Today I am proud to introduce Lisa Miller from Lisa Kate, who I was blessed to meet and graduate beside at the Beautiful You Coaching Academy. She has provided some fantastic advice on how to set and move toward your work and business goals below.
Setting work and business goals – by Lisa Miller
Over my career I have learned that goal setting – and how much people enjoy it – is a personal thing that comes down to our personalities, skills and temperament.
But as a business owner (and former project manager) I know that goals are important when it comes to our work. There is a lot of research around workplaces and entrepreneurs suggesting that when people set goals that are important and meaningful to them, they’re more likely to achieve them. I also firmly believe goals give you beautiful clarity around whatever it is you are trying to achieve, and clarity gives you peace of mind.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind when you are setting or trying to achieve goals. Doggedly chasing a goal without regard for how it fits into your business, life or purpose can be a recipe for disaster. Sometimes it can even lead to unethical behaviour, erosion of team structures, decreased motivation and feelings of unhappiness if goals go unmet.
So how do we create and follow great goals and stay on track? Here are my tips for setting business and work related goals for yourself in 2015.
What would be your top 3 tips for setting work and business goals?
1. Create goals with emotion
Usually when people focus on business goals they talk about making sure the goals are SMART. That stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. While this is a great group of constraints to help you carve out your new goal I think it misses out on one of the most important things that makes beautiful goals shine: the emotional component. How do you want to feel while working towards this goal and completing it? I won’t deep dive into how to do this, as fortunately we now have resources like The Desire Map that help us get clear on how we actually want to feel within ourselves. So my tip is to include this step in your professional goal setting in addition to the SMART system. An entrepreneur that is inspired by a goal that is meaningful to them and aligned with their deepest desires is so much better than just a money or client-based goal. Equally, goals that make an emotional connection with employees’ energy and passions will also have a higher success rate.
2. Choose one big goal in your business to focus on
It goes without saying that you need to write those business and work goals down. But more specifically I love to brainstorm my goals, create a short list, then narrow it down to one specific goal to rule them all.
An easy way to go about this is to mind-map all of the ideas, plans and goals you have for the year (I love my mind-maps!). Include everything personal and professional on your map and don’t limit yourself. It might include going on holiday and getting more exercise, alongside launching a product and building your subscriber list. Once you feel all your goal ideas are down start to highlight the ones that you know you want to get done this year.
Transfer only 10 of those goals to a Top 10 list, still retaining a mix of personal and professional goals (because work does not exist in a vacuum). As you write down these 10 this is when you make sure they are SMART and they address how you want to feel (see point 1 above).
Lastly, take time to really look at this list and create your One Big Goal (OBG) for your professional life this year. It may be a goal directly from this list or it may encompass a few of the goals you have jotted down but still make sure it is SMART and it has a big emotional component so it inspires and excites you. Hopefully the other top 10 goals support this OBG and can become part of its action plan but if they don’t maybe tuck them away for next year. Please remember that personal goals about your family, getting healthy, or taking an amazing trip are definitely important to track as they keep you happy and healthy enough to achieve your OBG.
Once your OBG is defined make sure it is something you look at, refer to and get excited about every day.
3. Create your action plan
This is the important part of setting your goals, and my top tip!
Most people set some beautiful and inspiring goals but then they leave it there. They don’t break them down, get intentional and move the ball forward. So how do we make our OBG part of our daily routine? Create an action plan.
I like to go about this by breaking my OBG down into all its parts. Some of these might be goals on the top 10 list I mentioned above but many will be smaller tasks that build towards that overall outcome. Grab a yearly calendar and list out your main tasks for each month. Some of these tasks may well be more complicated than others but you can sort out the details over the month.
Aim: Create my opt-in offer and set-up my email database
- Create my opt-in offer (ebook, PDF, video etc)
- Sign-up to an email marketing provider
- Add the opt-in form to my website
- Start writing and sending newsletters
What would be your top three tips for remaining motivated and inspired by your work and business goals, and continuing to be in action toward them?
1. Mindfulness in the task
I am a firm believer that while goals get you to engage in the work you must enjoy that work for you to keep doing it. So I am going to assume you are passionate about your business or your job and you are able to relish the work itself. This is also the benefit of having goals that draw on your desires and emotions as it is not all about the long-term goal but the journey as well.
Don’t always be thinking of an outcome. Enjoy your time designing, writing, speaking, coding, coaching, connecting – enjoy the ART of your work!
2. Develop your ability to focus on the important things
As hyper-connected professionals there is so much information and communication hitting us at any one time it is so easy to get swept away in our inbox or on Facebook. Often tasks that work towards our long-term goal are very important but not urgent. This means that they can get lost in our daily to-dos if we don’t put aside specific time to focus on them. So my tip is to do a part of your OBG everyday! Even if it is just 20 minutes to complete part of that important task so you can build upon it tomorrow.
3. Review frequently
Reviewing your work is something that we can often neglect but it is essential to us staying on the right track. While you might have seen the light when you set your goals the real stuff happens when you review them on a regular basis. Ask yourself: what is the next step I need to take to move this goal forward? Does this goal still fulfil my business objectives? Has anything shifted that makes me need to realign my goal?
Your goals will change as the year progresses. Be realistic about this and don’t beat yourself up about making corrections along the way.
Can you recommend any resources that might assist readers with setting inspiring work and business goals and remaining on track with them?
I have a few resources that I think will help you in your goal setting and keeping journey. The first is the book The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte. This is probably a book your readers are familiar with but as I mentioned its guiding premise can definitely play a part in setting your professional goals.
I am just about to start reading the book The One Thing by Gary Keller as I have heard it helps you achieve more results in less time, build momentum towards your goals and have more energy to stay on track! Yes please!
Lastly, if you are a business owner who is passionate about your ideas but unsure about which step to take then come over and have a chat with me. I know first hand how scary business can be, and it’s especially overwhelming when you’re on your own. So if you want to build a plan and define some goals that will help you achieve your dreams, I can definitely help!
I hope that these tips take you further along the path to setting your goals and staying in action, and I would love to hear about your progress.
Lisa Miller | Lisa Kate
Lisa is an experienced digital strategist, business owner and blogger who loves helping other women create businesses shaped by their own passions. After helping large companies harness the web for over 10 years she left the corporate world to create her own online business while raising two kids. In just four years Lisa’s business grew into a successful enterprise that she recently sold in order to follow her love of coaching.
Lisa knows how hard it is to start your own business and is passionate about eliminating the barriers to women interested in taking the leap.