If you want to succeed, you HAVE to set goals. Period. You know the saying…
If you start every year saying, “This is my year…I’m going to make it happen”, but you don’t know how it’s going to happen…nothing will happen.
Sometimes we just get stuck at the beginning stages of goal setting and aren’t sure exactly how to set them. Does that sound like you? Honestly, I was a terrible goal-setter in the beginning. I knew what I wanted, I could see the big picture, but all I did was set one big goal, without a plan or action steps on how I was going to get there. And even though I muddled through, things would have happened much sooner if I took the time to create my plan.
Once I started breaking my goals down into smaller steps and working backward (best advice I ever got), that’s when things really started to happen. So what I mean by this is, decide on your big goal. Mark on your calendar when you expect to reach that goal. From there, create smaller steps (weekly, daily, monthly) and work backward on your calendar so you prepare yourself to actually reach the goal(s) you set for yourself.
I put together 5 Steps To Effective Goal Planning to help you along:
- Set Goals That Motivate You. Motivation is the key to achieving your goal. Ask yourself these questions: Does seeing the big picture excite you? Why is your goal important to you?
- Set SMART Goals. I’m sure most of you have heard of SMART Goals. SMART stands for:
- Specific. Make sure your goal is clear and well defined.
- Measurable. Be precise on your goals…if you don’t have a way to measure your success, you won’t be able to celebrate them. Believe me, once you start doing this it gets addicting.
- Attainable. Make sure your goals you set are attainable, or you’ll never reach them and think of yourself as a failure.
- Relevant. These goals should be relevant to the direction you want your life to go. If your goals aren’t relevant, you’ll lose focus and waste time.
- Time-Bound. You HAVE to set a deadline for your goals. If you don’t, you’ll never reach them. “Someday” isn’t a goal. 30, 60, 90 days…this is a time-bound goal. Set your goals and work backwards in creating the steps to get there.
- Put Your Goals In Writing To Make Them Real. Be firm in writing your goals…use words like “I will” instead “I’d like to”. This makes it real in your mind which will translate to your business.
- Create An Action Plan. This falls under the Time-Bound SMART goal. Set your deadline and create the action plan to get there. Write down the steps you need to take, working backward from the date you set, and break it into manageable pieces.
- Sticktuitiveness! This word is the best word I ever heard and had to share it. Erin Brockovich used this word in a speech I heard her give last year at a conference. Don’t give up on your goals and dreams. Progress is progress, whether it’s slow or fast. You need to always keep moving forward.
One other thing to think about when setting your goals is how you’re going to get started or what you want your business to look like. Think about your current situation:
- Are you working a 9 to 5 job right now that you need to keep? Then start your VA journey with small projects or your “side hustle” to get going.
- Are you working part-time currently and want to transfer that to your own hours and from home? Then you might start with part-time or project work to make that happen.
- Are you already working as a VA but can’t quite get your business where you want it to be? Then it’s time to really dig down, see what’s holding you back, and make a plan to get the results you want!
Think about what you need:
- Part-time project work.
- Side hustle to full time.
- Run an agency.
SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT
If you need a certain amount of income, consider starting off your virtual assistant business as your side hustle. The reason I say this is because it takes time to build a sustainable business…no matter what you’re doing. Those that say they quit their full-time jobs and were making $100k in 6 months are most likely NOT telling you the truth, or at least the whole story. I’m not saying it can’t happen…I’m saying it’s not very likely to happen.
If you go in with a “do or die” attitude, you’ll more than likely not make enough money in the beginning and end up quitting and feeling like a failure. Be realistic about your situation, your goals, and your business. You can do anything you set your mind to, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
Now, go be great!