I’ve Set Home Business Goals, Now What?

Beyond Goal Setting to REALLY Achieve Success

Achieve your goals
Take action to achieve your goals. Credit: Yagi Studio | Getty Images

This time of year there are many articles on how to set goals, but for most people, the inability to achieve goals isn’t from poor goal setting, it’s from a failure to take consistent action. So the answer isn’t to set better goals, it’s to figure out how to do what needs to be done. Here are 7 tips to move beyond goal setting to goal attainment.

1. Realize old habits are holding you back. Habits and routines can be a good thing, but they can also keep you from making the changes you need to succeed.

Habits are actions you take without thinking. It’s life on autopilot. You don’t make the choice or think about brushing your teeth. You just do it. This can be good until it hinders taking new action. Because habits make life easy, your goal is to create new habits that lead you to home business success.

To do: Analyze your day to identify your habits and regular, daily activities that are done without thinking. Begin to look at areas you can change to make time for your new goal-achieving habits.

2. Set up frequent reminders for your new goal tasks. When I was I guidance counselor, I had a few kids on a behavior contract, in which several times a day the teacher would mark their behavior chart to let them know how they were doing. Each time the child was given a mark, not only did he have feedback on whether or not he was meeting his goal, but also a reminder to stay the course. Adults sometimes need reminders as well, especially to break the daily routing.

To do: Using sticky notes, phone alerts or other cues, set up reminders to keep you on task. For example, put a sticky note on your alarm to remind you to set it earlier to work on your home business in the morning. Put a sticky note on your television to remind you to work your business instead of watching TV.  Use Internet blocking programs to prevent you from searching and playing online when you’re supposed to be working on your home business. Any place and time you need a reminder, find a way to create one.

3. Schedule your new activities. In step one, you found areas you can create more time for your home business. In step two, you created reminders to get yourself on task. In this step, you redo your daily schedule to include time to start, build and manage your home business. Eventually, the tasks on this new schedule will become habit, but until then, you need to schedule to keep you task.

To do: Find or create a planner or other tool to design your schedule.

4. Create accountability. Most people are more willing to do things for others than they are for themselves. Setting up accountability puts pressure on you to follow through.

To do: Find a buddy or join a group that will help stay accountable to yourself.

5. Track your tasks and results. There is a lot that goes into making a successful business. One thing that many home business owners don’t do that can save them time, hassle, and money is track their actions and results. A list with checked-off tasks shows all you’ve done so you can feel accomplished. Evaluating the results of those tasks helps you know what’s working and what isn’t.

To do: Develop a system to keep track of what you’ve done and the results achieved. Tweak or eliminate tasks that aren’t moving your toward your goal. Do more of what works.

6. Reward yourself. Success is the best reward, unfortunately, it can take time before you start seeing the fruits of your labor. When it takes too long to see success, it can get discouraging, leading to feelings of failure and deciding to quit. One way to get through this is to set up rewards. Initially, set up frequent rewards to keep you motivated. As your business grows and your start seeing results, you’ll need fewer rewards.

To do: Find rewards that motivate you to work on your home business tasks. They can be anything that inspires you to do what needs to be done.

7. Start over, if necessary. Most people start the New Year gung-ho about their resolutions, working on them every day for a week or so.

But then something happens. They miss a day for whatever reason and that’s it, they don’t go back to it. If you fall off the home-business-building-wagon, you have to get back on ASAP. If you don’t all your momentum and progress will be lost.

To do: There will be times that your new schedule can’t be followed or a task can be done. Accept that sometimes life gets in the way and immediately get started again on your goals.

Success comes from doing. While goal setting and planning can help, ultimately success depends on whether or not you follow through on the actions needed regularly and consistently.