The excitement of a new year can quickly turn to stress, and anxiety, if new opportunities don’t turn into real outcomes for your business.  Setting some new business goals is a great way to establish momentum, and get your year off to a productive start.  Goal setting can jump-start your focus and drive helping you on your way to success.

Setting smart, realistic goals for your business and career should include a framework.  The key to being productive is to know what you’re truly trying to produce.  These goals should be tied to the four below approaches but should also each be flexible, assertive, and expressive.

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Four Approaches For Your Business Goals

Analytical – clearly written down goals that are measurable.

Structural – structured in timing and scheduled with detailed steps. Include steps for achievability, including built-in timing for planning, reviewing, and reworking.

Social – include networking and conferences that may help you reach said goals, built-in time for social media and connecting on a person-to-person level

Conceptual – consistent, big-picture thinking determines if said goals are helping you achieve your end success plan

Here are some guidelines for setting your New Year business goals and having a better chance to achieve them.

Guidelines to Achieving New Year Business Goals

Set the Right Goals

It is important that any goals you set for your business are both achievable and impactful.  These goals should be realistic goals that push you to a higher level – this is critical to success.  Aim high.

Fully Commit

Understand that goal reaching takes hard work but with a fully committed attitude and plan you are one step closer to reaching success.

Finding Motivation and Productivity

Be Descriptive

Visualize where it is that you want to take your business and map out your journey or plan to achievement.

Be Specific

Turn rough ideas into very specific actionable goals.  Setting many small steps will enable you to be very detailed about each goal versus the overall mindset.  Each bite-sized goal should align with one another to create a larger big-picture goal.

Establish a Reasonable Timeline

One of the most critical dimensions of goal framework is time.  Plan out each milestone and how long the process should take.  Milestone marks and check-off points are crucial to keeping yourself on track.

Create Metrics

Measurability is key in goal setting.  There are many digital tools available to assist with this but it can even be as simple as keeping a goal calendar or tracking along in a spreadsheet.

Create Accountability

If your business goals include other members of your team or company be sure to build them into your planning.  This will ensure accountability.  Make those who are included aware of exactly what is expected of them.

Time to Review

Take time to review the process along the way and at your milestone checkpoints.  Schedule these review points into your timeline to ensure the reviews get done and not overlooked or pushed off.

Plan for Change

Goals can and will change during the process.  Change the things that aren’t working and continue with the things that are helping you reach success.

Look for “Smart-cuts”

Not shortcuts, but smart-cuts – these are methods that pop up while working towards a goal that weren’t planned out but are working well. Smart-cuts get you closer to your end goals while streamlining the process.  Continue to look for these effective and unexpected details.