by Sarah Krivel | Dec 27, 2017 | Accountability, Goals, Operations, Priorities
The countdown to January 1st has begun, and many are in a mindset of New Year’s Resolutions. It’s a familiar ritual to set goals for your business and yourself. You have high hopes for the coming year, and dive into Q1 with a hefty amount of gusto. You may set your sights on landing the next big client, launching a new service line or implementing a robust marketing strategy. By March or April (or even earlier!), however, you can start to loose momentum and it’s a struggle to get back on track.
Before taking on new commitments, it’s important to look at outcomes from previous goals you’ve set for your business as well as the success of strategies and tactics you’ve tried. Reviewing what you’ve accomplished should greatly inform whether a goal makes “the cut” for the upcoming year. Is there something you’ve had on your New Year’s to-do list for 2 years now and it still isn’t completed? It’s time to get clear on what kind of change you truly want to see in your business — to create intentional goals based on your core values and to define for yourself what success really looks like.
All of this is possible only if you commit to the this New Year’s Resolution: Let Go. This means saying “goodbye” to all the things you said you would do and didn’t, making peace with the discontinuation of an old product or service, or shelving a full-blown rebranding effort until your financials are in better shape.
So how do you know it’s time to let go of old business goals? Here are three things to look for:
1. You are no longer excited
Running a business is hard enough. If you are hanging on to a goal solely because you think you should, that is not enough of a reason to keep it around. It takes a lot of energy to achieve a goal and if every step is an uphill battle because you are no longer “jazzed up,” then the probability of success decreases substantially.
2. The goal no longer aligns with market demand or your business position
It seems like an obvious statement, but many business owners remain attached to a given pursuit and forget to see the forest for the trees. You may have spent the past two years developing a new offering, but if your target market is asking for something else, then it’s time to pay attention.
3. The benefits don’t outweigh the cost to pursue it
Every project you pursue has a cost. Whether it’s time, money, or even your creativity, if the effort put forth to achieve the goal is more than the reward after completion, then it’s time to move on.
Choosing to let go means making room for what is possible. Hopefully, without the weight of obligatory goals that may have been holding your business back, you have the headspace to really move with intentionality toward the future. It’s now time to set some lofty (yet attainable) goals for next year. Envision your business at its utmost success and create a measurable goal that is (seemingly) out of reach. If you find yourself hesitant, remember this quote:
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars” — Norman Vincent Peale
The most disruptive companies are born from founders who were not attached to an old idea. They resolved to let go and look beyond what was familiar. And in doing so, they built a business that thrived.
What business goals are you willing to let go of this year? Let us know in the comments below!
by Sarah Krivel | Nov 14, 2016 | Accountability
In our busy business lives, juggling multiple priorities, sometimes our best-laid ideas never make it to fruition. We have every intention of launching an industry-changing product or writing a life-changing book, and know that we are perfectly capable of doing it, yet it doesn’t happen. The idea either never gets off the ground or never reaches its cruising altitude.
Some of this situation may be explained by procrastination. For tips to beat procrastination, see here. The often larger missing piece of the puzzle, however, is accountability. We don’t always have bosses asking us to report out on our progress. At the end of the day, sometimes we only have ourselves to answer to, and quite frankly, that’s just not scary enough. Many of us know what needs to be done and have everything in our power to do it, yet we don’t see it through. The good news is that we don’t need to go it alone. Externalizing accountability keeps us on track.
It is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of incredible strength, to recognize our limitations and ask for help from others. This may take the form of a formal coaching relationship or of an informal accountability call with a friend or colleague. Knowing that someone will be asking us if we did what we said we were going to do is exactly the kick in the pants we need to get it done.
Just like we would never intentionally miss the deadline to deliver something to a client because we know they are counting on us to come through, we would not intentionally blow off the social media calendar we committed to developing if we knew someone was standing by to see it.
A coach or accountability partner helps keep us on track. They ask “Did you do X, like you said you would?” And we hate to say “no.” Because then we are admitting to them and to ourselves that we fell short. So we do what we said we would do. And week by week, we get closer to reaching our goals.
Accountability in Action: My Story
Upon launching my business, I told my business mentor that I would be sending him a weekly status report. Knowing that I committed to sending it to him and that he was waiting to receive it was exactly the motivation I needed to force myself to reflect on the work I’d done over the past week and the work I planned to do in the coming week to keep myself focused on the right things.
One important dynamic worth mentioning is that sometimes our priorities change. What we committed to doing is pushed down on our priority list because something else legitimately became more important. This does not undermine the coach or accountability partner relationship. Instead, we explain the logic behind the reprioritization and provide an update on what we completed instead.
With a coach or accountability partner to help keep us focused and moving forward, our plans can become reality and our goals can be achieved. We have the potential to be infinitely more successful with a partner in our lives holding us accountable to doing what we said we would do.
Don’t love the idea of needing to be accountable to another person? Although that’s the best method of accountability, there are several apps out there to help. Check out Habit List, irunurun or GoalsOnTrack. We’d love to hear your tips for holding yourself accountable. Please post them in the comments section below.
by Sarah Krivel | Sep 5, 2016 | Accountability, Goals
A marathon runner knows that, in order to cross the finish line at the end of the race, they must put one foot in front of the other. If they think of the 40,000 steps they’ll need to take to finish the race, they’d likely be stuck sitting at the starting line, hugging their knees to their chest, rocking back and forth, paralyzed by how daunting the task before them seems. Instead, they simply take one step at a time. One. The marathon, when tackled with this mentality, feels doable. And so, one step leads to one thousand, to ten thousand, and before long, the finish line is in view!
The process of parenting, starting a business, searching for a new job, planning a vacation, launching a new product or any number of lofty goals you envision achieving, is organic. It grows and changes as you, your kids, your clients, your boss and your surroundings do. So instead of being overwhelmed by the unknown, focus instead, each step of the way, on asking yourself the question: What’s the immediate next action I need to take?
Take developing a new product as an example. Thinking about the hundreds of steps and dozens of people that need to be involved to take the product through the stages of conception, prototype, promotion and launch can inspire such fear and overwhelm that you put off starting. You procrastinate because it just seems like too much.
Instead, think only of the answer to one question: What’s the immediate next action I need to take? Ask yourself this question until you arrive at an answer that seems so simple and obvious to act on that there’s no reason why you wouldn’t do it.
Your thinking may go something like this…
What’s the immediate next action I need to take?
Review the client research conducted in February.
To do that, what’s the immediate next action I need to take?
Get the research report from the marketing team.
To do that, what’s the immediate next action I need to take?
Email the marketing director for the research report.
And suddenly, you have something simple to act on. All you need to do right now, at this moment, to develop a new product, is to send an email. Do it, and then ask yourself the question again. And again. And again. You’ll be amazed at how things that once felt overwhelming and scary feel doable and exhilarating. You’re continually moving forward by taking action to get closer and closer to the finish line. Don’t think about everything it will take to get from here to there. Ride the wave of momentum you gather by pursuing the immediate next action every step of the way.
Talk to any author about the twists and turns their story took as it unfolded beneath their pen. There’s no way they could have anticipated this when they started writing. And if they had waited to write until they knew exactly where the story was going to end, pen would never have been put to paper.
Many personal and professional goals may feel just as daunting as running a marathon. So shift focus by continually focusing on the immediate next action that needs to be taken.
Want some help on your journey to kick procrastination to the curb? Let’s talk!