We’re on the brink of a new decade. This is an exciting time to consider where you have come from and where you will be going next. Where do you want your startup to be in 1 year’s time? In 5 years’ time? In 10 years’ time? Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and DREAM IT. Cue the boss b*tch playlists, channel your inner Oprah, download all the podcasts. THIS COULD BE YOU IN 2020, IN 2025, IN 2030.
You’ve seen it across your socials: DREAM BIG. Or even, DREAM BIGGER. It’s the words of affirmations that your dreams are valid, that your dreams can come true, and that dreams are the magic that has changed the world and will continue to do so.
Here’s the problem: Having a dream without the corresponding toolkit is like signing up to run a marathon without any training. There’s no doubt that you know what you want to achieve, and your dream is certainly valid, but you are relying on unprecedented, superhuman strength and a galaxy-sized portion of extraterrestrial luck to get you there.
Most of us are not creating effective goals, and many of us are not setting goals at all. When we go about our lives without these goals we spend each day reacting to the world around us - possibly even reacting to other people’s dreams and goals and how they are achieving them. The days are long but the years are short. 365 days, specifically, can go by in a blink.
Yes, you should absolutely dream, but don’t stop there. Get yourself a toolkit of realistic and measurable micro & macro goals and then put accountability measures in place to stick to them.
Luckily for you, IFundWomen has you covered with the following steps for effective goal setting:
Identify where you are going: The first stop on your goal setting journey is to completely visualize the future ahead of you once this goal has been achieved. Strong believers in visualization and manifestation will say that if you can’t visualize something then you can’t achieve it. The more realistic you can create something in your mind, the higher your chances will be to actually create them in the physical world.
Set “SMART” Goals: SMART goals are a crucial step in creating effective goals and milestones as they make sure that the goals you are setting have specific criteria – criteria which are easily remembered by using the acronym SMART. Each goal that you set for yourself needs to account for each one of these criteria.
For example: “I want to have a bigger social media presence” is a goal, but it is not SMART. A SMART Goal is: “I want to grow my Instagram account (specific) by 2,000 new instagram followers (measurable) by posting more frequently and engaging with new accounts (achievable), because my ideal client mainly uses Instagram (relevant), over the course of one year (time-bound).”
Stay accountable and track yourself: Setting the goals is not enough. Once you have set your 12-month SMART goals, it is crucial that you break those goals down into smaller segments (9 months, 6 months, 3 months, and 1 week goals) and that you track against those goals at the end of each of those time periods. This gives you an opportunity to adjust, pivot, or re-set goals as needed which makes you far more likely to succeed and less likely to simply give up. This is how an accountability coach can change your life.
Utilize productivity tools: So you’ve set up goals that will lead you towards your best life ever, and then you wake up the next morning and every alarm bell in your life is going off. How do you stop yourself from getting distracted?
One of my favorite tips is to write down the 3 most important things that you need to achieve each day to cut through the clutter and noise and then turn off all of your notifications to make sure that you don’t do anything else until those things are achieved. Don’t try and do more than 3 super important tasks each day - we only have the capacity for so much. If you are actually doing JUST those things, you will have time to achieve the rest another day. Need inspiration on this? Rewatch our “Habit Stacking” workshop with Samantha Lane.
Build and invest in your toolkit: Take a close look at all the things that require your energy every single day and ask yourself: Does this person/activity/place bring me closer to achieving my goals? The places you spend your time and energy (and your wallet!) are where you will grow fastest. Anything that doesn’t serve you to build your success story (even if it’s temporarily more fun) should be carefully evaluated. Just remember that self-care is an important part of your success, so do whatever you need to do to prioritize yourself first.
We know how valuable this process can be, which is why IFundWomen is launching the Goal Getter Package for entrepreneurs that are serious about making their dreams a reality. With this package, I will be your personal goal setting and accountability coach on top of three coaching calls per month with our expert startup team and unlimited access to our semi-private virtual workshops on all your needs as a startup founder.
As we close out 2019 and rush off to prepare for the upcoming holidays - whether or not that means copious time with family or much-needed alone time to reset, I want you to consider one thing: What can you do now to set yourself up in 2020 for success?