Goals help you to know where you’ve been, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Regardless of if you’re starting a business or going back to school, you need goals to help you progress and see results.
It’s also important to write down your goals and keep them where you can review them on a regular basis. When your goals are clearly written you can see what it is you wanted to do in the first place. Unfortunately our memory isn’t as good as we think it is. But when we make written/typed note of our goals, we know what we set out to do.
Where you’ve been
When you have set goals, you can take a look back into your past and see if you achieved what you set out to do.
Where you able to write that book or run that marathon? When you have set goals, you can look back and check things off your to-do list that you have completed.
Where you want to go
Goal setting is like a roadmap for your future. When you have a goal in mind, you know what direction you want to go. It becomes clearer to start taking steps to achieve that goal. Planning for your future helps you stay on track and motivated to keep going.
How you’re going to get there
When setting goals, there are certain characteristics of goals that you should keep in mind to make sure they are really goals and not just dreams. One model I like is the SMART model.
If your goals don’t meet these requirements, you may just be doing a lot of wishful thinking. Without clearly defined goals, you will wonder from one task to the next without ever really knowing if you’ve accomplished what you set out to do initially.
So how did I do this year when it came to my goals?
To be honest, not great.
I’ve recently taken some time to reflect on the progress I’ve made toward reaching my goals, or the lack thereof. With a new year on the way, it’s time to reevaluate my current goals and come up with new ones. This past year, I set out to start new businesses which would eventually lead me to leaving my day job.
However that has not happened.
Looking back on why I didn’t reach my goals, the one thing that stuck out in my mind was FOCUS. The goal in my mind was clear but I didn’t really apply the SMART model and therefore I became very distracted in how I would go about reaching them. I just couldn’t seem to stay focused on one main task.
As I plan my 2014 goals, I want to work harder on completing a task before moving on to the next one. I know that’s going to be somewhat difficult, considering all of my current and previous obligations. Not to mention a baby on the way. But when starting a business, it’s important to remain patient in order to see results. Unfortunately I haven’t always done that.
My 2014 goals
These are my 2014 goals, in no particular order
#1 – Replace the income from my day job
I plan to use various online avenues to generate an income of at least 3k a month. I’m not taking into account taxes or insurance, just would I would like make from my online businesses. While 36k a year doesn’t quite replace the income from my day job, it will allow me to pay my bills and seems doable once you start to break down how much you need to make per week.
I’ll be able to measure whether I’m reaching this goal by checking my acct every month to see if I’ve made anything. I’m debating if I want to post a monthly income report to help keep myself accountable and on track.
I think this goal is attainable. Not necessarily easy but attainable.
Let’s break down the numbers.
$36k year = $692.31 a week = $98.90 a day
If I decided to do consulting work and had 7 clients a week at $100 an hour, I could make this goal
If I completed 20 fiverr gigs a day, I could make this goal
If I created an info product that sold for $47 and make 2 sales a day, I could make this goal
By brainstorming a little I was able to come up with some ideas on side hustles that could help me reach my goal of replacing my income. Now I just need to select one and make it happen.
#2 – Write regular/consistent content for this blog
Over the past few years I’ve started several blogs. Some have more content than others but I haven’t stuck to any consistent schedule. For 2014 my goal is to post at least once a week. I recently signed up for Blogher.com’s NaBloPoMo challenge to write a blog post a day. While I don’t think this is a realistic goal for me long term, I decided to give it a try for the month of November and really push myself to see how many posts I can complete this month.
#3 – Grow my social media profiles & blog community
Right now my twitter following is rather low, around 200 or so. My goal for 2014 is to grow my audience to at least 1,000 followers. Considering the vast number of people on twitter, this a rather modest goal. My plan is to begin sharing relevant content on a regular basis again, interact with more people and use a scheduling service to manage my posts.
#4 – Expand my brand’s reach into video and podcasting
To take advantage of the growing number of users on Youtube and ITunes, I want to expand my reach my creating videos and podcasting. Many people enjoy taking in content in video and audio form. I personally subscribe to several channels and podcasts. Even though there are a lot of key players in this niche, I do believe there is always room to give another perspective and bring fresh ideas and undiscovered people to the forefront.
These are my main goals for the upcoming year. I’ll be checking back in over the course of 2014 with updates, case studies and lessons learned.
Have you started planning your goals for 2014, if so what are they?