality.
Your healthy mindset is important to having a successful start to the New Year.
It's all about not setting up obstacles that block you before you even begin.
Knowing what you really want to achieve, why it's important, and that you have a plan in place will give you the charge to take the first step into a more organised and prosperous New Year.
Yes, you still need to clean your file drawers, be more attentive to scheduling appointments, return those overdue library books, and take on fewer volunteer obligations, but at least this year, you'll be ready.
Tara Dalrymple is the founder of Busy Lizzie lifestyle management, which helps small businesses by providing pay-as-you-go secretarial services and e-marketing. www.busylizzie.ie or phone (01) 514 3401