Donna: We all have goals, but where do we start? This is a common question that can leave us feeling paralysed by the sheer amount of work ahead of us to achieve that goal. In planning, most of us would usually start building our plan from start to finish. What do you have to do first, second, third. So on. And by what date does each of those steps need to be completed?
But I, I like to do the opposite. It's called completion backwards. Or backwards planning. And the idea is that you start with your ultimate objective, your end goal, and then you work backwards from there to develop that plan. And by starting at the end and looking back, you can mentally prepare yourself for success to map out all of those specific milestones that you need to reach and identify where in your plan, you need to have a particularly energetic or creative energy to achieve those desired results.
And this is a really important thing when planning, managing your energy. I'm going to be talking about this in the podcast today and give you so many tips on how to make sure that you achieve all that you set out to.
Welcome to the podcast, episode number 12. Today I'm talking about goals. Why we need them, how to set them, the common reasons why people don't achieve goals sometimes, and why it's important to review and celebrate your goals and finally how to make your goals stick. So, thanks for joining me today. I want to start with, why do we need goals?
Goals are so important as business owners because we don't have a supervisor or a manager giving us direction or telling us what we need to do for that day. We have to do that for ourselves. We have to give ourselves constant motivation to move our business forward. So goals really drive our direction, our purpose and our meaning.
In building our business and also in building the life that we most desire, they help us to get our priorities in the right order and also to make decisions. So to visualize this for you, I want you to imagine a game of sport without any goals or without a score board. It would quickly become pretty boring. There'd be no structure, no drive to achieve. And most people would end up losing interest both from the players and the spectators point of view. And if we relate that to business, you could say both the owner and the team would lose interest and creative drive as well. So this is the reason why we need goals, clear goals.
It’s because when we do, it's easy to know what we're going to say yes to. And what we're going to say no to, and drive all of our energy into those goalposts, because when you can clearly see if it's going to benefit you or help drive you towards those goals, then it's a very easy decision and saying no, isn't as difficult as we sometimes think it's going to be.
Also the other thing is when we achieve goals, it feels really good. It's this beautiful sense of accomplishment that then fires off a series of really feel good chemicals in the pleasure centers in our brain. And that then gives us momentum to keep achieving goals because it feels good. And even if we don't accomplish our goals, the action of trying, helps us to become a better person because we're sharpening our skills.
We're testing our confidence. We're striving for more. And another way of saying that is basically that we're improving ourselves as we're learning as we go. Now, perhaps you're just starting out or maybe you're going through a really big period of growth with your business, wherever you're at, whatever it is that you do within your business.
What I want to focus on here is making sure that you're shaping your ideal business, because what I've seen is that there's a trap that a lot of people fall into when creating a business and we build a business based on our passions. And there's usually a purpose or there should be a purpose behind that passion into why you're doing what you do.
And we grow up business and we keep growing it. And eventually, the business has the potential to morph from this beautiful vision into a base that rules your life and what follows that is burnout, overwhelm, resentment. And it's often the reason why 80% of businesses fail in the first three years. And trust me, I have walked that path.
I know exactly what it feels like to be on the road to burn out. And I also created a beast from a beautiful vision. And what I needed to do was then go back and strip that vision back, go back to the reason why I built the business in the first place. And then rebuild it, which is what I teach in my program.
But what I really want to do is to help you to create this beautiful vision for your business, based on your core values. I want you to be able to set boundaries, which will create consistency for you and your clients. And by doing that, that will then help you to achieve that beautiful vision that you set out at the very beginning.
Or perhaps if you've gone full circle and you're re shaping your business, then I want to make sure that that beautiful vision that you've reshaped and recreated is going to be what you end up with.
So I'm also going to explore how you can apply self-care to underpin the sustainability of your business for your own resilience.
Because being a business owner, we have to be resilient. We are tested all the time. It's such a challenging career choice. And we need to always make sure that we are topping up our self care so that we can be resilient, so that we can be responsive rather than reactive when we're faced with challenges within our business.
So self care is a really, really important thing. And one of the things that I teach within my program is that when we're working out our 90 day goals or our 90 day plans, we always make sure that we apply an element of self-care to each of those goals that we're setting to make sure that we can sustain that creativity, that energetic bubble that sometimes we need to be in when we're in that zone of creating our goals.
But why do we fail at sticking to goals? This is something I want to talk about because it does happen. People set goals, sometimes that are too vague. So an example of this might be that one of your goals could be that you want to earn more money, or you want to grow your business, that you could get to the end of the year or the end of the month, and have a look at your figures and your business may have grown.
But perhaps it hasn't grown to what you wanted it to be. So perhaps your business grew by 1%. Is that the goal that you actually wanted is a 1% growth going to give you the financial reward that you were hoping for? Sometimes the reason that we fail at sticking to our goals is because our goals are not specific enough.
And then we feel this sense of failure if we haven't reached them. So we need to make sure that our goals are tangible. And I like to use the SMART acronym. You've probably heard it before because it's so good. A lot of people use it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time bound. So making sure that whenever you're setting yourself some goals, that you're using that SMART acronym to make sure that it's going to be achievable for you. And that the vision that you were going for is going to be what you end up with at the end of it. Now, I also like to have three tiers when it comes to goals that have a specific number attached to it. So for example, if I wanted to increase profits, I would have three different goals.
Here's an example. You could have a 5% profit increase, a 10% profit increase and a 20% profit increase. Or on the flip side, you might like to reduce your expenses by maybe 5, 10 or 20%. So that way, the idea is that you can work towards the bigger goals, so the 20%, you can keep stretching yourself and you can move out of that comfort zone, but you can still celebrate when you reach the lower goal.
