As we get ready to head into a new year, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the steps you’d like to take to improve your circumstances. Luckily, we’ve broken the goal-setting process down into three manageable steps to help you make the most of where you’ve been, where you want to go, and how you plan to get there.

Make Time

If you’re planning to set serious goals for the new year, you’ve got to put serious thought into them. That means setting aside time in your busy schedule to really dig into the goal-setting process without assuming you can work on it in fits and starts; you’ve got to plan to plan.

Whatever you need to do to get yourself in the zone – put on music, pour yourself a drink, get out your list of last year’s goals – snag a block for it on your calendar and know that taking time away from work for these few hours is going to help make you the best you can be in the upcoming year.

The Three Questions

Do I know what I want?

The first step of the goal-setting process is to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve, both in your business and personally, in the new year. You may have set goals in the past, and you may or may not have met them, but the start of a new year is the perfect time to reevaluate whether what you wanted in the past is still what you want for the future.

One of the best ways to come up with a list of attainable goals is to create a short list of areas of your life in which you’d like to make changes (e.g. family, relationship, business, health). Then, for each area, create a picture of success for yourself – what will your life look like when you’ve achieved all of your goals?

For example, if you’ve got health goals, this may look like “I weigh 180 pounds, and I run a half marathon every year.” If this is what a successful “you” looks like, decide the steps you’ll need to take to get you there. Considering your starting point, does this mean you’ll be joining a gym for the first time or adding a day to your regular routine? Are you already a runner, or are you going to join a first-timers training group? Understanding what you want is the first step in creating manageable, attainable goals.

What did this year teach me?

Whether you set goals for yourself last year or not, you’ve certainly learned about yourself and your business in the last 12 months. Some things you tried were extremely successful, and some completely flopped, and both of those outcomes taught you something about what worked and what didn’t.

What you learned about yourself during the last year can help you determine what needs changing for the next. Maybe your leadership strategy could use an update, maybe you need to find new sourcing partners, or maybe you realized you need to take more steps towards improving your self discipline. Using the knowledge of the past can help you set achievable goals in the future.

What will I focus on?

Now it’s time to create your goals themselves. While it can be tempting to try and fix everything at once, you’ll want to focus on 2-4 major goals for the year that you can break down in to manageable steps. Using the two questions you answered above, build your plan for the year – what will get you the farthest the fastest towards what you want based on what you learned?

When you’ve got your big goals worked out, break each one into action steps and decide when you plan to achieve them. Creating smaller goals within your big goals will help you get closer to what you want without overwhelming you with a hurdle you can’t possibly clear in a single bound.

Work With Us

If one of your goals in the new year is to get your books in order – or to work with a team of e-commerce accounting experts – schedule a free 15-minute discovery call today. Just have an accounting question? Book a paid coaching call with one of our senior staff.