It’s time for the second episode of our Best Year Yet series! Last week, we talked about how important it is to do an end of year review before you start planning for the next year. Reviewing your business is so important because without looking back, it is hard to look forward in the right direction. You have to know where you have been, what worked and what didn’t, in order to set goals and plan ahead. And hey – don’t forget to download our free end of year guide if you haven’t finished your 2021 review yet! Once that’s done, you can tune into today’s episode where we’re talking all about setting goals for the new year now that you know what you need to focus on!
While December is a popular time to set goals and think about the year ahead, I do want to remind you that you can goal set whenever works best for you! But for now, we’re going to talk about it as end of year planning. Setting goals for your business is important! Without a plan, how will we know what direction we’re going or the end goal we’re working towards? Setting a goal helps you focus on the actions you need to take to achieve your dreams. And yes, there is a difference between dreaming and goal setting. To me, goal setting is about taking those actions.
So, what exactly is a goal? A goal is a target, a purpose or an intention. A goal needs to fit into the “SMART” acronym – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific. So while you may have an overall goal of being successful in senior photography that is not a specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific goal. Let’s break down how to set those SMART goals for your business!
The first step is to brainstorm – and it’s not about being perfect. Instead, focus on getting all of your ideas out of your head and onto the paper. Write down what you want to do, what you didn’t get to last year, and those kinds of things. This can be a complete brain dump or you can do it in categories such as business, family, etc. You want to consider both business and other areas of your life so you can create a balanced plan. That’s really important! Take a look at your end of year review to help you brainstorm what’s on your potential goal list!
The next step is to define your goals. Take a look at your list and determine goals that could work into the SMART mindset. Which goals can be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific? Think about what fits int your business mission, budget, and what you have time to accomplish. Prioritize these goals by asking yourself which are most important and which you want to accomplish first.
After you’ve defined your goals, it’s time to determine what the actionable steps for each one is. Start breaking down what you need to do to achieve each goal and give yourself specific time frames for those baby steps. A year is a long time and can be overwhelming but taking one quarter at a time feels more manageable. Quarterly goals will allow you to concentrate on certain things every few months so you don’t get overwhelmed. Each quarter should have one priority so you have a specific thing to work on during a specific time frame.
In today’s episode, I give a few examples of goals you might have for yourself from a financial standpoint, a time stand point, and education related goals. Take a listen to how you might break those down! Setting goals can be a great way to keep yourself on track and have an end destination in sight. But remember to be kind with yourself about the goals. The purpose is to have a plan in place but this plan can be adjusted as the year goes along! And nothing is ever set in stone. You can change things up as much as you want or need!
Tune in next week – we’ll be talking about how to plan out your year to help you accomplish your goals!
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