5 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Set Goals They Actually Achieve

It’s the beginning of the New Year so everyone has resolutions and goals on their mind.

And the obsession is understandable — going back to the beginning of time. Well, not the beginning, but 4,000 years and the Baylonions. But at this point, we all know that New Year Resolutions don’t work so as far as I can tell, very few people actually still set them.  

But goals? We still love ‘em.

As I’m writing this it’s January 2, 2018. That means that for some people who haven’t yet set their goals for 2018 yet, they’re feeling behind already. There’s such a mad craze at the end of the year to set goals, but many are setting themselves up for failure even in the way they approach goal setting.

Here are 5 tips for entrepreneur to set goals they achieve.

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Tip #1: Create a vision

So what’s the difference between vision and goals?

Vision is much broader and more all encompassing than goals. Vision is what you’re moving towards.

Jordan Belefort (Wolf of Wall Street) explains, “...your vision for the future serves as a specific target to aim for, but also, without a compelling vision for your future, it is almost impossible to maintain the self-motivation, emotional fortitude, and necessary stick-to-itiveness to break through all the barriers and obstacles that tend to pop up unexpectedly and stand between you and the life of your dreams.”

And it is beautiful and important to have a vision because it keeps you moving forward.

My friend and brilliant coach Alionka shared such a perfect story to explain the importance of vision.

She described a story about a little girl who was going to the park with her father one day. The park was about a 45 minute walk from their home and was her favorite place to go so she was ecstatic when they first made the plan. They had off to the park and she gets tired (as little kids do when walking long distances) and wants to turn around.

The girl doesn’t remember where she’s going so it doesn’t seem worth it. Her father reminds her that they’re going to the park -- when she remembers where she’s going she’s again excited and they merrily continue on their journey.

After another 15 minutes or so she again feel defeated and tired and doesn’t want to continue. This time her father lifts her up on his shoulders so she can see the park. She’s again re-invigorated and she continues and they make it to the park.

Adults are like that too. We start off with great enthusiasm and then we lose our steam and excitement. We just don’t want to continue because we don’t really remember where we’re going. Our vision allows us to again see where we’re going and can put the pep back in our step when we feel like we’re far off.

Take the time to write out your vision in depth -- get all of the details clear so that you can take a look at it when you’re moving off track or losing your excitement for it. Create your vision for both 1-3 years out.

Using an exercise called Vivid Vision is especially helpful when creating your vision for three years out. Vivid Vision is a written document that’s several pages long describing in detail what your business will look like. Imagine yourself in your business three years down the line and answer the following questions:

  • What do you see?

  • What do you hear?

  • What are clients saying?

  • What does the media write about you?

  • What is the buzz about you in your community?

  • What is your marketing like? Are you marketing your good/services globally now? Are you launching new ads?

  • How is the business running day to day? Is it organized and running like a swiss clock?

  • building

  • What do the business’ financials reveal?

  • How are you core values being expressed and used?

The Vivid Vision exercise is valuable because it’s 3 years out. Bill Gates say that, “most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” But the same could be said for three years.

If you’d like to take it a step further and put it deeper into your mind so it seems more real, here’s a powerful meditation from Vishen Lakhiani of Mindvally.

Your vision can also encompass all areas of your life. If you’re anything like me, then your business is a part of your life, but it’s not your entire life so be sure to include how the other aspects of your life fit in with your vision. Buuuuut, that doesn’t mean you need to shoot for perfect balance. Balance doesn’t actually exist. Keith Hammons put it exceedingly well when he said, “the truth it, balance is bunk. It is an unattainable pipe dream...the quest for balance between work and life, as we’ve come to think of it, isn’t just a losing proposition; it’s a hurtful, destructive one.”

You get to decide what you want to focus on — which extremes you want to live at for the year.

If you’re starting an online business, it can be challenging not to get swept up in what other people are creating — a 6 figure business, a multiple 6 figure business, a 7 figure business, etc. But it’s up to you to determine what matters to YOU.

What do you actually want to create?

What do you actually think will bring you greatest satisfaction and fulfillment at the end of the day or year?

I’ll use myself as an example because I did this last year.

And that meant that in 2017 my priority wasn’t my business.

