We all know goal setting is important, but we constantly fail at our goals and objectives because they are not based on something measurable. Today we are going to talk goal setting activities you can do to improve your business (or personal) life!
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Why I Wrote This Goal Setting Post
I have an email accountability club that I send out an email for on the first of the month. I send my goals, they send their goals back… yay!
So this month a gal had a great question…
Is it reasonable to make a goal like number of sales, when I have so little control over it? Is it better to have attainable goals that I can control, like number of downloads or listings? I mean, sales are so volatile. What are your thoughts? Lisa
And I popped on over here to get the activity based goal setting post and realized I NEVER TOLD YOU ABOUT THIS….. what? That thing my whole life is based on and I missed… ack!
So today we are going to talk about setting goals you can actually achieve (and move your business forward!)
What Are “Normal” Goals
Before we can get into the weeds about activity based goals, let's talk about some normal business or personal goals people set…
- Sell 100 memberships
- Lose 15 pounds
- Make 20K a month
- Find a mate
- Keep a clean house
So let's start with selling 100 memberships because I have done this wrong before!
You go to this amazing sales pitch about building a membership site and they say that “all” you have to do is sell 100 memberships at $100 a month to make $10,000 a month recurring revenue.
And you think, this is in the bag… I have 5,000 people on my email list, a big social media following and everyone loves me. So super easy, right?!?!?!
So you start doing “stuff”, blog posts, emails and social posts and make about 10 sales. Now, don't get me wrong, $1,000 a month isn't anything to sneeze at, but you are missing your goal… every time you don't have 100 members…. crap.
These types of goals are super de-motivating to me personally!
What Are Activity Based Goals?
Activity based goals are things you have sat down beforehand and determined you CAN accomplish in a selected period of time!
Here are some activity based goals matching the “normal” goals we did above…
- Send out a weekly email, do a monthly webinar, set up a free offer (Sell 100 memberships)
- Go to the gym for 1/2 hour 3X a week, track calorie intake daily (Lose 15 pounds)
- List 100 items for sale, write 20 blog posts, do two podcasts a month (Make 20K a month)
- Join dating app, tell 20 friends you need a matchmaker, go on 1 date a week (Find a mate)
- Clean your sink every night, do laundry every Monday, sweep floors every other day (Keep a clean house)
Activity based goals are small steps, based on a defined action plan you KNOW you can do to move yourself towards a goal.
Instead of having some nebulous, intangible goals that you are either failing at or winning at, you can “win” constantly by just completing the activity you set out as your goal… whoo whoo!
Choosing Your Length of Goals
I have done all different lengths of goals… yearly, monthly, weekly, daily… here are some examples from my life:
- Make a video a day for a year
- Write a blog post every day for a month
- List a new product once a week
- Post on Instagram every day
It is the incremental completion of small pieces of a bigger defined goal that will allow you to succeed.
I tend to like to do monthly goals… I can pick one thing to focus on for 30-ish days without being distracted.
Some people LOVE daily goals. Just knowing that they could mark that goal off their bullet journal and feel great!
You need to pick the kind of goal that motivates you!
Setting a yearly goal of doing a video a day was a death march that I am glad I did, but you can't do that kind of crazy pants activity for the rest of your life!
Can Activity Based Goals Be BHAGs?
I LOVE setting BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)! These are challenging goals like “paying off your house” or “making $20K a month”.
They are shoot for the stars, if you miss you hit the moon kind of goals … like if I “only” made $19K next month I wouldn't be super sad!
But BHAGs aren't great for activities… BECAUSE they are big, with lots of moving parts and goal success is only one fixed outcome!
For example, my athletic friend, Kirsten wants to get back to the Ironman world championships in Kona Hawaii.
Every month when we talk about our goals she lists that… but just wishing for that outcome isn't going to get her there!
She has to have a super strict training and food regimen to get in condition to reach that goal.
So yes! Have BHAGs and long term goals written down, but also measurable, achievable activities!
What You Measure Matters
The phrase, “what you measure matters” is the key to achieving the results you want.
If I say I want to lose 15 pounds and kinda, sorta do random exercises and eat mostly not bad, I could lose a little bit of weight, but there is no accountability to myself in that AND it is easy to miss here and there and not notice.
But if I say I am going to the gym 3X a week and I DO go to the gym 3X a week I have achieved my goal, no matter if I lose weight or not.
The key to setting these kinds of goals is that you have a fixed outcome you work to achieve AND you have broken down the steps to take AND you measure those steps as you go.
The Next Babiest Step
Last but not least, let's talk about how to get started with your goals! … the next babiest step!
If you are not good at goal setting right now, you should start super small with the next thing you CAN do to move forward.
For example, when I didn't know how to set up a store on my website, my next babiest step was to look at other people's stores. No work, nothing scary, just looking at stores.
For you this might be visiting the gym, NOT working out. OR it could be doing one load of laundry instead of getting everything clean all at once.
A baby step is just to get the car rolling down hill!
Activity Based Goals Wrapup
Okay, that was a lot! But hopefully not overwhelming!
Setting activity based goals is great way to accomplish something big, one step at a time (without making yourself crazy-pants!)
I have achieved great things over the years, just by doing tiny incremental tasks one day or month at a time, using this simple goal setting process!