Welcome back on board for another year. Have you made any new year’s resolutions? This year we’re not pledging to go to the gym every day or watch less television. This year we’re focused on setting realistic business goals and seeing them through.
Before the end of last year, amid the December frenzy of business, Christmas shopping and end-of-year catch-ups, we made time to think about what 2018 might look like for our design studio. It meant that when we went on holidays, we felt motivated rather than exhausted – though there was a little bit of that too, because we worked on some amazing projects last year.
By continuing to think about our goals while we were away from the office, we were able to look at them objectively, and create step-by-step plans to ensure we actually see them through this year (because we know we are not the first people to neglect our new year goals once the busy-ness of the year gets into full swing).
While you may be interested to know we’re pledging to visit our accountant more often this year, we thought you’d be more interested in what we learned while researching goal setting over the break.
Here are the top five tips we picked up.
Step 1. Be honest with yourself
If you have set goals in the past and haven’t achieved them, ask yourself why. Was it because you lacked motivation? Or that your team didn’t share your vision? Or were you simply not being realistic?
There could be any number of reasons that arise and by working out your road blocks, you’ll be able to account for these as you set new goals. As part of this exercise, make a list of things you have successfully achieved and why – if something has worked well in the past, chances are it will again in the future.
Step 2. Make a roadmap
You know how they say to take things one step at a time? That applies with goals too. Start with your end point – maybe it’s moving to a larger premises or hiring an extra team member – and work backwards from there.
Figure out the small milestones that will keep you moving in the right direction, and suddenly your big, lofty dreams will feel achievable. When that happens, you’ll be more likely to keep working towards the goal.
Step 3. Embrace a clear mindset
Chances are you’ll never be completely zen while at work, but there are ways to ensure you have a clearer head. These include cleaning out your desk and asking your team to do the same, and creating procedures that will make you and those around you more organised.
If you find you are constantly distracted at work, try working on new ways to stay focused, like taking productivity breaks. Or if you feel that your focus is constantly being disrupted by your team, trial delegating more or setting up ways to avoid this, such as regular team meetings for open discussion or using a signal (such as a silly hat) that lets your everyone know you need space to focus.
Step 4. Be accountable
If you own your own business, you are already a super human. But you really can’t do it all alone. Finding someone to hold you accountable to your goals will help you keep on track.
You may have someone in your networking group you could buddy up with, you could sit down with your accountant to set some financial milestones, or you can consider looking for a mentor or a board to provide guidance when making big decisions.
Step 5. Remember that small actions matter
Got something big you want to achieve this year? That’s great, but remember not to let those small jobs fall by the wayside as you work towards that big new thing.
Small actions like remembering to update your website, cleaning out the office and making time for your team will all add up as the year progresses. When business continues to run smoothly, you will be in a better position to take it to the next level.
As for us …
Remember that new year goal we set ourselves of updating the entry to our studio? And the promise we made to show you the results? Here’s a sneak peak of the progress so far (yes, we’ve recruited our parents for the task) – see, accountability works!
If your marketing, branding or website is on your list of goals for 2018, chat to us about how you can make it happen.