Goals are a necessary part of launching and growing your business. Truthfully, they're a necessary part of moving forward with life in general. They give you something to strive towards-and it's a major boost to your confidence when you meet a goal.
Goals can be related to large or small achievements, but regardless of the scale of a goal, it can be a serious hit both on a personal level and for your organization if you fail to meet one.
It's important to dissect a missed goal and identify what happened so that you can learn from it. Here are some of the most common reasons you may have fallen short of your goals last year.
1. Justifying Excuses
Making excuses for a lack of progress on a goal can quickly turn to negative energy, procrastination, and nothing but a smoldering crater where your goal once stood. It's easy to make excuses, and even easier to justify them away after you miss a goal. Excuses can range from not having enough time in the day, to having too many meetings.
Excuses often pop up when people feel fear, anxiety, and doubt, and then allow those feelings to hold back their progress. Whatever the case, you're in control of your day-to-day. You're in control of your progress. Don't let those things turn into excuses that slow you down.
2. Magnifying Fears over Abilities
Fear of failure has killed the dreams and ideas of countless entrepreneurs since the dawn of time. You could fill the ocean with them. It's almost palpable even among the most stoic of entrepreneurs. We're so accustomed to making plans based on failure, that we often let those fears dissuade us from squaring off against and overcoming challenges. Almost every person has allowed fear to rob them of self-confidence.
When you set goals in 2016, you need to focus on your abilities and how they'll help you reach that goal. Don't underestimate yourself.
3. Doing Things for the Wrong Reasons
Did your goal have a strong enough "why"? Why did you set it? What does that goal mean to you and your business? Sometimes we set goals to chase after something because it's expected of us, or we think it's necessary to keep up with others (or a competitor).
If you set a business or personal goal for the wrong reason, you wind up chasing down something that doesn't resonate with you. The desire to accomplish it is diminished; the commitment wanes. You fail to reach it, and all you have to show for it is wasted time and money.
Set goals for the right reasons-for things that add value on a personal and professional level and directly improve the revenue of your business.
4. Not Prioritizing the Right Things
It's amazing how easy it is to find time for things that add virtually no value to our lives, but we struggle to make time for what's most important to us. Reaching goals is never about having time, it's about getting your priorities in order and making the time to meet your goals. If the goal you set is important enough to you and your business, then you'll make time for it.
5. Doing Too Much
You may view yourself as a jack-of-all-trades and wear the badge proudly, but you're never going to accomplish anything if you try to do it all yourself. This is especially true of your business goals as an entrepreneur. If you know that you have a goal that falls outside your scope of practice, or that you have an employee perhaps better suited, delegate to make sure those goals are met.
If you have a personal goal that you know you may struggle with, then you need to reach out to others in your network. Lean on those people who can lend skill and experience to help you accomplish that goal.
You need to reflect on those missed goals and discover what you're really good at, what you're passionate about, and what you're most driven to do. Focus on the goals you can achieve, and turn to others for the rest. Remember, no man is an island.
6. Lacking a Roadmap
It's relatively easy to set a goal such as "We're going to increase revenue by 20% this quarter," or, "We're going to have our entire team cross-trained by end of year." But how do you get there? Successful goals are charted out with a detailed plan on how to get from point A to point B. That plan lays out the actions to be taken and the milestones to reach along the way.
Having a plan gives you direction, so that if you get off course or plans change, it's easy to maintain a route to the final goal.
7. Failing to Set Firm Deadlines
Only 2.5% of companies successfully meet 100% of their project goals. Why aren't you in that group? A deadline creates a constant sense of urgency that will keep you and your team focused as you drive toward a goal. If you set goals that are open-ended with no set completion date, then they often are forgotten. A goal without a deadline fuels procrastination and often leads to goals being missed.
8. Being Overcome When Times are Tough
Launching a business is hard. So is personal and professional growth. It always gets tougher before it gets better when you're driving toward a goal. When it comes right down to it, nothing worth having is going to come easy. Some of the goals you set are going to require a little blood on the ice, sweat on your brow, and even some tears.
When progress plateaus and moving forward becomes difficult, you need to roll up your sleeves and persevere. The only way you'll hit your goals in 2016 is to stay diligent and dedicated to the task at hand, no matter what comes your way. Learn from your mistakes and plan to be better in 2016. There's always a solution to help you reach your goal.
What goals did you struggle with in 2015 that you'll be tackling with a new perspective this year? Let us know in the comments below: