It’s a brand-new year, so what better time to take a step back and evaluate your business goals? What do you want to do this year? How successful do you want to be? Goals are so important when working from home, so we asked these experts to give their best advice on how they set goals for themselves, and their businesses.
Erica McCurdy of McCurdy Life Coach, LLC knows a thing or two about planning and goal setting. Here’s what she advises:
1) Be accountable to yourself. While accountability is great in theory, nobody will or should care as much about achieving your goals as you do (or should). Make your goals something you care enough about to get them done. If you don’t get them done – or don’t even try, you need to reconsider why you are setting those tasks as goals in the first place.
2) Be honest with yourself. YOU are the last person with whom you should ever be dishonest. If you are not committed to the goals you are setting, there is probably something in those goals that is not authentic to who you are, where you want to be and how hard you want to work.
3) Break your goals into things you can accomplish each day. It’s OK to mix personal and professional goals – especially when you work from home. Just make sure you keep yourself balanced and focus on your work enough to keep moving forward. Remember, if a goal is too big to take a step in a single day, break your goal into it’s smaller components and make those steps your new goals.
Tim Carr from WP Cube has these awesome tips to add!
- Use a daily planner tool the night before to set your goals and reflect on the day, so you can see achievable progress.
- Complete the most difficult tasks first, while you have energy early in the day.
- Use the pomodoro technique to divide your time up into small, focused chunks.
Lisa Chastain is the owner of Lisa Chastain Coaching, helping people organize their lives for a living! Here is her advice on goal setting:
1. Have a “regular work schedule” – the MOST important thing I do (even though some days I’m in my pajamas) is stick to a regular work schedule. I keep my hours consistent so I always know when I’m going to get work done.
Joe Battisto of Haven Environmental LLC uses these ideas to keep his business on track.
1) Break down the goal into weekly, daily, hourly chunks (baby steps, lots of them), you will be able to feel the time clock running , and hopefully use the time, better
2) Stay dissatisfied with your progress, no matter how good, then use that as motivation to go faster.
3) Make sure your mental picture of your goal is crystal clear (sign up 1 new account per week, make 1 dollar more than last week, etc)
Jennifer Dawn owner of Best Planner Ever keeps on track using these simple ideas!
1) Set shorter goals for 90 days (or less). Setting goals past 90 days has been shown to actually increase procrastination
2) Set just one big 90 day goal. When you are trying to move multiple projects forward at a time, you lose tons of productivity by switching back and forth.
3) Create a clear strategy around your goals. Break them into smaller week long “projects” and then into specific tasks. Don’t just launch into being busy, busy. Take time to plan out your projects first.
Amber Slaughter from The Life Architect uses these ideas to keep her business running smoothly to achieve her goals.
- Visualize Your Business Goals – Be very descriptive in your visualization like how much money you’ll make in your business, what will that money allow you to do, what will your life be like when you achieve your business goals, what will your day be like and what will you do with your time.
- Protect Your Time – Set your business hours and calendar and don’t let friends or family distract you from your daily goals. That may mean saying no to lunch with a friend, not focusing on the laundry that needs to be done, what dishes are in the sick or what else needs to be done around the house.
- Leverage the 80/20 Rule – Focus 20% of your efforts on the tasks that will produce 80% of your results
Tips from Leslie: For me, the biggest challenge of goals are 1) breaking them down into action steps and 2) plotting out the to-dos on my calendar. But these two tasks are important for turning a goal into a reality. A goal without a plan and daily action is just a wish.
Another challenge is turning your new goal-tasks into a habit. It’s too easy to go back to life as usual, which is why most people have completely abandoned their goal by February.
Make sure you own the goal and that you’re not trying to do it for someone else. Passion and desire are crucial for success. If you’re working on a goal because you think you should or your spouse wants you to, you won’t be as motivated as if the goal is a burning passion inside you.
Finally, track your progress. Goals take time and it can feel like you’re spinning your wheels getting no where. If you track what you’ve done and the results you’re getting, you can see your progress which motivates you to keep on keepin’ on.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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