Every January, millions of Americans take part in one of the most popular holiday traditions – setting New Year’s resolutions. From becoming financially responsible to eliminating bad habits, New Year’s resolutions are great ways to set goals that better ourselves and our health – but they aren’t only limited to our personal lives.
When it comes to your business, the first of the year is a great time to evaluate where you’re at, decide where you want to go, and put the plans in place to help you get there. Not all goals are created equal, however. While great goals will keep you motivated all year long, poorly formed goals can be both frustrating and impossible to achieve.
In order to be effective at improving your business, your 2015 goals need to abide by these three important rules:
Aim for Realistic Targets
As much as it may feel like it, you’re no superhero. You don’t have super powers, and there are certain limitations you have to live with because of it. Few entrepreneurs would try to set ridiculous personal goals like learning how to fly or perfecting x-ray vision, but all too often they lack the same common sense when it comes to business goals. If you want to be able to achieve your goals for 2015, they need to be realistic.
If your new startup finished up 2014 with $100,000 in sales, aiming for $1,000,000 in 2015 may be a little impractical. Setting goals that you know you’re not likely to achieve is a recipe for failure and disappointment.
Don’t Be Vague
Another common problem that business owners have with goal setting is that they simply aren’t specific enough. Phrases like “grow sales” and “improve customer satisfaction” are frequent resolutions that are just too vague to be effective.
All goals, both for your personal life and your business, should have specific targets that are clearly defined and easy to measure. For example, instead of saying that you want to grow sales, aim to increase revenue by 25% this year. Not only is this reasonable, but it also sets a firm target as well as a specific timeframe for reaching the target.
Stay on Track with Milestones
Once you’ve set reasonable and specific goals, you should be creating an action plan for tracking your progress. The best way to do this is by setting milestones to aim for along the way. With the example of increasing revenue by 25% in 2015, appropriate milestones would include measuring your improvements on a monthly basis, taking the opportunity to reassess your strategies and how effective they are at getting your business to the level you desire.
As an entrepreneur, the New Year brings with it plenty of opportunities – but only if you’re prepared for them. Having specific goals in place can help keep your business heading the right direction, ready to welcome growth and prosperity as it presents itself. By choosing goals that are realistic, specific, and have easy-to-measure milestones, you’re setting your business up for success as we progress further into 2015.

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Author's Bio: 

Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.

If you liked today's issue, you will love Tracey's products. You can learn more about Tracey, her team and her products at her website www.traceyfieber.com