We, humans, are goal-oriented; whether we realise it or not
As a business owner, you will undoubtedly have a set of goals that you wish to achieve. And there will be some sort of overarching long term goal about where you want your business to take you over the course of the lifetime of your business. And you will invariably have some short term goals for things you need right now or in your immediate future.
They tell you about goal setting, they tell you about the systems that they use, and how you should implement three to five goals. And if you don’t, then your head’s going to explode, your business going to fail, and your house will turn to rubble.
Okay, so maybe I exaggerated that somewhat. But the effect, minus the catastrophe, is the same.
Long term goals
Long term goals are wonderful. Having a long term goal that you’re working towards can be fantastic. I have one that is to, eventually, buy some land in the mountains somewhere, probably Canada but who knows, and build houses for myself and my children. To build a very small self-sustaining community. That goal is something that I work towards every single day. It is something that drives me to be more patient and think more long term when I approach situations in life and in business. And it also prevents me from being frivolous with money because I remind myself of that long term and extremely expensive goal of mine.
That’s really useful, but it has no impact on the day to day running of my business. It has no real impact on how I operate as a business, or even what I do as a business. So, when it comes to the nitty-gritty of running a business, it becomes useless. It becomes pointless, almost.
It is one of the driving forces behind me working as hard as I do, and doing all the things that I do. But, it’s not necessarily that helpful in terms of guiding what I want to do. This is where short term goals come in.
Short term goals
I have a few different types of comparatively short term goals, I have 90 Day goals, I have 12-month goals, I have three-year goals, and I have five-year goals. I appreciate that sounds like a lot but I set my five-year goal and my three-year goal is a milestone. it will be along the lines of, “you’ve gone past the halfway point so you should be at least halfway there.” The milestone itself will be some sort of a marker that will signify that progress.
Then I had the 12-month goals. So, that is also a milestone but it’s not a milestone to my five-year goal. It’s a milestone towards my three-year goal. At the end of that 12 months, I should be a year closer to the milestone that is that three-year goal.
And then I have my 90 Day goals. And this is much more short term, this is what people think of when they hear the words, short term goals. These are goals that are things that I want to achieve and do. They are not milestones, they are things that are much more tangible.
Goal setting creates intention which fuels action
The 90-day goals are the intended results of actions I will be taking over the course of the next 90 days that will push me closer to achieving that 12-month goal. So it’s less about what have I achieved by the end of that 90 day period, and more about the effort I will put in and the actions I will be by taking. That 90 Day goal gets broken down into daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
Those tasks, those daily (weekly and monthly) repetitions, are the things that actually move me towards that goal. The tasks are what create the progress. They are actions that I have to take every single day, every week, or every month. They are not only all the things that actually make sure that my 90 Day goal is achieved, they are a guide to the effort I need to put in.
At the end of the 90 day period, I stop and assess. Have I put in as much effort as I had anticipated or planned for, or tried all the things I said I would try, and so on. Those short term goals are extremely motivating. They are useful, and they are easily broken down into actions. The daily, weekly and monthly tasks.
The actions you take on a consistent basis are what move your life and business forward. That is where the magic happens, those actions are the important bit. Actually taking those steps, each day, week, and month is the very thing that is going to ensure that by the end of that 90 days, you can look back and assess what you’ve done.
Why 90 days?
Because it’s long enough to see some results from what you’re doing but short enough that you can see the end. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. That’s why 90 days. A month is too short, as is two months. So, that three month period, that 90 days, is the sweet spot.
Any longer than that and that becomes a drag, it becomes a little too long term to be useful because things change and your environment changes. There are variables way outside of your control. So having that 90 day period is, at least in my experience, the sweet spot.
There is never a right or wrong answer with goal setting
When it comes to long term versus short term goals, there is no right or wrong answer. My personal preference is to have both, but, I know many people that don’t have any long term goals. They don’t have anything that they want to work towards across their entire life and that’s fine.
People get a little bit stressed about that. Like they should have something but, you don’t have to have something. Most people don’t. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of just making one up because you feel like you should have one. Because that is total nonsense.
When you do have one, it does help you to create the short term goals that clearly lead you towards that final destination, but it doesn’t really matter either way. Even without long term goals you can still create a useful 90-day plan based on what you want and need right now.
When you don’t know what goals to set when goal setting
There is a few things that you need to focus on as a business owner. It’s not many but there is a few. The things you should focus on are marketing, sales, and delivery. If you can get those nailed down then you are set for life. Goals that are based on these activities would be a good start. If you have a read of the post at the following link it will help give you some clarity on that https://mybizacademy.co.uk/the-worthwhile-worries-of-a-busy-business-owner
If, however, you are still unsure and would like some help with goal setting then you can always send me a message via my company website and we can get you booked in for a 1:1 session and figure it out together. To do that just head over to the following link https://mikethebizguy.co.uk/Contact