This blog post was written by Bobby Gaglini, who works on the external marketing team at Vistaprint, and specializes in search marketing.
Everything that grows has a catalyst behind it. Plants grow from water and sunlight, body-builders get bigger from weight training and protein powder, and small business owners become successful through executing ambitious goals. But these goals don’t complete themselves. They require hard work, the ability to dream big and the keen desire to complete the goal. Outlined here are seven steps with which you’ll be able to take your goal and turn it into something you can assertively achieve. When you have confidence in your goals, you instill confidence within yourself.1. Talk It Out
Developing an audacious goal can help your business grow and mature. However, setting up your goal for success is a whole other battle. When you start developing, explain your plan to someone who understands your business but is in no way involved with your project. Show them your draft and have them analyze it from all angles. Is this goal actually attainable? How does this piece transition to this piece? How will you make sure this section gets done? While you may get frustrated with the friend or family member who’s grilling you, they’re helping you in the long run by challenging your ideas. Afterwards, you’ll have a better grasp on what your goal is and have more confidence to execute it.
2. Step Away
After the conversation with your friend, you’re most likely going to feel very overwhelmed with lots of new ideas to work through. So step away and relax for a day. Trust me–your goal won’t go anywhere. When you come back, take a look at it from a macro point-of-view, not focusing on one individual task, and proceed to step three.
3. Map It Out
You’ll most likely notice that there are a bunch of little pieces that comprise your goal. From here, turn all of these little pieces into little goals. Although it might take a while, map out each mini goal as if it were your big one. These built-in benchmarks make attaining the goal a lot less daunting, and allow you to visualize exactly how you’re going to reach it.
4. Reward Yourself
Each time you hit one of these benchmarks, reward yourself! For the small victories, go out to one of your favorite restaurants, and for the big ones, take a three-day weekend and travel somewhere. Goals may be difficult to reach, but rewarding yourself once in a while makes them a little less insurmountable.
Although you’re the creator and owner of the goal, it never hurts to delegate portions of it to your team. Explain to them what you envision the end result being, and give them a section of the goal to complete. This way, you avoid the maddening task of taking on every piece of the goal. You can always have recurring meetings to make sure everything is still on track.
6. Revisit And Realign
As you slowly chip away at your goal, it can be easy to get lost in the day-to-day tasks that come with it. This type of mentality is great for finishing the project, but can potentially derail you from visualizing the end goal. Since the world is constantly moving, it’s imperative to constantly check that you’re still heading in the direction that’s right for your small business. If you feel that there may be issues down the road, don’t be afraid to tweak your mini-goals, and even your end goal to be sure your result is on target. From here, it’s (relatively) smooth sailing until you reach your goal.
7. Live Your Life
There will be roadblocks, hair-pulling moments, and even times when you rip everything to shreds and start over. Whatever happens, just remember that you are human, and your life has more to it than completing something for your business.
And remember, if you’re stuck on a piece of your goal, step away for the day, or take a few days to clear your mind and get back in touch with your personal life. It’s up to you to keep a healthy work/life balance. With these seven steps, you’ll hopefully get your goals up and running, stay sane, and be successful.