Instead of wishing for a better year in 2019 — in both your business and personal life — why not plan on it? December is a great time to reflect and analyze the past year, while making commitments and goals for the upcoming year. However, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Your future success is determined by daily choices and actions. For a successful 2019, start now by define your long-term and short-term goals and identifying the actions needed to get you there.
It’s easy to let your job or your business dictate your life. This year, let your personal goals drive your business goals. Set a few goals revolving around your family, your faith, your health and fitness, or your personal finances, and accommodate your business goals around them. Prioritize your mental health and make time to travel somewhere new or take on a new hobby.
Goals, backed up with a clear action plan, can provide focus, direction and a sense of purpose for your whole organization. Here are a few tips to make the goal-setting process easier:
1. Think long term first and work backward.
Start the goal-setting process by dreaming about the future. Where do you want to see your business in 10 years? Create a clear vision of what you want to accomplish by 2029, and don’t be afraid to think big.
Next, break your 10-year goal down to what you want to accomplish in 3 years that will get you a quarter of your way to your big future goal. Lastly, break that 3-year goal down to what you need to accomplish in 2019 to stay on track. When looking at your 2019 goals, identify benchmarks you need to meet within each quarter that will lead you to success at the end of the year.
2. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, with a defined timeframe).
To properly execute your goals and priorities for the year, be sure they are S.M.A.R.T. Define critical dates and benchmarks each quarter (or even each month) to keep you and your team on track. Measure success by creating quarterly revenue, profit, margin, or new customer goals. Identify specific actions and timelines needed to complete your goals and designate specific individuals or teams in your organization who will “own” each action.
3. Write your goals on paper.
A study by Dominican University in California found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals and dreams simply by writing them down on a regular basis. The likelihood you’ll transform your desires into reality increases even further if you share your written goals with individuals who believe in your ability to succeed. Work with your team to develop individual and company-wide goals, and be sure to write them down and share them with one another. Review your goals weekly and monthly to ensure that you are on track with your actions.
Make 2019 an incredible year by thinking strategically and planning your success.