(Andrena Sawyer President of P.E.R.K. Consulting leading professional development workshop at Wells Fargo)
Each year in January, thousands of women around the world make resolutions to help them live a better life. Common resolutions include goals to improve health and wellness, finances and even relationships. As a small business owner, it is likely that your New Year’s resolutions were not just for your personal well-being, but for the benefit of your company. However, a recent study by the University of Scranton suggests that only 8% of people actually achieve their goals.
To avoid being part of the 92%, here are four tips to help you achieve your goals.
- Create an Accountability System Research shows that when it comes to health and wellness goals, having a partner could mean the difference between success and failure. The primary reason for this is that having a partner creates a built-in accountability and motivational system. The same is true for your business goals. Practical accountability systems may include creating visual reminders of your goals, scheduling check-ups on your progress throughout the year, and designating key team members that are responsible for monitoring your goals. Being intentional about holding yourself and your team members accountable using these tools will ensure that your resolutions will not be an afterthought by April, and that you are not setting the same goals in 2017.
- Be S.M.A.R.T. In our company’s professional development workshops, we encourage participants to use the S.M.A.R.T. method when setting goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Specific goals break down your general goals into manageable bite-size pieces. A great example of this might be to increase your company’s revenue. “Increase revenue in 2016” is a good general goal, but an even better goal is to “increase company revenue in 2016 by identifying profit leaks, and creating monthly marketing campaigns in order to obtain new clients.” Even that specific goal can be further developed as your team thinks about other factors that will affect the outcome. By ensuring that your goals are S.M.A.R.T., you set yourself and your team members up to experience the thrill of achievement that will become motivation for future success.
- Be Flexible Life happens. Part of good goal planning is recognizing that and planning accordingly. Having flexibility in your approach and expectations relieves everyone involved of the pressure that comes with perfectionism. By recognizing that things may not always go as planned, you open the door for creativity to flow, and for discussion about alternative approaches to the goal.
- Create Rewards Rewards are good for morale, and a happy team is a productive team. As your company sets its goals, a rewards system is as important as any other piece of the process. Whether big or small, rewards that highlight performance, collaboration and other values that are important to your company could be the extra motivation for your overall success.
If you find that your resolutions from January have been placed on the back burner, remember that there is no better time than now to create new opportunities for growth. Achieving your goals is as much a matter of timing, as it is a matter of consistency. No matter where you are in the process, continue to forge ahead using these tips for success this year, and in the years to come.
Andrena Sawyer is the President of P.E.R.K. Consulting, and the author of The Long Way Home and The Other Side of Assertiveness. In addition to her work with local nonprofits and small businesses, she regularly leads personal and professional development workshops women. Follow her on twitter @Andrena_Sawyer. Follow P.E.R.K. Consulting @Perk_Consulting