Setting Goals in Steps: A 2015 Strategy

As 2015 quickly approaches, my thoughts naturally turn to making resolutions and setting goals. Research shows that people who define and write down goals make more progress than those who don’t take the time to record them.  So, here is a little secret I uncovered several years ago… goals do not need to be lofty or world-changing.  What they do need to be is personal and specific.  Here are a few tips for getting started:

  • Select Small, Short-Term Goals.  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. win one new client matter) into smaller goals (i.e. identify three meaningful touch points this quarter).  Dissecting large goals helps clearly define easy steps to accomplish them.
  • Write It Down. The act of physically writing down goals makes them real. Keep these written goals in a visible place and schedule reminders in your Outlook calendar. Audible and visual reminders serve to keep you on track over time.  For example, one small step may be this entry:  ‘schedule lunch with Sara next week.’  By scheduling an appointment within with yourself on your calendar, you are one step closer to achieving a short term goal.
  • Avoid the Minutia.  When planning small actionable steps, only do what furthers your goals in a meaningful way. Prioritize which marketing activities give you the most result for your time investment.
  • Get Feedback. Ask someone you trust to evaluate your goals and the actionable steps along the way.  Whether this person is a mentor, friend or marketing guru, a reality check is helpful. Honest feedback can be difficult for the giver and receiver, so remain calm and take their input for what it is. To gain even more perspective, offer the same service to someone else.

Planning for success is an important step to achieving it.  Create a strategy that works for you and you are more likely to reach your goals. Finally, keep track of all of your marketing touch points (hint: use a category in your Outlook calendar) so that you can see what activities help you to be successful and repeat them for long-term success. Happy New Year!

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