Midwest Professional Woman's Group Blog

Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group

Setting Attainable Goals

Posted by Dress for Success Midwest Professional Women's Group on August 23, 2010

I was looking through a magazine and stumbled upon something I hadn’t seen in years, a glass piggybank.  I recall the first such bank I received as a child when I opened my first savings account.  It forced me to continue to save because I didn’t want to ‘break’ it until it was completely full, or I had enough to purchase something I really wanted.  My eyes were always on the prize.

By the ‘80’s piggybanks had changed; they had stoppers in the bottom to remove money whenever you wanted. By not having to keep adding to your savings until you’d reached your goal, many times they were never met.  The bank became a place to gather loose change and such, but it took away the demand, if you will, that you reach a goal or lose it all, by having to ‘break the bank’.

It makes me think about my business goals in somewhat the same way.  I have to find ways of making myself accountable to reaching the goals I’ve set.  Last year, I setup several reminders to check in on my 2010 goals. When I got the first reminder, I realized, – YIKES, now where did I put those goals?   I was not focused on reaching them.

It’s difficult when you’re the boss, isn’t it?  How can we set goals and make ourselves accountable for the goals we need to keep our businesses afloat in these challenging times?  

First, take a look at what types of goals you might want to set for yourself.  Some to consider might include:

  • Sales/income
  • Number of new clients
  • New equipment/software
  • Knowledge-based achievements (certifications; classes)
  • Adding staff or sub-contractors

As you can see, there are many types of goals you can set for your business.  I usually try and have three to four of these areas covered in my yearly goals; that way, if one seems to be lacking, I can transition more time and effort into making that particular goal a priority, or adjust it to give myself a clearer way to achieve it.

I think the next most important thing is to put it in writing – something about memorializing it makes it seem more attainable, and real.  You might even consider sharing your yearly goals with a colleague or peer and ask them to check in with you several times a year to make sure you’re on track to achieving them.

Equally as important is making sure that you don’t beat yourself up if you don’t attain a particular goal.  Goals are something you are aspiring to achieve; they should help you be accountable for where you want your business to go.

2008 was a perfect example of that for me.  I was right on track with my sales/income and new client goals for 2008, right until the stock market crashed in October.  Suddenly, everything changed.  By the end of the year, several goals had not been met.

I rewarded myself for those goals I did achieve, took stock of those I didn’t, and tried to understand why; then I realigned my goals for 2009 and again for 2010, to offset these changes, and added several new categories of goals that will help me keep my business on track and growing.

Goals are meant to inspire you and invoke you into taking action.  Don’t let them bring you down if you don’t achieve them; re-adjust them. Find a cheerleader, someone who will help you stay on track with your goals, but will also encourage you and help you see the positive changes and growth you have experienced.

Re-invent yourself and keep making deposits in your unbreakable piggybank of growth.  Stay positive and watch what happens.

Jeannine Clontz, is a successful entrepreneur, author, speaker, and trainer. Clontz teaches a 7-week business start-up class in conjunction with Connections to Success and the St. Charles Community College, as well as a 10-week Teleclass for start-up and established Virtual Assistants. Learn more about Time Management for Virtual Assistants by downloading her FREE report “A Fresh Look at Time Management for Virtual Assistants”, or request her FREE audio CD “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?”,  and more by visiting:  http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: coach@VAbizcoach.com.


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