• Rachael Ferguson

Why entrepreneurs must set goals - and how to achieve them

My top tips for goal setting strategies

How often do you set goals for both your personal and professional life? Do you have plans for how you want your business to grow? Are their personal goals you want to achieve?

If you want to achieve the big objectives that are important to you then I am a firm believer that you must set goals and take practical steps to achieve them. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

In this blog we are going to look at the various ways of setting goals, and the economic benefits.

But first let’s define what is goal setting.

Goal setting can look different depending on your lifestyle, values and definition of success. Your goals are unique to you and don’t need to look like anyone else’s.

By setting goals and actively working towards them, you can accomplish much more then you might think possible. If you want to grow your business, scale up, or start as a second business, you need to set some clear and measurable goals. Likewise, if you have personal goals you want to achieve such as buy a house, go travelling, become eco-friendly at home, or teach yourself to speak Spanish!

How I approach goal setting

When I was managing my podiatry practice, and launching SynxBody, I had to use goal setting to move things forward in those businesses as well as hitting my personal goals.

I set clear and measurable goals so I knew what the target were – and then I could see when I achieved it.

But it wasn’t always like that. At one point I was certainly getting burnt out. In 2017, I’d been working on two businesses for years, juggling family life, and definitely not looking after myself. I was working hard but I didn’t seem to be winning in any area of my professional life. This eventually filtered through to my personal life because I didn’t have time to unwind or take time out for myself.

I’d say I was forced to do something about it, but the truth is, I decided to do something about it because if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t have stayed in the game for much longer.

I started to focus on myself and I looked for ways to streamline my life.

Why goal setting is so valuable

Goal setting is proven to help with higher motivation, self-esteem, self-confidence, and autonomy (Locke and Latham) and research has established a strong connection between goal setting and success.

If you don’t have goals, and ways to measure them, then what are you really striving for? The same status quo as now? In this case you are ‘settling’ rather than moving towards something great – something you deserve.

Goal setting can really help you grow as a person and grow in your business because you need to stretch yourself.

Why goal setting is so valuable:

  1. Goals separate reality from wishful thinking – read that again! Goals separate reality from wishful thinking.

  2. Goals help you make optimum use of resources.

  3. Goals free you to focus on the “how” versus the “what”.

  4. Goals stretch you beyond the “possible”.

  5. Goals provide measurement and accountability.

  6. Goals help you accomplish more in life and live the life you want.

My top tips for successful goal setting

Obviously, you need to find a method that works for you. Try out a few of these suggestions and see which ones feel right to you, which ones move you forward, and which ones come naturally.

1. Adopt a growth mindset

Psychology shows us that there are two types of mindsets; a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

So, while a fixed mindset leads to a life of settling for mediocrity, which might leave you feeling angry or unfulfilled, a growth mindset can lead to a life of fulfillment, happiness, fun, laughter, and success.

To adopt a growth mindset, you need to work on improving your positivity and optimism and surround yourself with likeminded successful people.

2. Read lots of books

Learn from others who have travelled before you. There are so many brilliant books which offer advice, or tips, or just tell a story which has lessons within. Reading and learning a lot more from successful people.

One particular book that changed my life was ‘Miracle Morning’ by Hal Elrod! It changed the way I thought about everything, and I gradually became a morning person! I became more productive, setting and smashing - goals, and finding time for my own health.

The book explains 6-steps to the Miracle Morning Routine:

  1. S = Silence – this could include mediation, journaling etc.

  2. A = Affirmations - statements that you read out loud that confirm your limitless potential and your top priorities.

  3. V = Visualisation – the process of visualisation involves imagining exactly what you want to achieve and then mentally rehearsing the things you’ll need to do to get there

  4. E = Exercise – this can be anything from gentle stretching, walking the dog, or a full-on work out. The point here is just to get your blood flowing a bit and help wake up your mind and body so you can be alert and gain a bit of energy.

  5. R = Reading – in particular, non-fiction or self-help books because all those snippets of information will compound over time, and eventually add up to a lot more knowledge than it may seem like you’re taking in each day.

  6. S = Scribe - write in your journal.

  • 3 things you’re grateful for

  • 3 things that would make today a great day

  • 1 affirmation

I try to follow these steps as often as possible. I love to add in a few minutes to think about the 3 most important things I need to get done today.

3. Eat that frog!

Another great book that taught me a lot, is by Brian Tracy called ‘Eat That Frog’. As well as having a strong morning routine, always do the hardest things first. So, when you look at your ‘To Do’ list, resist starting with something that is a quick win but doesn’t actually achieve much. Instead, tackle the hardest thing first.

4. Create a vision board

Vision boards are a powerful way to clarify your vision, establish a strong goal, and keep your goals front of mind in a visual capacity.

I recommend making a visual mood board, as opposed to a digital one. Turn it into a fun activity with your children and help them to plan some exciting goals together as a family.

Don’t overthink it too much – play around with colours, photos, inspirational quotes, and illustrations. I like to break mine into 4 quarters and have business, travel, family and health and wellness.

Then display your mood board where you will see it daily, maybe in your bedroom, stuck on the fridge, by your desk, anywhere you will see it frequently.

5. Don’t get side-tracked

Get into the habit of coming back to focus.

Anytime you are conflicted about a decision, or you find yourself a bit confused, ask yourself “Is this going to push me further head or waste my time?”

6. Write your goals down

Write your goals down and review them every day. Like the mood board theory, writing your goals down on paper can really help clarify the thoughts that are swirling in your head.

7. Set 6-monthly goals

Separate personal from the professional goals. I like to set 3 goals for personal and 3 for professional. I then review them regularly throughout the 6 month period.

8. Set Stretch goals

When setting goals, you might try setting an ‘ideal’ goal then add on a stretch goal. For example, “I want to be able to run 5km in under 35 minutes” - but the stretch goal would be to run that distance under 30 minutes.

Another example might be, “I want to turnover $500,000 this year in my business.” – then the stretch goal might be to turnover $800,000.

Stretch goals are simply a way of pushing you past what you think is possible, into the impossible. Often having a stretch goal can inspire innovative ideas that have not yet been explored, to accomplish a seemingly unattainable level of success.

9. Follow inspirational people on social media

Just like reading books, following inspirational people can cultivate a positive social media feed.

Believe that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

10. Tackle each goal from all directions

When looking at your goals, think about the bigger picture and dig a little bit deeper. Do they align with your morals and beliefs? Why are these goals important?

Dive deep into what makes you tick, what means the most to you and provides you with the most satisfaction and pleasure in life… you’ll be surprised how much of a driver it is to the success of the goals in your everyday life.

Looking for more business guidance?

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