The end of the year is fast approaching and now’s the perfect time to start thinking about 2019 goals because, after all, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re never going to know if you’re on track.

Success requires action, and action requires thought – Gary Keller.

Before you reach the new year, let’s take the time to think about your big ideas for the future and actually write that stuff down.

Remember, goals are what you want to achieve, and tasks are when you narrow down your focus even further and focus on the how.

Let’s do this!

Thinking about goals only:

  • Get all of your big picture goals out of your head and onto paper.
  • Look at each one and decide in which timeframe they are achievable and realistic.
  • Note against each item when they are to be achieved. It’s easiest, for now, to break the year down into quarters so I’d suggest you categorise all of the following:
    • Q1 2019 (January, February and March)
      • Daily, weekly, monthly
    • Q2 2019 (April, May and June)
      • Daily, weekly, monthly
    • Q3 2019 (July, August and September)
      • Daily, weekly, monthly
    • Q4 2019 (October, November and December)
      • Daily, weekly, monthly
    • 2019 and beyond
      • It’s entirely up to you if you choose to break this down further. Personally, I use quarterly, three-year, five-year and lifetime goals.
    • If you wanted to drill down into extra detail, you could categorise each goal using a method that makes the most sense to you.
      • For example, I categorise my goals into: business growth (networking, sales), existing clients (reviews, meetings, usage), marketing (social media strategy, blogging), website (changes, amendments, upgrades), Finance (accounts payable, accounts receivable) etc.

Thinking about tasks to help you achieve your goals:

  • Look at each goal. In line with the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based) principle, we already know they are achievable, realistic and time-based because we did that in the above exercise, now you need to create specific and measurable tasks.
    • For example, one of my tasks might be:
      • Business Growth → Networking → Q1 2019 → GOAL: Attend three networking groups per month → TASK DUE 4 JANUARY 2019: Research, book and attend suitable networking groups in Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Derbyshire during January 2019.

Schedule

Now that you have everything written down, it’s your chance to plan it all into your calendar so nothing is forgotten.

I put all my goals into ToDoist and add due dates and categories so it all syncs with my Google calendar, but find a method that works for you.

Review

Look at your tasks and goals each day and work out which one thing you can act on that day. By making a little bit of progress daily, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Regularly review your goals to check you’re on track and alter course if necessary so you’re moving in the right direction.

Stay accountable

It often helps people stay accountable if they share their goals with others. Like the year when my new year resolution was to give up alcohol… and yes, I did do the full 12 months! This might mean you create or join an accountability group (see my blog post next week to read more about this) or you simply share your ideas with your friends and family – a Facebook update or Tweet is a great way to put your idea out there and stay accountable!

Reassess (don’t quit!)

Let’s face it, life sometimes gets in the way and priorities change, so don’t beat yourself up if goals need to be reassessed.

Although goals can be hugely motivational, they can also work in the opposite way if they are not achieved. If that happens, you are NOT a failure, and it’s simply a case of shifting perspective and potentially moving the goal a little.

I had this mental battle for far too many years (one instance was when I didn’t get the time I had expected in a marathon, and I felt like an utter failure. Yup, crazy!) and I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.

Celebrate!

This is an important step but one which is often overlooked. Celebrate achieving your goals.

Whatever they are and however large or small, acknowledge your successes and celebrate in a way that’s meaningful to you.

Summary

Goals are absolutely vital to business success, as there is no way of recognising a success without it being measured.

Tasks should be reviewed daily and there should be at least one action each day which will move you closer to your goals.

Goals are never fixed and should be reassessed when life gets in the way. This is the smartest approach you can take when that happens and is never classed as a failure.

The entire process works for both professional and personal goals, so don’t be afraid of completing the same exercise for your personal life too.


If your 2019 goals include scaling your business and you recognise you’ll need help along the way, a Virtual Assistant can help. A VA offers flexible support exactly when you need it. If you’re interested in growing your business with a VA on board, contact me here for a no-obligation consultation.