Why 12 week goals work

Short term goals can be powerful and energising

Work Smart Not Hard Tip No. 19 in a series written for Indie Cambs.

It’s good to have long term goals but breaking them down into smaller time scales or adding in a short sharp focus for activity can be fun and provide a lot of motivation.

First, decide what excites you and feels achievable.

Maybe you’d like an extra £5,000 (replace this with something that is appropriate for your business).
You can’t just hope and wish for it to happen so the next step is to work out what action you need to take.

If you’ve chosen something that isn’t totally in your power to achieve and there might be an element of luck involved, look at what you can do that IS in your control.

Maybe if contacting 10 potential new customers a day is likely to bring in an extra £5,000 then there’s a strong chance you’ll reach your result – but it’s still not guaranteed because converting those prosects into customers depends on how good you are at selling.

RESULTS, PROCESS, and PERFORMANCE are very different types of goal.

If you are the kind of person who gets disheartened by not achieving a goal, then look at how much of what you’re trying to do is in your power to achieve before you set it. If there’s an element of luck involved then instead of making your goal the result, make it the process.

Why bother to set goals?

When you work for yourself and you’re answerable to no-one there’s a tendency to just take each day as it comes. After all, who’ll know the difference whether you do or you don’t?
Having a definite goal gives you focus. When you’re tempted by distractions or procrastination, you can bring your energy back to what you want to achieve. You’ll waste less time on insignificant or unproductive tasks, especially if you have a deadline. You’re also more likely to prioritise your time to achieve your goals and not just react to other people’s demands. It’s the IMPORTANT v URGENT thing that I talk about a lot but can’t be said too often!

I know so many business owners who struggle to recall what they’ve achieved in a day or a week because no-one else is there to say well done, but achieving a goal and giving yourself a reward is a real marker of success.

The reward is important.

Rewards might not make you work harder (rewards often don’t have that effect) but it can be a lot of fun deciding what it will be – and quite revealing. If you find yourself asking if you deserve a reward you need to contact me immediately because this an issue that needs to be deal with, not ignored!

The biggest reward is usually the feeling of achievement and this is what makes short term goals so powerful. You remember setting them. You remember what you did to achieve them. That’s why you’re more likely to repeat them and keep achieving.

Have you tried short term goals? Do they work for you? Let me know!

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