As the new year rapidly approaches, it is time to select goals for 2015. Instead of setting an annual goal this year, consider committing to smaller, quarterly goals. Research shows that people with defined short-term goals make more progress than those who stick with annual goals. Shift your thinking to where you want to be in say 3, 6 or 9 months instead.
Goal setting can feel daunting because people envision them as large, life changing markers. However, I argue that goals are quite the opposite. An attainable goal needs to be specific and planned for. Here are a few tips for getting started:
- While it is good to think big, it is important to consider the pathway to reaching the big stuff. Break down large goals (i.e. bring in one new client this year) into smaller goals (i.e. identify three targets and their hiring process, determine your first 2 touch points for each target, etc…). Dissecting large goals into actionable steps helps clearly define the pathway to accomplishing the goal.
- Commit to your goals by writing them down. This physical act makes them real. Keep these written goals in a visible place and schedule reminders through Outlook.
- When planning your actionable steps to reach your goals, only undertake steps that will further your reach in a meaningful way. Prioritize marketing activities to make the most of your investment.
- Ask someone you trust to help you evaluate the goals. Whether this person is a mentor, family member or marketing guru, a reality check is always helpful.
Planning for success is an important step towards achieving it. Planning a strategy to reach your goals will help you accomplish them. Don’t go it alone. Ask for help, collaborate where possible and be persistent in your effort. Good luck!
The holiday season can be a wonderful time of year. Unfortunately, many of us get stressed out… the feeling like we can’t keep up with the multiplying demands creeps in. Specifically, I hear people stress over how to continue marketing efforts through this season. What can we do? Balancing the end-of-year work commitments with the trips to the shopping mall isn’t always easy.
My suggestion… try recalibrating your outlook on marketing. Use the season as a time for reflection and giving. Focus on relationship appreciation this month and all will fall into place for the new year. Here is a short list of things to try:
- Make phone calls to wish your key contacts a happy holiday. Leave a detailed voicemail if they aren’t available.
- Write personal notes and tell people that you value your relationship and look forward to working together more.
- Have breakfast or lunch delivered to your top clients and referral sources.
- Send out New Years cards between the week of Christmas and New Years.
- Attend social holiday events and invite clients and peers to go with you.
- Send a gift that recognizes your valued relationships.
Whatever you choose to do, always be sincere and helpful. Part of being memorable is being real. Don’t let the holidays keep you from forwarding your goals. Relationships will always be the foundation of a successful business… so keep your outreach personalized and grateful.
December 31, 2014 is just 10 short weeks away. Like the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun! Now is a great time to start the annual rite of passage. Reflection. Take the opportunity to look at what took place over the last 10 months. Think about how you can complete the year on a strong note. So where to begin? Here are a few suggestions for making the most of these last precious weeks:
- Review your marketing plan. Establish what you have accomplished and what is left on your plan. There is always more that can be done. Don’t forget to take a moment and be pleased with your progress.
- Prioritize the remaining goals that haven’t been reached. Select one or two priorities and create a renewed, actionable plan for working towards those goals.
- Book ten, thirty minute time slots in your calendar, one each week. Spend those precious minutes on forwarding your marketing and business development plans. Be sure to make these appointments with yourself a priority, after all this is your last chance!
- Review your contacts list; make sure it is up to date and get it ready to use.
- Connect with one of your contacts each week. Email or call specific individuals to see how they are doing, ask about their year and offer to be helpful.
- Decide on how you will connect with your networks this holiday season. Mark a date on your calendar to send out your communication.
- Revise your current marketing plan and position yourself to take action in 2014. Make it reasonable, but also a challenge!
- Start tweeting and posting status on social media consistently. By the end of the year you will a productive new habit in place for 2015.
Whatever you do, make sure you embrace your success from this year and think about ways to expand upon it for 2015. If you haven’t made the impact you had hoped to achieve last January, recognize that it isn’t too late to start. Choose to make the most of these last few months of 2014. Ten weeks is plenty of time. Good luck!