How to Set Realistic Business Goals
Ugh. New Year’s Resolutions. For some reason, those three words seem to fill us with dread at the beginning of each year, an implication that there will be yet another list of things we’d love to have done if only we could’ve found the time. We all want to read more books, spend more time away from our phones, and run further than the distance between our sofa and our fridge. But what if setting your goals and objectives could actually help you reach those all-important career milestones, when done in the right way?
Listing the things you’d love to achieve in your career each year is helpful for a number of reasons. Not only will it keep you motivated, and allow you to manifest and envision your ideal life in more detail, but it can also help you take practical steps to reaching those goals. Breaking each larger objective into more manageable stages can actually work as a kind of to-do list, reminding you each day why it is that you’re doing what you’re doing. Some days, when it feels like you can’t find any motivation at all, we certainly need that reminder!
Read on to discover my top tips to setting realistic business goals that will keep you striving for the best. Manifest your dream career, and make it happen!
1. Start big | The WHY
When you think about your career path, and the achievements you’d like to make along the way, what is your one biggest goal: the dream that you think is too far-fetched to ever reach? Maybe you’d love to write a book, or expand your company internationally. Maybe there’s a client you’ve always wanted to work with, or maybe you’d love to have carved out a reputation within your field. Your career goals may be financial, or they could be based on the lifestyle they allow you to have.
Take your dream achievement and write it down on a piece of paper. Make it big and bold, to remind yourself of why you’re working so hard every day. Leave space beneath it, and move onto step 2.
2. Break it down | The HOW
Ask yourself how this dream can be achieved – and be practical. Think about ways you can better yourself, or courses you can take, that may help you get a little closer to your goals. Under each of your big goals, make a list of things you can do and practical tools to apply to make this work. Maybe it requires you to do more research, or speak to someone in the industry whose successes mirror those you’d like for yourself.
For example: if you’d like to have a certain amount of money saved by the end of the year, then try joining an online course on money-saving tactics. Make sure that you take your goals seriously; if your dream is to one day publish a book, then that probably means you’ll need to start writing, right?
3. Make your yearly goals attainable
If you expect too much of yourself too quickly, you may end up disappointed at the end of the year, when you look back over your list of everything you'd hoped to get done. Make sure that, while these smaller objectives are ambitious, they are also achievable for the stage that your career is currently at. This can be anything from the type of client you’d love to work with to your social media growth – remember that achievements come in all shapes and sizes!
4. Celebrate the small wins, too
Every career is a journey, which will, of course, feature highs and lows. Make sure that, when those highs come around, you celebrate them properly. Be your own cheerleader and remember to look back over how far you’ve come every now and again! Things that may feel like small victories at the time will add up and, before you know it, you’ll realise you’ve reached a goal that you never thought you could achieve.
5. Use the right tools
To keep myself organised and accountable, I swear by my Papier Yearly Diary. Not only does it offer a clean, spacious layout, but it also includes sets of pages in which you can write down your goals, deadlines, and wish lists for each month.
Keep your ultimate career dreams in sight by writing them onto a pinboard or whiteboard, or by creating a mood board to sit in your office.