Well it’s new year, new you apparently, or as the 2020-2021 continuum would like us to have it, it’s new year, same old sh*t!
But enough of the pessimism already, because now it’s January, pandemo or no pandemo, we’ve got to get back into our business minds folks.
Yes the long holiday lull is finally over and whether we like it or not, it’s time to drag our cheese-weighted brains back into the zone.
Which is why we thought we’d bring you a little slice of motivation cheer.
Yes in lieu of more cheese, here’s a tasty, and no doubt healthier, morsel to help you get back on you’re A-game and get that brain into action as you prepare for the best year you’ve had yet.
Here are our top 9 tips to creating and achieving those goals that will help propel you into the stratosphere in 2021.
Are you ready?
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#1 Size your Goals Right
So our first tip when it comes to creating and achieving your new year goals to size them right.
Trust us on this one!
As a collective of people who have built up their own businesses from scratch, we totally get it that you have brilliant ideas coming out of the wazooo.
And we love that.
But don’t forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day (my, we really are plundering the bottom of the metaphor bag today aren’t we) and that while your ideas are all wonderful and need to be kept safe, watered, nurtured and grown, you also need to exercise patience.
Having massive goals which seem unachievable is actually likely do more harm than good – it’s actually likely to put you off in the long run, hindering your progress and making you feel like you’re not gaining any ground.
There’s absolutely a place for big goals, in fact we feel they are very necessary, but when it comes to creating and more importantly, sticking to, your new year goals, then we recommend scaling them down a bit.
Not scaling down the whole vision you understand, but just breaking this large scale dream into smaller more manageable chunks.
Not only will this mean your goals are easier to formulate, process and action, but they’ll also be easier to achieve.
But a warning here… you also don’t want to break down your goals to too small a size, otherwise you won’t feel motivated by them.
Yes as if life in 2021 wasn’t confusing enough, we’re telling you to make goals that aren’t so big you have no hope of achieving them in a year, but also to ensure they’re not so small you can knock them over in a month.
Goals that are too small, too easy, too achievable, won’t motivate you either, as they’ll be no challenge to attain them, and even if you do, they won’t feel like an achievement.
So remember to pitch your goals just in the middle so they are just right guys!
#2 Break those Goals Down
And this leads us nicely onto our second point here, which is essentially a 2 for 1 point, because, it breaks those goals down.
As we discussed in point #1, not making your goals too large or too small is crucial to creating strong, sustainable and successful goals in the new year and part of this process is breaking them down.
So if you’re having a new goal to attract so many new clients or built a new arm to your business or grow your profits by x amount, you’ll need to break these down into steps in order to ensure you keep tracking towards them.
Our favourite way to do this at Social Puffin is to take the large goal for the entire year and then split it into 12 workable steps – one for each month.
From here, we then like to divide those monthly goals into 4 smaller steps again, so that we have weekly targets to meet.
All of this gets added to our calendar for the year, so that we not only continue to track towards the overall goal, but also stay focused each week on working to complete the smaller steps that will eventually lead to us achieving the broader aim.
#3 Be Specific
And as part of this, we’ve found that it absolutely pays to be specific when it comes to goal setting if you want to see this through.
Clearly laid out, well-articulated and measurable goals that track towards specifically defined points of attainment work best.
Not only is this because they actually help you to achieve stuff (wishy-washy goals rarely amount to anything as they don’t define what you’re aiming for) but also because they make the process of achieving that stuff easier too.
Are we making any sense here?
In essence, having specific, tangible goals, not only reminds you clearly what you are working towards, but also allows you to break down your goals into clearly defined steps to get there.
And when we say specific, we mean it – make detailed goals that feature clear numbers and other quantifiable data, so that everything is as trackable (and you are as accountable!) as possible!
If one of your goals is to increase profits, then write down by how much; if another of your goals is to get more clients, then write down how many more.
And go on like this, giving numeric, detailed and quantitative data to all the goals (as well as the mini steps) you have for the year.
#4 Write the Plan Down
And once you’ve got your specific goals that have been broken down into your specific bite-size chunks, it’s time to write that stuff down!
