To reach our goals, we need touch points that allow us to review our progress and set new goals. Often during these reviews, we discover that we set goals and rarely achieve them.
When we repeatedly miss our target, we get discouraged and frustrated. Which leads us down a path that no entrepreneur wants to be on.
Before you throw in the towel, I want you to think about goals a little differently.
There are two problems that I see with setting goals:
First, more often than not, life gets in the way. No matter how well you plan, you can’t prepare for everything. Things will happen that we have no control over.
For example, I have a goal of running a 5K but my recent ankle injury and the fact that I stopped running after my last 5K, has extended the time it would take to get ready for the next one. Can I run another 5K – of course, but I will need to adjust my goal and expectations.
The same can be true with a business financial goal. We may set a goal, only to have a big client leave or face an unexpected expense. When this happens, we may need to adjust our expectations or the timeline associated with our goal.
Second, goals have an endpoint. It’s one of the reasons we diet only to regain the weight or train to run a 5K then revert to our less healthy habits. I know I am not the only one who has been there?
When we are focused on a goal, we often focus on the result and lose sight of the many small steps that we need to take to get there. It’s this all or nothing attitude that leads to overwhelm and failure.
Success is about the person you become in the process, those habits you create over time and not the one result you create in the end.
When we focus on creating good habits, we make a large goal easier to attain and even exceed. Habits become the routine and consistent work that quickly adds up to big rewards.
The things you do each day become engrained in you and make you who you are. With good habits in place, you become the person you wish to be (ie: the writer, the runner, the indispensable virtual assistant).
Small daily habits become so routine that we don’t need to think about them. It’s a lifestyle change, like running three days a week to lead you to your 5K goal. These daily habits become a part of our day, like brushing your teeth or making your morning coffee!
It’s time to think about our goals as a lifestyle change and not as a destination. Focus on the small things you need to do each day to become the person you want to be.
Creating good habits involves creating a consistent schedule and routine. Start with one habit or a smaller step to get you where you want to be. Here are some examples:
- Schedule in 30-minutes of writing each day
- Schedule a 20-minute walk
- Begin with writing one paragraph
Right now my focus is on consistently putting out content. In the past, I was a bit more erratic. I would write or go live on Facebook whenever the inspiration strikes, then be frustrated with myself for being so inconsistent.
My new routine involves scheduling blocks of time for content creation each day. I schedule two blocks of time each morning to focus on content, distraction-free. I set a timer to help me stay on track and not let the content creation take too much time from my other work.
By creating a schedule and routine, my content isn’t always as compelling as the longer posts that I would write once a month, but I am building the routine and the habit. Like exercise, I am building that muscle and will become stronger over time.
Be Disciplined Yet Flexible
Back to my original point – Life will get in the way. Last year at this time, my lifestyle included running three times a week. Then I stopped running. My girls went back to school, and my schedule felt a little overwhelming. A missed day became a week, then a month … and here I am.
When you fall off course, get back on track by adding your habit to your schedule and making a commitment to taking a small step every day.
When you don’t have time to write, at least write a paragraph. When you don’t have time for your run, take that 20-minute walk. Remember that success requires us to be disciplined yet flexible.
Looking for Accountability and Support
If you are looking for extra motivation, accountability, and support, join us in our private Facebook community. In addition to the content and tips I share each day, we have a great community of women business owners who share their tips and encouragement.