Goal setting is an important part of being a successful small business owner. Without goals, it’s difficult to identify ways you can grow, develop, and move forward toward continued success.
When it comes to goal setting, the best advice can often come from looking at what we shouldn’t be doing. This helps us avoid mistakes that can cost a significant amount of time and effort down the road. So in order to make your goal setting as efficient as possible, here are five common goal setting mistakes you should try to avoid in your small business.
1. Waiting for the Perfect Time to Start
Goal setting is such a broad process that if you don’t have any idea of what you want to accomplish, it can be very overwhelming. Sometimes, when we hit these feelings of overwhelm we tend to procrastinate because we don’t feel prepared to tackle what seems like a huge process. The problem is, if you put off goal setting, waiting for a lot of free time, the perfect goal, or some other elusive marker that it’s the perfect time to start, you may end up wasting months or maybe even years.
The way to avoid this is to just start, today. Take one baby step and before you know it, you will be on your way to setting and reaching your goals.
2. Failing to Check If Your Goals Are SMART
A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. The SMART goal setting process exists for a reason — if your goals are not SMART you may find that you’re chasing an impossible dream, something that’s not entirely feasible.
Make sure you run your goal through the SMART checklist before you dive in so you can avoid wasting time and energy.
3. Not Working on Your Goals Every Day
Small business owners are notoriously busy with many different things, every single day.
So while we may take the time to set goals, many of us set them and forget them. Goal setting and achievement is an organic process that requires constant attention and frequent adjustments.
Setting a goal at the start of a New Year and not looking at it again until July is not likely to result in success. Instead, create a goal, then drill down into daily, weekly, and monthly actions you can take to achieve your goals.
4. Not Being Flexible
Structure and consistency are vital when it comes to goal setting, but too much can cause you to miss out on big opportunities. While you want to create an action-oriented system that helps you make forward-moving progress toward your goals every single day, you also need to remain open to changes that may make the end result even better than you imagined.
This kind of flexibility may present you with a new way to accomplish your goal that you never thought of, or maybe even change your goal into something even better. So work to stay structured, but be open to changes during the process.
5. Forgetting to Celebrate Your Successes
When we set goals, we tend to get so focused on the end result. We work very hard to get from point A to point B so it’s common to lose track of successes that happen in between. Set milestones and stop to celebrate each small success along the way. This will help you build momentum and will make the big finale that much sweeter because you will have tracked each success that helped you get there.