Hitting the Mark or Fooling Yourself? How to Reverse Engineer Your Goals for 2017

By Donna J. Spina PCC, CPC, ELI-MP of Coaching InDeed Inc.

Boats are safe in harbors. But that is not what boats are built for. It’s time to sail, my friends. Set a course and go. Stop hanging out where it’s safe. Move into the next level because you want to be ready, even if you are not ready. Make the change, the move, the plunge. Take the risk. Just do it. The wind will favor your sails…” -Kathleen McGowan

In every venue and arena at year’s end, we are bombarded with the idea of setting goals and making changes for the purpose of improvement in the upcoming year. As we officially enter the second quarter of 2017, what is the status of your resolutions? The ones you made with such, perhaps forced, enthusiasm? Ever notice the parking lot of a fitness center in January? When you return in February, there is a dramatic difference. Are you feeling like one of those people?​

What happened?​

Often the new habits you attempt to create are superficial or not realistic. In many cases, you are not prepared to rise to the demand of change and old, stronger habits take over again. Research studies show that about 50% of those making resolutions were confident of their success, while only 12% actually achieved their goals. ​

This is where VISION is critically important. When you have a crystal clear understanding of where you are headed and the incremental milestone goals that must be met along the way, there is no need for resolutions!​

Day-to-day uncertainty plagues most small business owners, especially in the early years. Reaffirm that you really do know the answers to these questions when setting your business goals. If your responses hampered hesitation, spend time to truly nail the answers.

  • Do I really understand what my customers want? Remember, it’s about them not you. What is their primary pain point and how does your service or product become the solution?
  • Does my business model work? What are your processes and systems? If you are not well organized, money (and customers, or potential ones) fall through the cracks.
  • How do I retain and continue to engage my team? A revolving door is extremely costly in time, with training learning curves leading to inefficiency and low productivity. Whether they are employees or outsourced, you must be a high quality leader to continually inspire and teach.
  • How do I attract high end clients or repeat customers? Marketing and lead generation is the blood of any business. If not your strength, find someone with a passion and proven record for helping you sort and sift. Having stellar customer service skills keeps them coming back, as well as referring others.
  • Do I need greater skills to lead and run my business? The response to this is “Always!” In our dynamic, ever-changing world, you must continue to level up your skills and more importantly, your business mindset.

To help you refocus, chart the course, and work ON your business instead of just IN your business, here are..

5 Tips on How to Reverse Engineer Your Goals for 2017:

1. Fast forward to New Year’s Eve on 12/31/2017. As you raise your glass to toast the outgoing year, what thoughts of specific accomplishments would make you proud of yourself professionally and personally?

2. Identify those accomplishments, write them down (another key to success!), and describe each fully with a detailed plan of action. To avoid overwhelm and being stretched too thin (which sets yourself up for failure), limit the number of your major objectives to 5 or less.

3. Focus on your positive strengths and skillset to move your business and life forward.

4. Identify what actions and steps you have already taken. Evaluate and measure the outcome. How will you know you accomplished each objective?

5. Set a deadline for each goal – even the ones that are underway.

6. Bonus – Celebrate yourself for endeavoring to persevere. Slow and steady wins the race!

Do this 5-step exercise. Keep it in your line of sight. Being a business owner can be a lonely road regardless of your level of success. So keep growing your support network or hire a professional coach to walk the race with you!