How to Obtain Success This Summer By Properly Setting and Achieving Your Goals
Do you make New Year’s resolutions?
I used to make them every year. But like most people, I made them unrealistic and immeasurable, and often tried to achieve too much too fast. Then a few months into the New Year I’d realize I’d already missed at least one of my resolutions, and by summer would simply forget the rest.
But about five years ago, I learned a lesson from Michael Masterson when I first started working with AWAI that changed everything. Thankfully I’m no longer an “oh well, maybe next year” kind of gal.
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions … I now set goals.
Rather than making empty general resolutions like I’m going to drink less, make more money, and exercise more; I’ve learned to develop an actual plan that’s designed to ensure I succeed.
And even though it’s almost June, you can do it too. The few months of summer will give you a good practice period to set goals and then achieve them.
Rather than banking your success as a spare-time business owner on some general resolution, I’d like you to set a career-building goal for the summer that will get you to the next level – whatever that “next level” is for you …
If you’re just starting out, maybe your goal will be to land your first paying client …
If you’ve successfully launched your spare-time business, maybe your goal will be to land 10 new clients …
Or maybe it will be to clear the six-figure mark, so that you can quit your full-time job.
Whatever it is, make sure your goal meets the following four criteria:
It must be specific …
Instead of setting a goal to make a lot of money from your desktop marketing business, set a goal to land 5 clients worth at least $5K each.
It must be actionable …
Winning $50K in Vegas is not an actionable goal. But winning enough projects to bill $50K in fees is.
It must be time-oriented …
While landing five clients worth $5K each is a good goal … landing five clients worth $5K each by September 1, 2009 is a better one.
It must be realistic …
Landing five clients worth $5K by September 1, 2009 may be an aggressive goal, but it’s possible. Landing those same five clients by Friday is not.
Once you have a goal that meets all four criteria, write it down. According to successful people like Michael Masterson and Brian Tracy, this one simple step can spell the difference between achieving your goal, and failing completely.
Next break that goal down into small objectives, that each takes you one step closer to your goal. Write the objectives in the order they need to be completed, and assign a deadline to each one.
Let’s say your goal was to land five paying desktop marketing clients by September 1, 2009. Your first couple objectives may look like this:
- Objective 1: Complete phase one of my training by July 1st.
- Objective 2: Send out 150 solicitations for prospective clients by July 15th.
- Objective 3: Give away a one-time test-drive of my services to three clients by July 31st so that I can build my portfolio.
So on and so forth.
Then, break each of these objectives down into even smaller measurable tasks. Make sure you specify exactly what needs to be done, and once again assign a time frame.
Using a different example, let’s say you plan to write a money-making website, while at the same time running a resume writing business, and you’re about half way through AWAI’s Pro Resume Writer Program. You may break the first objective like this:
June 1-11, read section three of the resume program and complete the exercises.
June 12–18, finish the resume program.
June 19-30, start researching potential resume clients, post five small ads in local media as taught in the program, and see what my local community offers for promoting my services. Write my self-promotion letter selling my resume writing services, and practice my new resume writing skills for a few friends and family members.
July 1-14, learn how to write a money-making website by reading web expert Nick Usborne’s homestudy program, and start researching my topic. At the same time respond to all inquiries about my resume writing services, and write resume as requested.
July 15-31, post a few more ads for my resume writing services online. Start researching and writing content for my money-making website.
August 1-5, work on making my website live as taught in Nick’s program, and start attracting web traffic from the search engines. Create business cards for my resume writing business, and attend one community networking event to promote my resume writing services.
August 6-31, add the revenue-generating methods Nick recommends to my website and start generating a passive income stream. Put together a simple website for my resume writing business.
You’ll want to create a tracking system so that you can easily keep track of these tasks. I personally like to use an 8 ½ X 11 calendar that when opened, lies flat on my desk and shows me a month at a time. One of AWAI’s Marketers, Tammy Lawman, prefers to keep a single word document that she updates daily.
Whatever you choose, make sure you can access it easily. Then check your tasks daily, and your objectives monthly to make sure you are staying on task. If you need to adjust any deadlines, go ahead. But don’t let yourself make excuses for not sticking to your plan.
So what goal will you achieve in by the end of the summer?
Take 30 minutes right now, and write it down along with the objectives it will take to achieve it. Remember to be specific and realistic. And then get ready to achieve it!
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