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        A Home-Based Business Online
        The Importance of Setting and Achieving Goals for Your Small Business.

        a home based business onlinehome business ideas



        The Importance of Setting and Achieving Goals


        © 2021 Elena Fawkner

        With rare exceptions, nothing truly worthwhile in life happens by accident.
        Sure, you may win the lottery but what are the odds?  What if you could
        achieve everything you ever wanted without wining the lottery?  What if it
        was as simple as deciding where you wanted to go and planning the route
        to get there?  It is.  Goal setting is the process of deciding where you want
        to go in life and then mapping out a series of steps to get you there.

        Success is something we create for ourselves.  Luck has nothing to do with
        it.  All successful people set goals.  Some may have a structured routine,
        others a 搗ision?  Some may not even consciously set goals at all.  But the
        process is the same.  Successful people know what they want, determine
        the steps that will get them there and then they implement them.

        By setting and achieving goals, you will use your time more productively,
        perform better and more efficiently than ever before and with every goal
        you achieve, your self-confidence will increase, motivating you to aim
        ever higher.  If you have goals, you have purpose.  If you have purpose,
        you have direction.  If you have direction, you do not waste a whole
        heap of time (such as a lifetime) on activities and things that will not get
        you where or what you want.

        Think of it as setting out on a long journey to somewhere you have never
        been before.  Would you even put the key in the ignition unless you had
        a destination in mind and a map to get you there?  If you抮e heading out
        for a lazy Sunday drive, maybe you would.  But if your destination is
        somewhere specific, no way.  You抎 just end up spinning your wheels.

        Your life is the longest and most exciting adventure you will ever take.
        Make sure you have a map before you start out.  You may decide to
        take some sidetrips along the way, but you抣l at least reach your
        destination eventually.  You may even find some shortcuts.  But if you
        leave without a map at all, you may just waste the entire journey driving
        around in circles.

        Know What You Want

        Remember the old adage, 揵e careful what you wish for, you may just
        get it?  Be careful what you choose for your goals because you will
        probably get it.  The methodical process of goal setting will make it
        inevitable.

        The first step to setting effective goals is to know what it is you want.
        The key word in the last sentence is 搚ou?  It is what you want that is
        important, not what others want for you or for themselves through you.
        If you don抰 want to achieve your goal, you certainly won抰.  Conversely,
        if you have a burning desire to achieve your goal, you surely will.

        Begin defining your goals by writing a wish list.  Don抰 censor yourself.
        Visualise yourself living your ideal life.  Think of categories such as career,
        education, family, personal life, physical, spiritual, financial, social,
        pleasure and attitude.  What is your highest ideal for each of these
        categories?  Write it down.  Perhaps it is to be at the top of your profession.
        Perhaps to be self-employed.  Maybe it抯 to earn a PhD by the time you抮e
        45 or to marry and have a family.  It might be to attain your ideal weight
        and to be physically fit.  It could be to have a small circle of very close
        friends or to earn enough money to retire at 50.  What kind of a house
        do you want to live in?  Where do you want to live?  What type of car
        do you want to drive?  What exciting destinations do you want to travel to?

        Paint a picture.  Use sweeping strokes and bold colour.  There are no
        limits.  You are the architect of your future.  You are limited only by your
        imagination.

        Criteria for Effective Goals

        Once you have a vision for your life, it is time to start crystallising your
        dreams and expressing them in terms of specific objectives.  Before
        beginning the work of actually setting objectives, goals and supporting
        tasks it is important to understand the criteria for setting effective goals.

        First, use the present tense.  Express the goal as if it has already been
        achieved and not as something that will only occur in the future.  It is
        important to think of your goals in the present tense as this is what registers
        with your subconscious.  If your subconscious believes it is not something
        that is to happen now, it will not work on it now.  It will deal with it later,
        when the appropriate time comes.  Of course, for a goal that is expressed
        in the future tense, the time never comes.

        Next, focus on outcome, not performance.  Don抰 worry about how you
        are going to achieve your goal, concentrate only on the outcome.  Focus
        on your vision for the goal category.  Example: I retire at 50 as I am
        independently wealthy, not I start my own business, quit my job, pay off
        all of my debts and invest successfully.

        Make your goals specific.  If they are fuzzy and ill-defined, you will not be
        able to internalise them in a way that will allow you to decide on precise
        actions to take to achieve them.  Also, your subconscious won抰 perceive
        them clearly enough to act on them.  Furthermore, you will not know
        when or if you have achieved them!  An example of a specific goal is
        揑 weigh 125 pounds? not I will lose weight.

        Make your goals realistic.  Whatever you set as a goal must be within your
        power.  While it should be challenging, it must be something that you can
        achieve as a result of your own efforts and not something that depends on
        someone else doing something.  Example:  I am self-confident and project
        this attitude to others, not I make John fall in love with me.

        Make your goals challenging.  While your goals must be realistic, they
        must also be challenging if you are to gain any real benefit from them.  After
        all, if you merely set as a goal something you would have achieved anyway
        (such as that automatic raise next month), what have you really achieved?

        Start Long-Term and Work Backwards

        Now that you have written down your wishlist and understand the criteria
        for effective goals it is time to begin translating your wishlist into a goal plan.

        Starting with your wishlist, express each 搘ish?in terms of a long-term objective.
        For example, if one of your wishes is to retire at 50 because you are
        independently wealthy, your goal could read 揑 am independently wealthy
        and retire at age 50?

