Episode 43 - Mid-year goals review

Did you create goals at the beginning of the year? Have you been reviewing them on a regular basis? In this episode, we discuss how to review your goals as we reach the middle of the year to celebrate your wins, tweak your goals, and do some introspection to see why you haven't achieved your goals. 

Why should you review your goals now?

Half-way through the year is an excellent time to review your goals. Many times we create goals at the beginning of the year but we completely lose track of them. Now is a great time to dust them off and see how you are doing. If you find that you are having trouble keeping track of your goals, check out the Spark planner and Spark notebook. The Spark planner has really helped me stay on top of my goals for the year.

It is very important to start by saying that this is not an excuse to beat yourself up. If you have not made good progress on your goals, spend your energy looking at why that is the case. Do not beat yourself up about it. One of the great things about doing a mid-year review is you still have time to achieve those goals if they are still right for you and your business. If they are not the right goals for you, you have time to set new goals to achieve for 2016.

This is also an important step because we often fill our task lists with busy work that does not reflect our goals. Looking at your goals often allows you to add tasks to your list to help you achieve your goals. If your goals do not make it onto your task list, it is very difficult to achieve them.

What you should look for when you review your goals

Completed goals

 If you have completed any of your goals for the year, it's time to celebrate. You stuck to your plan and you achieved your goal. Figure out how you want to celebrate that win and go do it! If you need an easy way to celebrate your wins, check out our Wednesday Wins post in our Facebook group. We will help cheer you on!

Most people beat themselves up for not accomplishing goals but they never take the time to celebrate wins, even small wins. Celebrating your wins helps keep you motivated, and will help you continue to achieve other goals.

That's why task lists are helpful. Each week, I plan my schedule and tasks in my Spark planner, then I add my tasks into Nozbe. This allows me to have my task list everywhere I go because I can view it on my phone, computer, or tablet. Nozbe also adds reoccurring tasks to my list, so I don't forget to promote the podcast, or update our budget each week. As I finish tasks, I check them off in Nozbe. Every Sunday, I use my Spark planner to review my week and my long-term goals before setting tasks for the next week. This allows me to get the short-term items done, while still focusing on long-term growth.

Are your goals still relevant?

 This happens to me every year. I set goals at the beginning of the year based on what I wish to accomplish. During the year, opportunities present themselves, or I try something and it just doesn't work. Does that mean that I should beat myself up because I am not accomplishing a goal? Does that mean I should push on even if I no longer think that is the best course of action? Absolutely not!

One of the great things about small businesses is their agility. We can pivot when new opportunities arise, or when we realize something is not working. Rather than continuing down a path that no longer excites us, we can change course. This means that sometimes our goals must also change. If anything you wrote down in January no longer applies, strike it off your list. Goals are not things that are set in stone. They are just a guide to forward progress. Just as our GPS can redirect us around traffic, we have the ability to change the direction of our business.

Review your goals to make sure they are SMART

When reviewing your goals, some of them might seem a bit vague. Now is a good time to make sure your goals are SMART:

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Action-oriented
  4. Realistic
  5. Timed

There is a lot more information about this in Episode 15.

Are the time frames you set back in January still valid?

Every January, I am ready to hit the gate running. Sometimes, I get too ambitious about my goals. I also might forget to work on a goal until I realize that the deadline is quickly approaching. It has always been a bad habit of mine. Now is a great time to look at the dates you set to make sure you are still on track. Remember, the ultimate goal is to be successful so you can celebrate your wins. Creating realistic time frames is important to success. Rather than setting yourself up for defeat, see if you can realign your timeline to set yourself up for success.

Do you need to set some new goals?

Have you achieved everything you wanted to do this year? Awesome! Now it's time to set some new goals. Just like you can remove items from you list if you feel you need to go in a different direction, you can add new items to your list anytime during the year. Most people think that you can only do this at the beginning of the year, but anytime is a good time to add some focus to your business. Have a new idea? Want to implement a new strategy? Don't wait until January to try it out. Start now!

If you aren't making progress, investigate why

There could be a number of reasons why you aren't achieving your goals. Remember, this is not a time to beat yourself up. This is a time to correct previous mistakes and move forward. If you haven't make the progress you would like, let's start now.

The most frequent excuse I see is that we just haven't looked at them in a while. Keeping your goals front and center helps you achieve them. Find a place to display your goals so you will see them frequently. Print them out and tape them to the wall by your desk. Create a graphic and make it the wallpaper on your phone or computer, so you see them multiple times per day. Set them up as tasks in your task manager. Review them each week before creating your task list. It's hard to forget about your goals when you see them everyday. It helps to keep you focused.

Another excuse we often use is time. Being a small business owner is extremely hectic. I often feel scattered because I am going in so many different directions. It is easy to allow our boundaries to fall, especially when we are frustrated with the progress we are making. Scheduling out my week has helped with this. Working in blocks of time on a specific project allows me to be focused on that project, while knowing I have other tasks scheduled for later in the week. Knowing I have set aside time for those other tasks allows me to stay focused on the task at hand. It also allows me to keep my boundaries up when someone or something tries to impede on them.

One thing I love to do is have a few mindless tasks I can do while watching TV. I can create social media posts or graphics while watching Netflix. TV viewing time is also a good time to clean out your inbox, or classify transactions in your accounting system. We all have small tasks that need to get done, but keep us from working on the tasks that will help us grow our business. Those are excellent TV time activities. What can you do during your downtime to help clear something off your list?

Another impediment to success is fear. In the forefront of our mind, we know what a successful business can do for our lives. The problem is our subconscious hates change. The more you progress toward success, the more your subconscious will push back. This is where fear starts making excuses and tries to derail our progress. It may show up as doubt or lack of motivation.

When you feel as though you are not making progress, find a quiet place to reflect. Look at your goals and ask yourself why you are not achieving them. If you start to point the finger at external factors, ask yourself why you are letting those external factors get in the way. You ultimately decide what you do and don't do. Again, this is not about blame or defeat. This is about getting to the root of the problem so you can be successful by charting a new course for success.

Need help with your goals? Please contact us. We are always here to help!

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