“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean”If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” -Seneca
If a ship gets off-course by even one degree, its final destination will change completely. Perhaps there are captains who travel the vast expanse of the ocean with no final destination in mind; these individuals are in it for the ride and don’t care where they land, as long as they land somewhere. It doesn’t take any effort at all to get somewhere; you can wonder aimlessly for years and still arrive somewhere. But those who want to arrive at a specific destination must have a plan, and follow a very specific course.If you’re a small business owner without goals, you are certain to arrive somewhere. Of course, that somewhere may be in a lawyer’s office, filing for bankruptcy. Perhaps it will be back at a full-time job, drudging away to help your employer become more profitable. Successful business owners don’t often land a successful business without any previous thought or intention. Arriving at that destination requires you to make thoughtful goals and then steer your business in that direction.We’re two months deep into the New Year, and often that’s the perfect amount of time to determine exactly what you want to accomplish in the upcoming months. Here are 6 tips in helping you not only set solid goals, but accomplish them as well:
1. Be Specific
Make your goals as specific as possible. For example, don’t just say “I want to make more money.” Make that goal more specific by defining it like this: “I want to increase my income 50% by expanding my services and marketing those services more effectively.” Defining goal specifics can help you take specific action to see the end result; whether it be acquiring new skills or learning how to market successfully, you’ll be on the path that will take you to your desired destination: increased income.
2. Take Small Bites
How do you eat an elephant? By taking one bite at a time. In addition to being specific, you must also be realistic. When your expectations exceed your capacity, the only thing you’re certain to achieve is disappointment. While your vision can be grand (i.e. big as an elephant), your goals must be manageable (i.e. bite size). One blogger recommends focusing on just three things at a time in order to accomplish this.
3. Set a Deadline
I once read that a goal is a dream with a deadline. Unless you set a deadline, you simply have a daydream to distract you from a mediocre life.
4. Write Them Down
You are 70% more likely to accomplish a goal if you write it down. It’s also easier to plan and assess your success if you can return to this goal often. That’s easier to do if you’ve written it down somewhere.
5. Surround Yourself with a Good Support Team
As you set goals, ask for the support of your friends and family. For example, if you run a business from your home, make sure your spouse feels comfortable with a goal of increasing your clientele, which in turn may increase the traffic through your home. You’ll find that accomplishing those goals becomes much easier when you have a support team that facilitates your success.
6. Be Accountable
You only let yourself down when you choose not to be accountable for your goals. Reflect back on them regularly, and when the deadline approaches, make it a priority to see your goal through to the end.
If you haven’t yet set your New Years goals, now’s the time! Schedule time to craft your course of action, and then set your sail and get started. The only thing you have to lose is a brighter professional future.Visit Universal’s Free ResourcesUniversal Accounting Center (UAC) would love to see your practice succeed. That’s why we offer your business the most valuable resources available. Feel free to take our virtual UAC Tour to learn more about our training programs that will enhance your practice and your bottom line. Or visit our free accounting and tax resources. Either way you’ll want to bookmark the UAC site and return continually to improve your business.