Setting (Achievable) Business Goals for the New Year
It’s hard to believe we’re just a few weeks away from 2023. If you’re anything like me, the past few years have felt like such a whirlwind and sometimes I have to remind myself it isn’t still 2019. But time keeps marching on, and soon a new year will be upon us. Though it might just be a date on the calendar, a new year gives businesses and individuals the chance to set concrete goals and take advantage of a fresh start. If you have any goals for your business, now is a good time to take a look at them and make a plan to achieve.
Whether you’re looking at audience growth, consumer expansion, product offerings, or simply to upgrade your media, here are our best tips for setting and achieving realistic goals for your business or organization in 2023.
Set Realistic, Concrete Milestones
Rather than vague goals (More customers! Better ROI!), try for achievable goals that you can track with metrics. This means making your goals quantifiable so you know when you’ve reached them. Also, you don’t have to reach for the stars with every one of your goals! It’s ok to have smaller milestones that give you a reason to pause and celebrate. Not only does this make it easier to achieve each stepping stone, it can be a morale boost to have frequent wins rather than striving for high-reaching goals. Those intermediate achievements deserve their own spotlight too, and are a great motivator as you continue moving forward.
Set Aside Time Each Month to Track Progress
Instead of writing out your goals and making a plan in December only for it to collect dust as the new year progresses, set aside time in your busy schedule each month to revisit your goals and see where you’re at with each category. We love to have a specific scheduled time each month to calibrate and see how things are progressing. This can be at the end of each month, the first day of the month, or something totally random like 9am on the second Wednesday of each month. Regardless, come into these meetings with an itinerary and a strategy for brainstorming and tracking your goals and progress, and be prepared to come up with solutions and ideas to help keep things moving in the right direction.
Create Actual Deadlines (and Hold Yourself Accountable)
This goes along with our first point, but the more small goals you have to achieve (as opposed to year-long resolutions), the more motivated you and the team will be as you see progress. Instead of treating achievements as steps towards one large goal, setting smaller deadlines can feel like a win when you can check each new item off the list. We love concrete deadlines on the calendar, which can help reframe a habituated mindset into a more excited frame of mind. And while too much pressure can have the opposite effect and create an unpleasant working environment, smaller deadlines can be motivating, creating a sense of positive urgency and more structure around these goals. Like all of these tips, creating deadlines won’t do you any good if you ignore them. Find ways to hold yourself and your teammates accountable, with plenty of communication, metrics, and frequent check-ins.
Communicate with the Team
Unless you’re operating a one-person business (in which case, congrats!) chances are you have people on the team working with you. These people are instrumental in helping achieve your goals and resolutions, and communicating goals and deadlines and metrics is crucial for keeping everyone on the same page. This can be done in an encouraging way to keep all associates motivated and on top of their roles and duties, and keeping things in writing is a great visual way to stay aligned with timing and milestones.
What is Your Motivation Behind These Goals?
While this is less of a quantifiable tip, the mindset behind setting resolutions shouldn’t be ignored. Creating business goals and resolutions, then following through on trying to reach them is no small feat. Like any type of self-motivated progress, this means you have to be driven on a deeper level. Ask yourself—and write down—why you’re going after these goals. What do these resolutions mean to you? What will the benefits be of achieving them, and what will happen if you fall short? This can help you stick to your resolution when things get tough, and can be a good reminder of the deeper motivations behind goals that are sometimes intimidating or feel too far away to achieve.
Celebrate the Wins
This is a huge one. So much of our goals-and-resolution mindset comes from thinking about failure, or hoping to avoid it. So much so that we can become negatively oriented, and forget why we’re trying to progress and achieve these things in the first place. It’s so important to celebrate the wins, and keep a positive attitude even if something slipped by, or a goal turned out to be too lofty for the time being. Don’t be afraid to mitigate your own expectations and keep these resolutions fluid as well. Goals are there for a reason: to help you and your business progress, but if you beat yourself up and don’t stop to celebrate the positives, resolutions can have a negative association and it’ll be harder to stay motivated.