When you’re in the business of activating your life purpose, you can’t afford to waste time on outdated goal setting methods that are all talk and no results. That’s why I’ve created a strategic goal setting framework that keeps you organized and focused so you can not just set goals but achieve them on time, too. Your goals. Your timeline.
Your Values, Vision, and Mission Come First
The foundation of any goal should be your values, vision, and mission, in that order. You’ll be more likely to succeed at anything you do when your life purpose/your dream for the future, informs your decisions. Alignment—between your life purpose and your business operations—is one of the best guarantees for success.
Who are you? No, really.
What future do you dream for yourself and your family?
What unique contribution can you, and only you, provide to your family, business, industry, or community?
Who do you want to impact? How? What’s important about that to you?
When you’re clear on your purpose, goal setting seamlessly fits into your already busy schedule. I’m about efficiency here, not wasting your time. Setting the right goals, on the right timeline for you will be worth every second because they make your dreams a reality.
Define Your Goals
What you do every single day—home life, work-life, financial life etc.—should move you closer to your life purpose. It’s all about alignment, baby. And when I’m talking about goals, I’m talking about the big stuff. Renovating that bathroom. Having that baby. Signing that strategic partnership. What goals move you closer to fulfilling your life purpose? I break goals down into four categories that reflect the areas of your life that move you closer to your life purpose (hint: it’s all of them).
- Personal: ie. babies, houses, marriage, marathons, home renovations
- Financial: ie. paying off student loans, retirement savings, buying an income property
- Professional: ie. planning your exit, starting a new business, launching a podcast
- Growth/exploration: ie. traveling to 12 countries, learning a new language, taking a meditation course
Aim to have big, medium, and small goals in each basket. From me to you: don’t bite off more than you can chew; only plan to achieve truly big goals once or twice per year (buying a house). You reach diminishing returns—aka reduce your chance of achieving your goals on time—if you aim too high. You can increase the amount of medium goals you aim for (painting your living room) and fill your schedule with small goals (deep clean behind your refrigerator).
Add habits to the mix too. These aren’t goals; they’re the ongoing changes you want to make in your life—waking up earlier every day, going to a yoga class once a week, cooking dinner for your family twice a week. Good habits keep your life well-rounded, and make it easier to have the energy and motivation to achieve your goals on time. Now, let’s talk timing.
Rinse and Repeat Until You’ve Achieved Your Goals
Goal setting evolves; it doesn’t start and end with goal definition. Break your goals down starting in the future and working closer and closer to today. It’s up to you whether you start with the five or 10-year plan or look one year ahead; some people are big picture people, some like to focus on the near future. Whichever camp you fall into, work backward starting with the next year of your life.
- Yearly goals
- Quarterly milestones
- Two week sprints to get. it. done.
I work quarter-by-quarter with small business owners because life likes to throw wrenches in your plans, and as a business owner you come to expect the unexpected. Focus on the quarter ahead, sprint to the finish line, and then assess whether your goals for the next quarter need some tweaking or can remain as is. Then, rinse and repeat until you’ve achieved your yearly goals.
Celebrate Your Successes
As an entrepreneur, your life is filled with sacrifice. So much of your time and energy goes to building your business. We’ve all been there, but that makes it even more important to celebrate your wins. When you’re busy putting out fires, it’s hard to step back and enjoy the warmth. Now’s the time.
Grand gestures aren’t necessary unless you’re the let’s-throw-a-party type. In that case, you do you! Even if it’s sharing your achievement with your network on LinkedIn, recognize your efforts. Treat yourself to a spa day (I do every year). Just get away for the holidays. But don’t ever forget to enjoy your moments of glory. You need motivation when the next challenge lands in your home office.
Find An Accountability Partner to Help You Achieve Your Goals
Accountability comes from within, but one of the best ways to ensure you stay accountable for accomplishing your goals is to bring a trusted sounding board into the process. With a small business coach at your side, you can achieve your goals much faster and have somebody to cheer you on while you get it done. So if you’re ready for effective goal setting, schedule a Discovery Call with me. I can’t wait to watch you slam dunk every time. As Liz Lemon said, “High-fiving a million angels.”
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →
Small Business, Life