Okay class, let’s start today off with a simple question about goal setting. Are you ready? Simply raise your hands if you are guilty of owning a business, working day in and day out, and not having a detailed, specific, and measurable goal outlined that you are actually working towards?
We have ALL done it. We know we SHOULD have a goal set, we should have that DIRECTION & CLARITY in our business, but whether it is you have a love/hate relationship with goals, don’t know how to properly set one, or for whatever reason (this one is me) you just never took the time to do it.
The Pit Falls Of Not Setting A Proper Goal
Back in the early days of owning my first business 3 years ago, I can honestly tell you that I never set a single goal (which makes sense as to why it struggled so much).
Every night, after working my day job as a teacher, I would spend hours upon hours on my business. I would sit down to work with no real plan, no to-do list, and no goal to work towards.
How the hell did I even decide what to do each night? No seriously, I am asking, because I have no clue…
One thing that I did do though is make content. Why? Because, everyone said you have to make content to grow your business. Being the novice I was at the time, I didn’t know better so I obliged the gurus and guides I read online. I made content…
If I were to analyze the actions I was taking and write a goal for it in hindsight that aligned those actions it would look a little something like:
“Write content on my website”
Wow. Empowering right?
(Here is to me hoping you have all watched Office Space…if you haven’t set a goal to go watch it haha)
I was sitting down to work, doing X, Y, or Z with no idea or inclination as to WHY I was doing it, HOW it was going to help me grow, and in what direction this will help me grow. Nothing in my business was connected, aligned, or done with specific intentions.
If any of you have experienced acting in that way, you know the feelings that come with it. Being absolutely lost in your business, having no idea if you are making progress or not, your efforts resulting in zero physical results, feeling overwhelmed, incapable, not enough, and as if you don’t have what it takes to be an entrepreneur, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
I mean, shit, I averaged about 3 hours of work every night and 3-6 hours per day on the weekends for 6 months and had absolutely nothing to show for it.
Why is setting a detailed, properly written goal so important?
With this goal you have the end result in mind. You have a direction! With that direction comes clarity in knowing where you want to go allowing you to properly lay out the path of which you will take in order to succeed at it!
Think about it for second…Think about how empowering that is to not only know where you want to go but being able to utilize that to have clarity on how you will get there?
3 Years Later How Has That Goal Changed?
Although this is a different brand than my previous company, the content aspect hasn’t changed, but my goal surrounding it has completely changed.
“I will write a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 pieces of blog content per week that is crafted to specifically help entrepreneurs with the HOW of striving to succeed in specific aspects of life and in business that will lead to engagement on the posts, shares to social media, views, and opt-ins to the content upgrades.”
With this goal set I am empowered with the direction of knowing what I want to achieve and obtain clarity by knowing the actions I will have to take, the results I am looking for in those actions, and how I will measure what is working and what is not!
In order to feel confident that this goal is rock solid and ready for me to move forward with it, we need to put it to the test through a series of questions we have to ask ourselves about the goal. Then, and only then, can we we start to move forward with it.
The 8 Questions Test: Is Your Goal Rock Solid?
Question #1: Is this goal specific?
– The point to question #1 is to ensure that this goal is super specific in what it is you want to accomplish and what is the result that you are looking to obtain from it.
– The action I am taking in this goal is specific as I state that “I will write a minimum of 1 & a maximum of 3 pieces of blog content”
– The goal of each piece of content is specific as I state that what I hope each piece of content delivers for the reader which is “the HOW of striving to succeed in specific aspects of life and in business” and whom I am aiming that reader to be when I stated “crafted to specifically help entrepreneurs”.
Question #2: Is this goal measurable?
– If we cannot measure a goal then how do we know if we are making progress towards achieving it? How do we know if the actions we are taking are leading to the results we desire? The reason this is important is that we need to be able to measure the actions and results of those actions in order to ensure we are doing everything we set out to do in our attempt to achieve this goal. This way, if we don’t reach it or do reach it, we have data to look back on to help us decide what is working, what is not working, and how we move forward.
