What Not to Do

As the year ends and a new one begins, there are many blog articles, podcasts, webinars, and courses about goal setting. I am a sucker for this content and consume it every year. The funny thing is that I should know it backward and forward. I have written a few blogs about how to have SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals. For the last 100 days I have had the following goal that I have written down each day:

While providing excellent value in less time to my clients, launch an online store which generates $1,000 in revenue before the end of the year.

What is wrong with this goal? Let’s break it down into two parts:

“While providing excellent value in less time to my clients.”

This really isn’t a goal because it isn’t measurable, specific, or actionable. This is way too general, and I don’t really even know if I accomplished it. How much value have I provided? Did I save time, money, or increase impact? I should have put together a value matrix with specific measurements. Read more on the value matrix at “How Valuable Are You?

It also didn’t even seem like a stretch goal that is challenging. My standard operating procedure is to add value in less time. Is this goal even exciting? If I said that I saved a client $100,000 or increased revenue by $50,000, then this would be something. I was on a call with a client, and we discussed ways to save $70,000 in tax liability for 2016. Now this is more exciting.

Launch an online store which generates $1,000 in revenue before the end of the year.”

This goal was specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound. I did not meet this goal. What caused this to happen? I could say I was busy with client work and had many other more pressing priorities. I could make excuses all day long, and most people would feel these excuses were valid. Although, no matter what, I didn’t hit this goal. I didn’t come close. I will take personal responsibility and ask the right questions.

Now that I have recognized this, what did I do to keep myself from hitting the goal, and how can I improve next time? First of all, I had little control over how much revenue I would make. Michael Hyatt says to focus on the next action and get that accomplished. I let deadlines slip and didn’t provide resources that enough people found valuable. More training is needed and a better understanding of what the customer wants and not what I think they want.

The 7 / 40 Plan

Next year, I am breaking down my goals into smaller chunks. Next week, I will talk about the 7 Mini-Goals over 40 days. This is 280 days of focused attention toward your goals as they build on each other. I have found that 100 days was too long, and many times the goal I started with was outdated by the end. 40 days is long enough to accomplish something great and build some habits.

Here is a sample of my a template.

If you are interested in this template please sign up below, and I will personally email you the Excel template I am using.

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