Set And Accomplish Your 2022 Small Business Goals
A mere five percent of small businesses complete all their yearly goals. Are you part of the 95 percent that don’t?
It’s okay. You are in good company as I have been there *many* times before. However, my downfalls in the goal setting and achieving department made me want to crack the goal code once and for all.
I have compiled all my tried-and-true research on accomplishing small business goals into this handy dandy article.
Even if you already know how to set practical goals and achieve them, here’s a refresher with some helpful tips to make it less of an ordeal.
Reflect on Your Past Goal Successes and Failures
It’s good to see and thoroughly understand where you have been. Your past, good or bad, gives your present self-important information for your following action steps.
Additionally, the past helps you examine why or how you accomplished your past goals or if you fell short. Sometimes failure truly is an accomplishment because it facilitates self-discovery and professional growth. Conversely, it can be an essential lesson when you fail to reach a dream. You need more training and education, trust yourself more, delegate or manage differently, or identify if the goal was something you genuinely wanted.
Make these three lists to get a well-rounded understanding of your successes and failures, as well as WHY you succeeded or failed.
List 1: Identify Your Strengths
Reflect on what is unique about you. How do you stand out? What about your nature is valuable and valuable to accomplishing goals? Then, go all out here and bolster every strength you can think of.
List 2: Resilience and Resourcefulness
Reflect on how you have been resilient and resourceful in the past. Be specific. Goals are hard to accomplish (*hint: if they aren’t, you are playing it too safe). Write down how you have overcome personal and professional obstacles. How do your resilience and resourcefulness reflect your strengths?
List 3: Challenges, Set-backs, and Road Blocks
Often our greatest strengths can also be our most significant challenges. For example, I believe one of my greatest strengths is compassion and understanding. My strength of compassion contributes to deep relationships, establishing rapport with clients, and attuning to the less obvious parts of problems. However, it can also be a challenge for me to have good boundaries because I can be too understanding of others and not compassionate enough for myself.
Look to your list of strengths and consider how they could be overused or unhelpful in some areas.
This list is also helpful in seeing patterns and trends of what gets in your way most often. That information will be used in a later step.
Identify Your Core Desired Feelings
Danielle Laporte defines core desired feelings as “generative feelings that originate deep within us and make themselves known when we take the time to listen.” Her book, The Desire Map, is all about identifying your core desired feelings and designing your life (and your goals) around what you want to feel.
The concept of shaping business goals around desired feelings further supported the notion that plans must be holistic to work. We can’t define whether a goal is “good” by the numbers we insert or the accolades you may receive. If the dream doesn’t resonate deep within your soul, the plan will fall flat or disappoint.
Identifying your core desired feelings takes the pressure off the outcome and focuses on the execution process.
Envision and lean into how you want to feel throughout the process of completing your goals. For example, do you want to feel energized or calm? Creative or strategic? Free or structured? Listen deep for the answers as they may surprise you.
Lastly, don’t discount this process. Your behavior is determined by your emotions.
Not just you, but ALL humans.
If you want to sustain the energy it takes to accomplish your business goals, they need to generate from the deepest, most honest, part of you.
Channel Your Vision & Create a Vision Board for Your 2022 Goals
Now that you know about your unique strengths, challenges, and core desired feelings, you can move to the envisioning (or dreaming) process. According to an article in MindTools Magazine, visualization offers at least two key benefits:
- Visualizing outcomes that you want can increase your confidence. “Seeing” yourself succeed helps you believe that it can – and will – happen.
- Visualization helps you “practice” success. When you imagine every step of an event or activity going well, you get your mind and body ready to take those steps in real life.
Imagination is critical here! Let it run wild and dream big, bIG, BIG!
***You will harness reality and logic in later steps***
How to Visualize
Carve out uninterrupted time in your schedule; 30-60 minutes should be enough but make it longer if you like.
You can meditate, utilize writing/journaling or art, even go for a walk or be in nature if that speaks to you.
Then, focus on the future and what you want. Don’t censor here—remember, imagination is vital! Really get a deep sense of how you want your future to look and feel.
Once you are clear on a vision, apply more sensation to it. What do you feel? Hear? See? Taste? Touch? Create the sensory experience in your body as if it is happening right now.
From there, imagine yourself walking back from the ultimate life dream to the moment you are currently in. First, develop a loose understanding of what the process would look like to get there. Then, identify specific actions or milestones you need to implement. Each part of the process creates a sensory experience for each as if it is happening right now.
Visualize your ultimate dream and the steps you are taking to achieve it EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.