Now we already talked about diarising your goals in point #2 – which is crucial if these are work goals and / or you’re collaborating with others on these aims.
After all, you got to be working to that same song sheet right?
But we also suggest writing down these goals for you personally, in a more informal context too.
This is especially true if your goals extend beyond work (or your current job), as having your aims for the year written down somewhere you can clearly see them EVERY DAY is crucial.
Whether that’s on a piece of paper pinned to the fridge, or on a note by your bed, having your goals visible in a succinct and specific way is going to help you keep tracking towards them even when the going gets tough… or it gets to the summer and you’ve forgotten all about them.
Being able to visibly see your goals is also key to assessing them at the end of year.
Plus you want them in a place where you can proudly tick them off when the year is done!
Yes thank you, we will!
#5 Start As You Mean to Go On
And talking of goals fading out by the summer, we need to stress here that when it comes to achieving your goals you must, simply must, “start as you mean to go on”.
Yes we know it’s early January, there’s a lot of covid, a lot of lockdown, not much fun, not much money, you’ve eaten too much cheese and life is tough, but you gotta start now.
NOW we say people!
And you got to keep keeping on.
If you don’t start with the good intentions now and keep them fired up through February, you haven’t got a hope in hula of making it to, let alone through, the summer months of fun, friends.
So don’t hit that snooze button tomorrow morning, instead get up (yes even though it’s dark) and get working on those goals!
#6 Tell Others
And while you’re out there, early on a freezing January morning, flexing up for the best business year you’ve ever had, remember to tell some people about it won’t you.
Ok, maybe not early in the morning, because they’ll probably hate you for it, but later in the day, after coffee.
And that’s because telling people your goals, like writing them down, keeps us all accountable.
It keeps us holding on when the going gets tough.
Slipping off the motivation wagon is very easy to do, when you’ve only got to explain why to yourself, but when you’ve got to explain why to other people (be they friends, colleagues or significant others) you’re less likely to let things slide so easily.
Nobody likes a look of disapproval or disappointment and, if you’re a people pleaser especially, this is just about your worst nightmare.
Nothing more likely to keep you tracking towards those difficult goals than being accountable to others, we promise!
#7 Be Flexible
Ok, but it’s not all mean vibes and hard graft here, because we totally understand that life can often through us a curveball and, when it does, we have to respond.
Take the beautiful year of 2020 for example, who saw a global pandemic coming – not us that’s for sure – but as soon as it was here and we realised just how shocking it was going to be, we had to re-scale and adapt our goals.
And that’s because, let’s be honest, the original ones now seemed pretty unachievable given the circumstances beyond our control!
So, in order to keep having some sense of purpose and success, we needed to amend them and (going back to point #1) we needed to re-size them, so that they correctly fitted what equated to both a challenge and an attainable goal in the new business climate.
Which is what we did.
And here we are, at the end of the year, with our revised goals intact.
So the moral of the tale here, is be flexible.
Life will throw you huge curveballs, as well as giant diamonds – that’s its job.
Your job is to adapt, keep light on those toes and be flexible, so you can continue to strive in any environment you find yourself in.
#8 Be Committed
No one likes it, but it’s a pretty key one to achieving those goals over the course of a year.
Yes commitment is definitely one of the crucial points here.
So…. commit to those goals.
Fully, intentionally, consciously.
And keep committing to them, remembering why you set them and what they’ll get you in life when you achieve them.
#9 Reward Yourself
And now it comes to the good part.
Yes you must reward yourself in order to stay motivated through the year.
Every time you tick off one of those monthly goals – reward yourself.
Heck, you can even do it for the weekly goals if you feel like you need it.
Because rewards will act as key motivational points.
And key motivational points will be crucial in helping you stave the course and make it through to your final celebratory goals!
So cheers guys, here’s to a great year!
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So there it is, our top 9 tips about how to achieve your goals in 2021, be they business or personal.
We hope you’ve found this information useful and that this year is your best yet.
Much love and happy new year from all in the Social Puffin team x