Goals, resolutions, or the tools to achieve them?
Recognise these New Year clichés?
‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’ – Alan Lakein / Benjamin Franklin.
‘Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one’ – Brad Paisley.
‘New Year, New You’ – I agree with a recent commentator I saw on this – yuk!
January is often the month of planning. New Year’s Resolutions are set for both business and personal reasons.
So, are you a believer in New Year goals and resolutions? Personally, I’m not. By that, I mean I’m not into limiting myself to a January expression of intent when I could focus on the whole year and goal-set more realistically over an extended period of time.
If it’s a trigger point that’s needed, why pin aspirations on a January start-date when there are so many other New Year markers to grasp hold off – calendar (January), financial (April), academic (September for the UK), Accounting (your business’s own), religious, and many more.
Commit and share
Better still, set goals quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily. By setting and reviewing them regularly (plus committing them to paper or verbally sharing them), then there’s much more chance they’ll be achieved and not just become yet more expressions of intent. Goals set on paper, shared verbally, added to vision boards and planning tools have almost 50% more chance of succeeding. Why? Because it focuses the mind on what needs to happen and creates an orderly process from which to take small steps in the direction of that goal.
Having goals is one thing. Having the tools to achieve them is another!
Do you treat your business like a project? Do you even have project management tools in place to achieve your goals?
We can all set goals. Indeed, we frequently do and especially at the start of a new year when many business events focus on the topic. Goal-setting is not the biggest challenge though. Achieving them is, and particularly if the right structure and tools aren’t in place.
Shockingly, only 3% of people have clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them which leaves just a collection of intentions and wishes.
Goal setting is about breaking things into meaningful chunks, hence the other widely used acronym ‘SMART’ goal-setting, utilised in various ways but generally including parameters such as: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.
Consider the checklist of areas that need planning in your business, take a blank piece of paper, use one of the many planning apps or tools (we’ll be reviewing several during January’s event), or work with your management or an external consultant, to set up and achieve goals by breaking projects into tasks that systemise, action, achieve and monitor results.
What’s on your list…. from 2017?
They say you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you are or where you’ve been and what you’ve already achieved.
It is with this in mind that I end by linking to a recent blog by our January 19th speaker, Karen Taylor of Project Complete who has reviewed various tools and apps for us such as Asana, Milanote, Trello and Bullet Journal which can be used to project-manage. In her blog, she encourages positive reflection of prior achievements before moving on with new goals and checklist by undertaking an activity called the bragging list – very anti-Brit I know. There’s some helpful checklists and a bragging list tool within the article so do take a read, leave a comment or question here, and feel free to connect with Karen or myself about the way we’re planning to tackle goals, resolutions and project-management tools in 2018. https://www.project-complete.com/blog/are-you-writing-a-bragging-list
By Kirsty James, Owner, Colony Networking
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Kirsty James works one-to-one with small businesses on networking strategy and skills training, business development planning, idea generation, brokering connections and signposting to suitable business support groups and local events. She also organises Colony’s mixed-gender and women’s networking events in the Warrington area and assists third parties to organise their own lead generation events.