Friday, May 6, 2011

Goal-Setting? Piece of Cake (One Piece at a Time) - Part 1

I know - that's a very heady headline, but how many often do we go through life putting off goals and end up floundering because we don't take the time to organize and set goals?

This is part 1 of goal-setting. This speaks about my own experience with goals and my to-do list, which I have found very helpful for me over the years. 

As a fairly organized person, I realized that once I started my business, I had to bring the art of organization and goal-setting to a new level. This is a task that is fairly easy once you begin to look at it as parceled segments.

The process of goal-setting can be in three phases:
1. Declutter - Throw everything out that you do not need, have not touched, or looked at for the past year. Simply put, this means tossing the previous years' to-do and goals lists so that you can start fresh. Getting "stuck" in a goal or a task that you never got to will give you a headache. It is best to crumple that piece of paper and throw it away. A fresh start gives you a fresh perspective, and the energy to start anew.

2. Divide and conquer - Break down your tasks and to-do's into bite-size chunks:
Things that require immediate attention or things that you need to do right now. If you just started a business, your immediates would be: file your business name with the registrar's office, set up your website, order business cards, set up your home office, etc. The "preliminary" aspects of whatever is your Big Audacious Hairy Goal/ Dream is simply getting down to the basics.
Things that can wait another month or so for you to tackle. For your business, these are things like purchasing all-new office equipment. Whoa, tigeress! Before you get uber-excited about looking like a "legitimate" entrepreneur, first assess the needs of your business. Maybe you can do with your current laptop and cell phone. You also do not need to be on every single social media tool out there. Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube, Vimeo - these are amazing tools and resources. But does it make sense for your type of business? Get your feet wet in your new venture and "test" what works or doesn't. You will save yourself a lot of needless set-up and purchases if you give yourself a one-month grace period to tinker and toy with your business needs.
Things that you can work toward for the next 6 months. Education, networking, researching, connecting are all moving parts of your business that can you do not have to jump into at the onset, but with deliberate planning, are vital aspects of your business goals. Planning out what you will attend, what group to become a part, and who you are willing to align yourself with takes time. Do not think that you should do all these things in the first month of your goal-setting. That is guaranteed burn-out, and send you reeling in frustration and not accomplishing any real thing.

3. Execute - Once your tasks and ultimate goals are compartmentalized into smaller doable tasks, it is time to start doing the work. This can be the hardest part. There is sometimes a long, rickety bridge between wishing something and actually doing it. Just like exercising, you just have to throw on the shoes and go outside and start running! And at the risk of sounding cliched, as Nike so aptly put, "JUST DO IT!"

Stay tuned for part 2 next week!

If you have any feedback or comments, I would love to hear from you!

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