– In this goal I explicitly state the expectation of producing 1-3 pieces of content per week.
– I also specifically state the metrics I am looking to measure based upon the outcomes of the results which is through “engagements on the post, shares to social media, views, and opt-ins to the content upgrades”.
Question #3: Is this goal actionable?
– Every goal should involve actionable implications within the goal that comes in the form of a verb. This specific action is what you are hoping will bring you the specific results you are looking for.
– Yes as it is explicitly stated that “I will WRITE” the 1-3 pieces of content I set for myself to do.
Question #4: Is this goal relevant & realistic?
– This question is posed in order to get us thinking about whether or not this goal makes sense for what we are trying to do in the larger sense within our business and whether or not that it is feasible for us to achieve it.
– Example of relevance: if your business was all about how adorable goldendoodle puppies are, it probably wouldn’t make sense for you to set a goal around building a facebook group community around Llamas…even though there cool as hell…
– This goal is inherently relevant to my business as the content I would be writing would be done in a way that is aligned with my business why, is targeted to my specific niche audience, and is most definitely realistic to make 1-3 pieces of content per week.
Question #5: Does your goal state a timeline by which you will complete certain actions or obtain certain results?
– It is critical to make sure that we are setting a specific amount of time to either achieve a certain result or to complete certain things by, in order to be very clear on what needs to be done over the period of time and measure our progress towards that goal by that end date.
– As stated, I am looking to write 1-3 pieces of content every week. Therefore, the timeline is is every 7 days I will publish 1-3 pieces of content.
– As for the results of this content being shares, engagement, views, and opt-ins, I account for those results in other goals that I have identified, BUT if you don’t have other goals you can go a step further to include those as well in your goals.
Question #6: Is this a pain and/or suffering you want?
– Does this one seem like it is coming out of left field? Well it isn’t. In choosing a goal you are inherently choosing a form of pain and suffering in the form of what it takes to achieve that goal. Is your goal to be able to Squat 1000 lbs? Well, then you better be ready for the grueling pain it takes to achieve that.
– The process of doing this is a creative process that I genuinely enjoy doing and I love creating content that can help others continue to move forward, gain direction, clarity, confidence, and momentum in their business.
Question #7: Does this goal have an upper and lower boundary explicitly stated?
– In order to committ to something long term and see long-term growth there needs to be a happy medium on the amount of effort it will take. If something takes far too much effort then the goal becomes unsustainable. On the other side, if the goal requires too little effort then it will not be difficult or challenging enough in order to see long term growth.
– Based upon the amount of time and effort it takes to create one piece of content, optimize it, repurpose that content into videos, social media posts, publish it, include it in a newsletter and on and on, I know that I the range of 1-3 pieces of content per week is most definitely achievable and allows opportunity for me to have weeks where I really step up and deliver 3 solid pieces of content.
Question #8: Is this goal written in a positive term?
– This is a drastically important aspect of goal setting psychologically. When writing a goal we want to focus on the aspects of what needs to be done in order to achieve this instead of how to not fail. This will help us feel more empowered, less fearful, have more self-belief in our abilities to do it, and give us confidence moving forward.
– The goal starts positively by stating “I will” which is what first starts off this goal by motivating me with confidence and self-belief
– It continues on positively by focusing on what needs to be done when I state that I will write 1-3 pieces of content. If this was written in a negative form then it most likely would of read “I will try to not write less than 2 pieces of content per week” which, you have to agree, leaves you with a very different feeling.
Bonus Question #1 Did you write out your goal and put it somewhere visible where your working?
– The actual process of writing out our goals or printing them out and putting them somewhere visible keeps that of which we hope to achieve present in our work space, in our vision, and in our minds!
Bonus Question #2: Did you download the Creating Rock Solid Goals Guide yet at the bottom of this blog post?
I’ll know if you answer yes or not =p
Well, there you have it… this is a foolproof way to ensure that you are not just setting goals but setting rock solid goals that will start to wipe away overwhelm, provide direction, and clarity in your business which is so crucial for starting to build momentum in your business moving forward!