Last week in the Social Speak Network we discussed setting goals for your business. It all starts with creating SMART goals and making sure these goals are driven by your Internal Motivators rather than External forces. If you missed these topics, please click to get all caught up:
This week, we are focusing on Reaching and Attaining your Goals.
The purpose here is to give you the tools you need to make sure you are being productive as you work towards you business and personal goals. Far too frequently, especially as a business owner, things pop up and derail our journey to leading a more successful life. What can you do about this? My solution, following the advice of Todd Herman of the 90 Day Year, is to focus, as his title reflects, on shorter increments of time. Focusing on shorter increments of time allows you to stay more focused on the efforts that are going to drive you forward.
The premise is that you can utilize Time Blocking to make sure that rather than multitasking, you are focusing specifically on elements that will make a difference in your business and life. I feel this ties in with Tim Ferris’ book, 4 Hour Work Week, in terms of finding ways to structure your time more efficiently (hiring virtual assistants to aid with repetitive projects, checking email at specific points during the day, etc).
So how can you structure your SMART goals to be more attainable in your business?
Many of you may have focused on only your business goals within the SMART goals worksheet, in this scenario, we will be needing to grow your list slightly. If you only work towards your business goals, you may not be structuring enough time to work on personal and family goals, as well.
Step 1: Within the categories of Work, Education + Personal Development, Health, Family, and Something for Others, what is your number 1 SMART goal?
The worksheet provided at the end of this article includes space to enter these goals.
Step 2: Most likely, these goals are for the entire year. Working backwards, where would you like to be for each of your goals in 90 days (3 months)? It is alright if you want to complete the entire goal within the 90 days.
Step 3: To reach the goal or your progress towards the goal, what needs to be accomplished each week? What TIME do you need to set aside each week to ensure these tasks be completed?
Why do you need to understand the time it will take for you to reach your goals?
Within our daily lives, especially as business owners, we always have things popping up. When you are working towards our goals, knowing how long you need to focus on each one allows you to Time Block your week. This doesn’t mean necessarily writing down everything that you will be working on for the week at the specific time, but it does mean blocking off an hour (or however long you need) to focus specifically on one goal without interruption. No email, no social media, no phone calls. Just you and your work towards the goal.
Let’s say your goal to engage with your email list more frequently. What does this actually mean? Be more specific. What about, send 1 email to your email list each week with the goal of scheduling the email 1 month ahead of time.
To achieve this goal in 90 days, you would need to: come up with an email template, decide on the day of the week to send your email, come up with topics to discuss in your email campaign, start sending/ scheduling the emails. To have the goal of scheduling the emails out 1 month ahead of time, over the course of 90 days, you would need to write and schedule 4 extra emails (13 emails to be sent out during the 90 days + 4 pre-written for the following month).
Take the time to think about the amount of time you would need to prepare each email:
- Email prep (template selection, day of week, etc): 1 hr
- Content for each email: 45 min
From here, figure out how long you need to spend each week to achieve your goal of writing 17 emails in 90 days.
- 17 emails divided by 13 weeks equals 1.3 emails per week (17/13=1.3).
- In other words you would need to write one complete email and start the draft of the next email (or finish the draft of the email you started the week prior).
- This equates to just about 1 hour per week to achieve your goal in 90 days (1.3 emails per week times 45 min per email equals 58.8 minutes per week). That seems pretty doable, right?
This means each week you just need to block off one hour to work on your newsletter.
Now, let’s just look at if you wanted to write all of the newsletters for the year within that 90 days, how long would you need to spend per week?
- 52 newsletters divided by 13 weeks equals 4 emails per week
- 45 minutes per email times 4 emails per week equals 180 minutes per week
- You would need to spend 3 hours per week or just over 30 minutes per day to write a years worth of newsletter content in 90 days. This actually could be a great goal to have for your business.
You can follow this same process for all of your goals in the 5 categories listed above. As you move along in the 90 days, assess if you are actually committed to focusing only on the one goal for the blocked time allotted. Often if you find yourself falling behind, it may be because you aren’t committing to this task specifically. If you find you need more time, create 2 blocks during the week for your goal or 1 block of time each day to make sure you are progressing towards it.
Personally, I tend to choose themes for my years and create goals that relate back to these broad themes. In 2018, my theme is Organize. This includes my house (we already tackled our ‘hoarding closet’ and donated 2 giant bags of clothing, old bed sheets, old bags, and shoes to goodwill), my business (creating a process for setting my top priorities each day), my family (doing a better job managing childcare for our toddler), etc. So, however you choose your SMART goals for the year, make sure you start tackling the ones that are going to make the biggest difference in your work and life.
This 90 Day Year framework is available for download HERE. In the download you will find sheets to organize each of the top goals in the 5 categories as well as a weekly time blocking sheet to help you set specific times to focus on your goals. Again, during this time, you are not to answer emails or phone calls and you should be purely focused on the task at hand.
[This PDF is not the actual pdf that you would receive from Todd Herman’s 90 Day Year]