Naturally, this is the most common time for reviewing the last year and looking towards the next year for goal setting or “New Year Resolutions” as some people call them. I have never been a fan of the idea of the “New Year’s Resolution” but I am however, a firm believer in the power of creating and writing down goals – not just for business but personally, too. What do you want to achieve for your personal or work life for 2012? Here are some tips to make it happen.
Two Key Components of Setting your Goals:
1) Write your goals down. You hear people say this all the time, but some studies suggest that only 2% of people actually write down their goals. Writing your goals down makes it concrete and tangible and creates motivation to do it. If you don’t write it down, you lose focus on what your goals are, and your goals become more of dreams (most resolutions do not get written down at midnight with champagne in your hand).
2) Keep your goals SMART. This is difficult to do but helps you clarify your goals, especially for business or marketing purposes. When writing goals, it is OK to start with a draft, then re-write or evaluate to make sure it fits the SMART model. Try to keep the goal positive (resolutions tend to be more negative or about stopping a bad habit). A SMART goal fits these criteria:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Realistic
T – Timely
Example Goals to Kickstart SMART Goal Writing:
Make more Connections
If you want to grow your network in 2012, there are many great ways to do it, whether you join a local organization or a broader industry-related group of like-minded people. Beyond our local communities, there are opportunities with networking via social media through Linkedin, Facebook, or Twitter.
SMART Goal Example: Grow personal Linkedin network to 200 connections by June 30, 2012.
Learn Something New
Whether you attend a class at Vivid Image, read a few new books, or subscribe to your favorite marketing blog’s RSS feed, there are tons of way to learn new skills in social media, web marketing, business, or whatever new venture or hobby you want to pursue.
SMART Goal Example: Attend 4 WordPress and Social Media seminars or webinars by the end of 2012.
Managing a business or even a family can require an immense amount of organization. There are many great social media and web tools to help you stay organized, such as Evernote, HootSuite, Constant Contact, and WordPress Editorial calendar just to name a few. When time and/or focus is needed in a specific area such as social media management or blogging, you could also consider hiring Vivid Image to help with the workload and offer insight.
SMART Goal Example: Plan an annual blogging Editorial calendar and write weekly blog posts that will lead to a 10% increase in blog traffic.
Whether you volunteer with your favorite organization or just help friends and family out during their time of need, charity feels good all around. Do you have skills or knowledge that you can share with others? Maybe just providing little things like a referral, a recommendation, or support via a blog comment or feedback can be a tremendous boost for someone.
SMART Goal Example: Support my favorite businesses and professionals by providing at least one written recommendation or referral monthly.
Grow your Sales
Above all, the first goal for most businesses is to grow their sales, because without a healthy bottom line, the rest of the goals become harder to tackle (here are some low cost marketing ideas for small budgets). Through building relationships online and off, creating valuable website content for customers, and creating products and services that people love and recommend, your business will achieve success.
SMART Goal Example: Increase overall sales by 20% over last year.
SMART goals that are written down and shared within your organization (when business related) or with your spouse or family (when personal) can help create a team effort and support system. Make sure to review them periodically or post in a spot where you will see them often. Go ahead and make adjustments and carry over goals to the next year as needed. With persistence you will reach the goals that once started as only dreams.
Do you think writing down goals makes a difference? Will you be tackling your goal setting differently this year? What goals are you trying to achieve?