        In some cases, a particular wish will be the equivalent of a life-time goal.
        In others, it will be able to be achieved in a relatively short timeframe.  For
        long-term or 搇ife-time?goals, you will need to work backwards, breaking
        your objective down into more manageable sub-goals.  One approach is to
        take a life-time goal (say a 25 year goal) and break it down into 10 year,
        5 year and 1 year sub-goals.  The life-time objective to retire at age 50
        because I am independently wealthy could translate to a 10 year goal of
        揑 am debt free and my business generated a net profit of one million
        dollars this year?  You could then take this 10 year goal and set a 5 year
        goal of 揑 have quit my job and I am earning $100,000 per year from my
        own business?  Your one year goal could be 揑 am researching home
        businesses so I can set up my own business next year?

        It will be obvious that by starting long-term and working backwards, the
        idea is to break each intimidating objective down into manageable steps.
        The end result will be a daily 搕o do?list.  Before going too far with this,
        however, take a moment to think through what you will need to achieve
        those longer term goals.  Think about what skills you will need to acquire
        and how to get them; what information and knowledge; what help,
        assistance and collaboration; what resources.  Then try and anticipate
        obstacles and plan a way around them.  Prepare for all foreseen
        contingencies.  Once you have a clear idea of what you will need, you
        can build these things into your goal plan.

        Create a Daily Task List

        By this point you should have worked your way backwards to at least the
        one year mark.  Now work back to the six month mark.  What do you
        need to do within the next six months to achieve your one year goals?

        When you抳e set your six month goals, work backwards even further and
        set out your one month goals.  What do you need to do within the next
        month to achieve your six month goals?

        Finally, by continually working backwards in this way, you will eventually
        get the point where you are writing out what you need to do TODAY to
        achieve your longer term goals.  In this way, long-term goals are broken
        down into small, manageable tasks that are done on a day to day basis.
        The process is an incremental one of small steps today leading you ever
        closer to achieving your life抯 desires.

        Imagine not having a daily task list.  What would you be doing instead?
        Going to the same old boring job day in, day out, pottering about, starting
        something and not finishing it?  Going around in circles, watching too much
        TV?  With a daily task list, you can be sure that you抮e investing your time
        and energies in activities that will bring you long-term benefit.  These
        activities will bring structure and purpose to your day and eliminate time
        wasters.  Soon you will find yourself becoming discriminating in what you
        give your time to.  You will ask yourself, 揾ow does this bring me closer to
        my goal of x? You will learn there is a certain satisfaction and sense of
        accomplishment in crossing off a task as completed.  You will feel secure
        in the knowledge you are taking care of business and, of course, once you
        have taken care of business, you can take some guilt-free time for play.

        Achieving Goals

        In this series of articles you抳e learned why setting goals is important, how
        to decide what it is you really want, how to set effective goals and how to
        create a goal plan by starting long-term and working backwards in time.
        This final article in the series concentrates on how to achieve the goals you
        have set.  Now obviously once you have a daily task list you have in your
        hands the steps you need to take to reach your longer-term objectives.
        But along the road to your destination, you are going to encounter unexpected
        twists and turns.  And probably a pothole or two for good measure.  You
        may find you get bored doing the same things day after day.  You are going
        to have setbacks and crises of confidence.

        These are all to be expected and are perfectly natural and normal.  The trick,
        though, is not to let them derail you from your course.  This is what separates
        the successes from the wanna-bes.  There are five keys to staying on track:
        commitment, flexibility, discipline, determination and persistence.

        Designing a goal plan and sticking to it requires commitment.  It requires
        commitment to yourself and to your values and ideals.  Unless you are
        committed to improving your life, don抰 even bother starting with goal setting.
        It won抰 be worth the effort.  Remind yourself constantly of your objectives.
        Put up photographs that represent your goals in prominent places.  Write the
        reasons you want to achieve a particular objective next to the objective in your
        goal plan.  Read them every morning and evening.

        If your reasons don抰 compel you to keep striving, then perhaps they are not
        good enough reasons.  Maybe the objective is not something you want badly
        enough.  If so, change it.  Don抰 let your objectives lock you into a path you
        don抰 want to go down.  Be flexible.  Setting and achieving goals is a lifetime
        process.  Over the course of a lifetime you will go through many changes.
        What was important to you ten years ago may not be a priority any more.
        If this happens to you, let it go.  Set new objectives that are consistent with
        who you are today.

        Many of the tasks you have to do on a daily basis to achieve your longer-term
        objectives will be laborious and may become boring.  It is tempting when
        boredom sets in to do something different.  Don抰!  Discipline yourself to carry
        out those tasks every day even if you don抰 feel like it.  An objective to lose
        60 pounds is not going to be achieved overnight.  It requires daily exercise
        and attention to diet.  Bored with your exercise routine?  Change your routine
        but exercise anyway.  Exercise personal discipline.  It is amazing the difference
        daily performance of seemingly minor tasks can make over only a relatively
        short period of time.

        When you suffer setbacks, and you will, grit your teeth and keep going.  This
        is what separates the winners from the wanna-bes.  Anyone can give up when
        the going gets tough.  Most do, in fact.  It is those who keep going in the face
        of setbacks who are ultimately victorious.

        And finally, persistence, persistence, persistence!  Never give up.  Never ever
        let anyone else make you doubt whether you can achieve your goals.  Your
        success is in your own hands.  Reach out and take it!

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