Defining your goals with Russian dolls (!)


Goal-setting is a huge subject so, in keeping with my blog’s mission “Inspire Your Business”, I want to focus on the “Bigger Picture” in this post.

If you are looking at this topic from a business point of view you will be concerned with setting realistic, yet challenging, goals for your staff, your turnover, business development and so on. You will need to review these goals regularly and check you are still on track, scheduling time to do this yourself or through meetings with the respective stakeholders. In terms of the Bigger Picture you will need to check that your goals are always compatible with your company’s mission statement i.e. the reason you are in business and what drives you.

The whole process is like those Russian dolls “Matryoska”; there are layers of goals – short-term, mid-term, long-term and all are enveloped by the outside layer (or doll!) – your company mission and the reason you do what you do. That’s your measuring stick.

Write a mission statement that says what you do and how you help or serve others. I recommend one sentence as it’s easier to remember and repeat. For example, my institute’s statement is: “We provide high-quality, tailor-made training courses which help people do their jobs better.” Simple, but our yard-stick for everything we design and undertake.

Now let’s add one more, big doll to our Matryoska. As a business owner you can only feel inspiration and creativity at work if you are giving yourself enough time to tap into these channels outside of the office. Self-care has to be your first priority. Goals which involve making time for fun, sports or health and well-being next to the job need to be top of the list. Studies have shown that people working a 50-hour-week are only as effective as those working 35 hours. That’s 15 hours more per week you can use to invest in your own self-care.

Goals are a route-map and the ultimate destination is the life you want to be leading. This needs to be defined first. Ask yourself:

– What do I really want from running my own business?

– What kind of life do I want to have?

– How do I want to feel?

The answers to these questions will give you your destination.

Just as a map is normally on paper, your goals also need to be written down, studied and kept close so you can refer to them constantly. Goals have a practical nature. They get you from A to B. They break the route down into manageable units. It’s like a training programme and as with sport the old rule applies: Don’t run before you can walk.

Ask yourself: Is the goal realistic? Can I visualize myself achieving it? Is it compatible with my mission?

Word your goals carefully. For example: “I make time once a month to meet with my business mentor” might put you under pressure. Instead, word this goal: “I have a supportive network of mentors with whom I meet regularly”. If you keep active and follow up on any invitations and calls you receive in this direction you will find that this goal is self-fulfilling.

So, measure your goals against the Bigger Picture, the outside “doll”. Define them carefully and refer to them regularly. Let them inspire, but not intimidate you. Start from the outside in.

Good luck in all your endeavours!

Louise

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