If you have 15 minutes a week to make your dreams happen, goal setting should be a priority.
But not all goal setting is created equal. Having goals that are vague or unattainable can be worse than having no goals at all.
A framework used in management psychology is SMART. SMART goals are:
Specific: You want to build a great company. But that would make for a cruddy goal. Don’t try to swallow the elephant whole with your goal setting. Break it down into reasonable chunks and you will progress much faster with less overwhelm.
Measurable: You need to give yourself a hard limit on what defines success if you want to reach it. Otherwise, your mind will find ways to cut corners.
If your goal is “get new clients this week”, you won’t be in any rush after you get started because hey, two is technically plural, right?
Compare that to setting a goal of “get 5 new clients this week” and imagine what the difference will be on your energy, sense of urgency and ultimately results when you look back on what you have done.
Attainable: Setting the right size goals is a balancing act. On one hand, you won’t accomplish much setting low goals and reaching them easily. On the other hand, setting a ridiculous goal and not reaching it can be demotivating.
The answer lies somewhere in between.
Relevant: Your goals have to be relevant to what you are trying to achieve. You might want to juggle twelve bowling pins by next week, but it’s not going to have an effect on reaching an IPO.
This is a ridiculous example, but often times solopreneurs can get caught up in urgent needs that aren’t on task. Working backwards (more on that later) is a great way to overcome this
Time based: Make sure you give yourself a deadline. The human mind is great at stretching out the time it takes to do something when you don’t give it a limit.
For extra credit, try to give yourself as little time as is reasonable. All things considered, it’s better to accomplish one goal per week than one goal per month if they are the same magnitude. Get yourself more productive and you won’t be a solopreneur for long!