Because when we celebrate, which I'm going to talk about more in a second, when we celebrate that's really about keeping that momentum flowing throughout business. Because like I said before, we don't have a supervisor or a manager patting us on the back saying that we did a great job. We have to do that for ourselves too.
That's why it's important to have those three different tiers. So even if you reach your lower goal, you can still celebrate that.
And the other thing why sometimes we don't stick to our goals is that we give up too early. We don't achieve them because we give up too early. Now, if we want to achieve something really, really great, something big, we may not hit the mark the first time and that's okay.
Just keep sticking to it, keep trying and treat it as an opportunity to learn. You know, a new skill or learning something new about yourself takes a lot of time and energy. And the important thing about me bringing up this part of it is that we need to reflect on where you're at with your goals.
What's working, what's not, what needs to be improved. And if we can reflect on it. If we're not necessarily achieving those goals as quickly as we're wanting to, if we don't hit the mark the first time when you review how you've been going about achieving those goals, perhaps there's something in there that you've been missing and then you can tweak it and hopefully achieve those goals in the future.
Reviewing your goals. It is so important. So if you're doing annual goals, 90 day goals, monthly goals, I want you to look back over those goals and ask yourself if you achieved them, or if you progressed, what you could have improved on or what you could do differently next time, decide what you want to do more of and what you want to do less of. And then work to do more of the things that really light you up.
The other thing is to keep track of your achievements. And I spoke about this just a second ago. This is so important. No matter how small! No matter how small, you need to keep track of your achievements and celebrate them. And I do have a free tool for this because it's so important to track the small and the big things that you do and to celebrate them.
And it's called my 52 wins. And it's a list that you add to at the end of every week. It's an activity that encourages you to notice and celebrate when we achieve so that we don't as business owners, we don't go from one thing to the next thing, to the next thing, without reflecting and celebrating the wins. So the idea of my 52 wins is that if you write something down every single week, by the end of the year, you'll be able to look back on that and be like, wow, look at all the things I did. Look how far I've brought my business. In that 12 months, it can be really, really powerful and spur you on to do bigger, better things for your business and for your lifestyle. So if you want to download the 52 wins free resource, just go to donnahann.com/52 wins. It's very pretty. I've designed it so that you can print it out and have it on your wall somewhere, and you can add to it each week.
And it feels really nice to do this for yourself. By the end of the year, you can really see what you've achieved and the progress that you've made and those feelings you get are so super positive. And it's important as business owners to always stay as positive as possible. Now I'm going to finish up today, giving you some tips on how to make your goals, stick, creating your vision, linked to your values helps you to make sure that any decision you make is value based. So that's my first tip. Decide how your business adds to your life by exploring what you want your business and life to look like in one year, three years, five years from now. So we're creating the vision. And then I want you to think about why is that so important to me?
What is my core value? How does that link together to that vision? So think about what your core values are and how they see out and how you can then create the vision of your business around those core values. This is really, really important. This is where our business can move into something that we didn't really want it to be. If we don't link our visions to our core values.
And the way that you can do this by really bringing it to life is to create a paragraph of how this will play out in the future. But you write it in the present tense. So here's a little example. You could say something like it's December, 2021 or if it's a more long-term goal.
It's December 2024 and my business revenue has increased by 20% and I'm feeling confident with my progress in moving my business forward. It's a simple sentence or paragraph that you write for the future, but in the present tense.
Number two, my tip for helping you to make your goals stick is to step out every single step to make it happen, put timeframes against each of those steps and then set small rewards for yourself for achieving each one of those.
So for example, if you're planning to launch a new product or a service. You might need to do some research. You might need to put a budget together. You might need to look at what resources that you need, marketing all of those kinds of types of things. And then you want to make sure that you've anchored those small rewards to finishing those different milestones.
It could be as simple as finishing work a few hours early, and trading yourself out to lunch, or you might like to buy yourself something nice as a little special reward for yourself. If you're like, I don't actually have the spare income to do that right now. It can be as simple as taking yourself out for a walk along the beach and just allowing your thoughts to appreciate yourself.
Allowing yourself to really sit with that and go, oh my goodness, I achieved that today. Or I achieved that this month. It doesn't have to be a monetary reward or doesn't have to be something that costs you money. It can just be as simple as sitting with yourself and acknowledging that you've moved forward.
Number three is helping your goals to stick it's by setting boundaries. You want to aim for some consistency for you, your family and your clients. And the way to get consistency is by setting boundaries, because you can't be everything to everybody and you can't work 24 hours a day. So set yourself some boundaries and then aim for those consistencies to make your goals stick.
And number four, my final tip for you today is about having a self care support map. So, what this means is when you are setting your goals, make sure you're also thinking about the things that you're going to need to fill up your cup, to keep your energy high, to stay creative and to be doing your best work.
What do you need to do for your own self care to ensure that you can meet those goals and not burn out or run out of steam? Now that's different for everybody, but we do need to factor that in when we're making our goals. So creating clear goals for yourself is the key to driving your business forward.
And as a business owner, you don't have a supervisor or a manager looking over your shoulder or giving you direction. So you have to be the one who's ambitious and you have to be the one who's daring and courageous to set yourself goals, to be tenacious in making them happen, and then celebrating them when you achieve them.
Now, if you're listening to this podcast, then you're most certainly going to be a mum who has made for more. So I want you to get planning, visualise the outcome of your goals and begin to work backwards in planning out all the necessary steps that you need to do to make that vision a reality. So have the most amazing day, go out there and make those goals happen.
Thanks for listening!