2015 January

Of goals, timelines and achievements

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Welcome into 2015! This year starts with the brightness that every New Year brings. At the beginning of each New Year there’s lots of optimism and great expectations of what each year carries. No doubt there are lots of opportunities in the year. Many entrepreneurs embrace new visions and expectations. However as the year unfolds, this optimism just seems to fade out and we lose steam. The reason for this loss in momentum is usually because we have not been able to connect our daily responsibilities and business activities with our final outcomes and goals.

After having set our goals (and I must say don’t set small ones. If your business had an income of a million naira this year for example, setting a goal to make 1.5 million naira is a goal that doesn’t stretch you much), we must find a way to connect our daily workings to fit into those goals. As entrepreneurs, we actually get overwhelmed with the daily grind and lose out on achieving our goals.

In my own personal experience (7 years now) and my oral interviews with many entrepreneurs I have met, the major challenge has been that most of us have been bogged down with the daily grind and lose track of our expected outcomes. At the end of the year when we try to audit our goals, we discover that we are really not as close to achieving the goals as we expected.

So what do we do?

    Of course the first thing to do is to set the goals. It’ll be great to follow your dreams but then set realistic goals. The SMART way to set goals is a great guide to setting goals that are outstanding. Whatever you do, set goals that will challenge you and not something mediocre that won’t create any challenges for you at all. 
    After being overwhelmed with how I can execute the plans for 2 different business I planned to raise to another level in the year, I had an idea. Why not focus on achieving goals for just 3 months instead of a full 12 month plan?  Many of us are overwhelmed with our yearly goals, particularly in the execution of those goals. However by setting milestones of 3 months each, brings the achievement of the goals closer home.
    Create an action plan. For example, if your goal is to make twice what you made last year, you’ll probably need to advertise to more people than you did last year. Sit down and draw an action plan on how to achieve the goals. Goals that sit in your mind as desires are only clouds that blow away as soon as a strong wind blows.
  4. PURSUE!
    After breaking down the milestones, pursue them with gusto just as if the year ended at the completion of those 3 months you’ve set.
    Look for someone (or a group of people) that you can be accountable to. What this does for you is put you on your toes to help you accomplish the goals you’ve set. Having people to be accountable to helps you remain fired up. It’s difficult to be discouraged around a set of people who are fired up and desirous of fulfilling their goals!

I pray this New Year will bring you the greatest results you’ve ever had in your business venture.