Create Your Vision Board
Vision boards are a great way to get your creative juices flowing and organize your dreams onto a poster you get to look at every day.
Gather photos, magazine clippings, words, and phrases representing your vision for the year ahead.
You can paste your inspirations on a poster board or in several places in your home or office.
If you are techy or waste savvy, you can make a vision board on Canva.
Add to your vision board as you go through the following steps. You can add to it throughout the year as well.
Create Your Annual Goal(s)
Here is where we get more technical. It is time to articulate your annual goal(s) clearly. It is alright to focus on one goal, but most of us overachieving small business owners like setting more than one.
Please do not make it more than three concrete goals. Anecdotally, I have been guilty of creating too many goals….only to get overwhelmed and abandon them all.
If you like structure, below are guidelines and a template for articulating your goal(s).
- Make your annual goal big picture. Examples: “Increase sales,” “grow social media following,” “open a new location.”
- Don’t put numbers on it quite yet. You can do this in the next step.
- Make sure your goal reflects a deep desire – Do not forget your WHY!
Template: “In the year 2022, I will [insert goal], to [how it will impact your business], because [insert your why].”
If you have trouble identifying your annual goals, refer to this list of the top long-term goals businesses and entrepreneurs use to focus on the year ahead.
Break Your Goals Down & Write it Down
Now comes the nitty-gritty details and “that point” in the article where I mention SMART goals.
If you are naturally inclined to see things big picture and/or super creative, this step is probably the hardest. On the other hand, this will be a breeze if you love to zoom in on details and adore strategy.
Either way, I’m going to walk you through it, so you feel successful…
….hey! Look at that! Already completing one goal! Go you!!!
Create bulletproof goals
*Use this Goal Setting Template to make your goals bulletproof!
1. Make a plan for completing each of your annual goals
2. Make your short term goals SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound
3. Identify the steps you need to complete to meet the short-term goal.
4. List barriers or issues that could derail your progress & make a plan to overcome them
5. Identify internal & external resources you need to accomplish your goal
6. List your core desired feelings
Do NOT skip this one. Knowing and connecting to your core desired feelings through the goal process determines how successful you will feel both during the process AND the outcome.
7. Write it all down
The more you laser focus all your senses on your goals, the more likely you will achieve them.
Writing down your goals, barriers, resources, and desired feelings activates your brain’s capabilities of creativity and imagination as the sensory memory of your goals grows within your body.
Many people are visual learners. Writing down your goals and process helps you learn because you see it. For kinesthetic or hands/on learners, writing down your goals helps you know because you feel it in your body.
Create a Goal Tracking & Accountability Process
The beginning of the year is a great time to set goals. But, how do you maintain them? Better yet, how do you achieve them?
You need a and accountability process that you can stick with!
I find that carving space on Sunday evening or Monday morning to reflect and plan works best. For some, you may need to do this daily or biweekly.
There are three essential aspects to a goal tracking and accountability process that make it worth your time.
- Reflect on success – Give yourself a boost that you are much further along than you think. Reflect on what you have accomplished already; tasks, milestones, core feelings, or new information. Nothing is too small to celebrate! Remember – WRITE IT DOWN.
- Plan daily action steps for the following week – Break each short-term goal down into bite-size chunks and insert those tasks into each workday. You are more likely to complete something that is planned out and manageable.
- Tell someone or something – Accountability is huge! Do not do this alone, as it truly takes a village for dreams to soar. Tell a mentor, a colleague, a friend, or someone you trust that can both celebrate your wins and challenge you if you fall off the rails. If you are more introverted or just really private, download an app to track your goals and hold you accountable through reminders, celebrations, and challenges.
Maintain Flexibility & Be Resilient
Life happens. Unforeseen circumstances pop up. A goal ceases to have the same meaning it did at the beginning.
Whatever the case, it is important to remember that you are human, living with other humans, in an imperfect world. That means you need to be nimble, as well as get back up if you fall.
Sometimes you need to pivot or regroup. It does not mean you have failed if you change course or don’t quite hit the numbers you were looking for. It means you are working hard and hit a pinch point.
If you are at an impasse, take the time you and your goals deserve to make a different plan.
Gather other resources.
Find a new accountability partner.
Create new goals.
Envision something more workable.
Whatever you do…DO NOT GIVE UP! Your business is worth so much more than what you will ever be compensated for. Your business is there to thrive and provide the necessary services or products to improve a person’s life.
Do not forget your “why.” Come back to your lighthouse!
Now it’s time for you to take it to the next level. What are your goals for the year?
Photo by Danielle Cotter via Canva