Not that my business wasn’t or isn’t incredibly important to me, because it is. But my why — the reason I wanted to have a business in the first place is I wanted to have flexibility to serve people in the way that I most desired, to make a difference in the lives of heart-centered women, aaaand to make money in a way that I could contribute to my home life financially, but also emotionally by being home when my husband and kids got home. Mind you, I didn’t have a husband or kids when I started my business, but that was truly my vision.

Welp, my vision couldn’t become my reality until I met that person and that was hugely important to me — has been for years.

In 2016 I set it as an intention to finally meet the right person for me. That happened. I met Kobi in August 2016 and we began dating in October, got engaged in January 2017 and married in June 2017. (If you’re curious you can get the full story + pics here).

That meant that 2017 saw a huge shift in my focus. From being single and focusing on growing my business, to meeting someone and focusing on partnership. My focus shifted back onto my business only in Q4 when I launched my signature course (click here to get added to the waitlist). But that’s ok. Whatever your vision is is your vision.

So be good with it.

Be excited about it.

Get behind it.

Tip #2: Choose a theme for the quarter

Based on where your business currently is and what you want to accomplish, choose a theme for the next 90 days. A theme is going to help you stay on track.

The point of choosing a theme is about leveraging the 80/20 rule which says that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.

Often we try to create balance, but balance isn’t really a thing: in business (as in life) not everything is of equal importance. Certain things we need to spend much more time on than others.

Choosing a theme will help you stay organized and focused and will also ensure that you’re focusing on things that are really going to matter in terms of moving your business forward. To break this down even further: make sure that your theme is related to one of the areas in business that are really going to move your business forward.

Tip #3: Divide your goals into quarters. Focus on the quarter ahead of you — first 90 days

Once you’re clear on your vision -- write down all the goals that you want to accomplish in the next year.

Of those goals that you want to accomplish in the next year, which do you want to accomplish in the next quarter—- 90 days?

It’s ideal to set your goal in 90 days or less because research shows that your mental horizon only goes out about 90 days. Once you go out further than the goal is too far out and you can’t maintain enthusiasm for the goal. If it’s less time than that, then you can’t make big moves. 90 Day is the Goldilocks-sweet-spot for getting the most done.

Tip #4 Take Massive action

Take massive action towards your 1 goal.

We overwhelm ourselves by spreading ourselves way too thin. You’re capable of more than you know so don’t disperse your energy. Take massive action and move forward on just one thing. Of course there will be different projects and tasks within the one thing you’re focusing on, but that singularity of purpose will move you forward in an incredible way.

Once you know which one thing you’ll be focusing on, take massive action.

Planning can be more fun than taking action. Especially if you’ve downloaded one of the billions of pretty calendars that are floating around right now. I get it, I’m susceptible (and guilty of that myself). It’s fun when they’re so pretty!

But lehsbereal. Prettiness and fun is probably not what your business is all about. If you don’t actually schedule things in to the pretty calendar and take action on it every month, week, and day. Nothing is going to change.

You’ve got to be willing to take massive action on the activities that you’ve planned so that you can truly move forward.

Here’s the caveat: hustling yourself into the ground is not the same as massive action.

If you do your planning properly then you’re being deliberate and intentional about your time and you’re just taking action. Taking the actions you’ve decided on and moving forward with your life.

You’re going to start getting into hustle mode when you’re putting too much on your plate or starting to focus on activities that are busy work but not moving your business forward.

Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy.

Focus on the money making activities — the activities that are really going to move the needle forward in your business such as:

  1. List building
  2. Content marketing + establishing your authority

  3. Other income generating activities

Look at the decision matrix and determine where your activities fall.

If most of your daily activities are falling in the not important quadrants — welp, that’s why you’re so busy but nothing is happening. If they need to get done, delegate them. If they don’t need to get done, then just stop doing them.

Tip #5 Delegate, delegate, delegate.

If you’re going to uplevel then you need to learn how to delegate. Yes, even if your business is fairly new and you don’t have that much money from it yet.

I get how challenging this can be, but it will serve you powerfully. It’s also an important mental shift you need to make otherwise you’re going to get stuck being an employee of your business.

I get how challenging this is -- because what I do is I get impatient. If someone isn’t available to do what I want immediately I think I should just do it myself. This is an important thing to shift out of though because you’re going to be doing too much.