All entrepreneurs have big dreams. The ability to dream of better lives and achievements is what drives many to start their own business.
As a business owner, your single goal is to ensure the success of your business. This is done by making in-depth plans and decisions targeted towards the survival and growth of your business.
What this means for your personal life is long hours dedicated to gaining essential skills, building your business, making leadership connections, and possibly working twice as hard as other business professionals.
Your business should have its unique goals broken into milestones that’ll help you track your progress and gauge your performance compared to your competitors.
The ability to set realistic and “stretch” goals and following them to completion has always counted as a skill successful business owners have.
Goal setting helps measure your level of success in ways that hold you accountable for every milestone. This is because setting realistic “stretch” goals challenges, motivates, and keeps you focused while providing a tangible measure of growth and success.
When it comes to goal setting, you can dream big. The important thing to keep in mind is to dream in moderation. The end goal may be to grow and expand and become the powerhouse in your niche. Recognize that while setting your goals, you should make them realistic “stretch” enough in ways that make every milestone achievable.
Consequences of Setting Unrealistic Goals
Unrealistic goal-setting practices are the bane of many entrepreneurs. The pressure of climbing a mountain so high and steep without any experience with its challenges cause many businesses to fail after a short while.
It is essential to focus on what the consequences of setting unrealistic goals have on an entrepreneur and their business.
When you set unrealistic goals, negative emotions begin to set in. For every failed contract comes disappointment and for every sluggish sale comes sadness and anxiety. This can slowly deteriorate to lower self-esteem and a slew of medical problems.
Setting unrealistic goals creates an insurmountable obstacle that prevents you from seeing your little wins.
Unrealistic goals also put a strain on your relationship with your friends and family. When it seems like you are surrounded by others who keep winning, feelings of envy and jealousy begin to creep in. This, in turn, makes you avoid and neglect the support system you need.
Increased Likeliness to Quit
When you create important business goals, you’ll try as much as possible to achieve them. When they are realistic, there is an increased possibility of achieving these goals and growing your business.
But when you set unrealistic goals, you are more likely to struggle with the number of challenges you’ll face. This is because you are trying too hard to focus on too many activities at once. This also increases the likelihood of quitting all together.
Business goals should be set realistically to increase the likelihood of success and growth.
Five Ways to Set More Realistic “Stretch” Goals
- Set Goals that Motivate You
When you are setting your business goals, set positive goals that push you to become a better version of yourself at all times. When your goals motivate you, you can put in the work, seek expert advice, gain additional skills, and work with a single-minded focus towards achieving your goals.
Another powerful component of goal setting relates to how you will feel once you have attained each of your goals. This adds the emotional element that helps inspire you even more. Picturing how you’ll feel after achieving your goals is like an emotional magnet that pulls you to do what you need to do so you can experience goal achievement.
- SMART Goals
Your goals should represent every SMART variable. Though the SMART principles are popular, applying them to set more realistic goals helps you achieve more.
Your goals should be Specific. They should be direct and have a clear meaning. This makes them more realistic and unambiguous to work towards.
They should be Measurable. When setting your business goals, they should have a unit of measurement. By being measurable, you can know whether your business activities are moving you towards success or not.
Your goals should be Attainable. The more attainable your business goals are, the more realistic they are. Set smaller milestones for your short-term goals. This makes them more attainable and brings realizing your longer-term goals forward.
Your goals should be Relevant. Ensure that your business goals are relevant to the path you choose to succeed in. When working towards your goals, you should align your business activities in ways that positively contribute to your success.
Relevant goals are also Time-bound. By putting a timeline on your goals, you are placing a challenge that’ll motivate you to acquire all the skills and perform optimally to attain these goals. Time-bound goals put your willingness to attain these goals into perspective and give you a reason to celebrate its completion.
I have to mention that I take issue with the words realistic and attainable. After all, who defines what is possible in the realm of reality? I believe goals should be “stretch goals,” goals that are achievable, and also require that the person stretch their limits. This extra push provides inspiration and motivation. Stretch goals are win-win. Even if you fall short of achieving a stretch goal, you’ve still exceeded your “realistic” goal.
The word attainable bothers me for similar reasons. Obviously, you want your goal to be within reach, but that same “stretch” should be added for additional motivation and inspiration. For example, if you set a goal that you think is attainable, add something extra on to that goal for it to be a stretch. Let’s say, based on last year’s revenue, you think you can increase your revenue by 10% this year. What would happen if you set your goal to increase your revenue by 20%? You would probably be even more creative and come up with ways to achieve that “stretch” goal.
- Write Out Your Goals
Writing out your goals helps you put them in perspective. It is also a physical way of manifesting these goals.
By writing them out, you can visualize and put the required effort towards achieving these business goals.
- Plan its Execution
After writing out your goals, it is important to plan their execution. Having these goals means nothing if you don’t organize your activities to achieve the goals. Break down weekly targets and activities, organize regular meetings for updates and any other activities that put you on the path to success. Track your actual results each week and each month to know exactly where you are against your annual goals. This will help you stay focused and execute even better.
- Work Towards Goal Attainment
After planning how to achieve these realistic “stretch” goals, it is crucial to work towards them. Have a single focus, avoid distractions and procrastination. Go after these goals to make it a reality.
Start setting realistic “stretch” goals for your business. Go through your goals and break them into bite-sized milestones that’ll make your increased success worthwhile.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could have everything you want out of life magically appear with the snap of a finger? Unfortunately, as the old adage implies, “You can’t get something for nothing.” The secret to achieving your goals boils down to one thing – taking action. There isn’t some magic gene that is only given to a select few at birth – achieving your goals is an inherent ability in all of us.
You can achieve absolutely any goal you can imagine, so long as you get moving in the right direction now! One of the benefits of taking action is that your progress is the very thing that bridges the gap between imagining a dream and manifesting it. In other words …
Action = Results!
That’s not to say that the road to goal achievement is free of challenges. Working toward your goals is rarely simple, but if you ask someone who has reached their goals if the hard work was worth the reward, I’ll bet they would say yes. The costs of taking action far outweigh the pain of living a life that is using only a fraction of your potential.
You can make the leap from living a life that seems out of your control and take the reins of your future. When you realize the power you hold and the benefits of taking action, your life will never be the same.
For more help on setting stretch goals, so you can create your ideal business and ideal life, reach out to me today to schedule your complimentary consultation.
Do you feel like your business has plateaued or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? Could you use a shot in the arm to make even more progress on your goals? Consider working with The Accountability Coach. I’m here to help you accelerate your results, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life!
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