How are you coming on that New Year’s Resolution? Have you been going to the gym 5 days a week, trading junk food snacks for healthy ones, getting to bed by 10pm and taking your lunch to save money instead of eating out every day?
Most of us write some mental resolutions for our businesses / careers too. If you have vowed that 2010 is the year you follow up on leads better, make the most of your tradeshow budget with more focused social media efforts before and after or getting a handle on your brand perception in the market then lets put a plan together and get working on those goals!
1. Have Some Goals / Future State Defined
One year ago in January 2009 I was in the mood for change. My plan was not well defined but I knew I wanted to put myself out there more and get out of my comfort zone. I wanted to embrace new communities through social networking and expand my networking base. Admittedly it was a “squishy” immeasurable goal but there was no doubt that I would know internally when I met it. Since the formal process of goal setting is often a barrier to actually getting started on the goal in a lot of organizations I am going to suggest you get the goal straight in your head and go about making some progress on it. The actual stated measurable goal usually reveals itself anyway as you get a bit down the path.
2. Tell People Inside and Outside Your Goal Group
If you have read any of the expert advice on successful weight loss, marathon training, etc one of the key points they always stress is to get a buddy. A work out buddy, a weigh in buddy or a friend who will consistently call you once a week and ask how you are coming on your goal. Your work goals are no different. You will likely need other members of your department to assist effectuating change but even if it is a solo goal you have total control over get some of your officemates involved. I also like to have at least one former colleague who is in a non-competitive situation but understands my business in my think tank. Someone I can buy lunch for a couple of times a year and get a sanity check. People inside your organization can all by paralyzed by the same four gray walls you are and can keep you spinning your wheels.
3. Celebrate All Success
When we launched this blog in April 2009 it was a big part of my reaching my ultimate goal of expanding my network. Not only did I join a collaborative group and meet five amazing women but they opened doors for me I never thought possible. Plus we are a great mutual admiration society! The Savvy Sisters will celebrate just about anything. Our first guest post = celebration, our first mention on a blog we coveted = celebration, the first time one of our posts was translated to another language = celebration, so you get the idea we do a lot of virtual high fives around here. Those little successes as individual accomplishments could have easily gotten lost in the mire of other disappointments that came along the way and during the same week. The pitches I gave that went the other way. The meeting I thought went well but I never heard back, etc. So the small celebrations along the way gave balance and tailwind to the ultimate goal and kept my focus on the finish line.
4. Your Never Really Done
The Savvy Sisters are big fans of Skype and we get on and chat a couple of times a month. Because of the holidays and life we were long overdue for a call which actually happened last night. We set some goals for 2010, we pulled some tabled items from the original 2009 plan off the shelf and reinspected them and we discussed what worked and didn’t work from the last year. We reflected on the original personal goals we set for ourselves that lead us to collaborate. Some wanted more customers, some wanted to establish themselves as thought leaders, some wanted to learn from others in the business. At some point we were all teachers, all students and all leaders. None of us had the same goal coming in but we all achieved a goal in our own way through the process.
So now we refine the goal, recalibrate the measuring stick and shoot for a horizon not yet defined. We look forward to achieving our goals in the coming month’s right before your very eyes. You might have noticed we are now offering the ability to receive our posts via email and to register with us for occasional updates. If you haven’t done so click those links at the right of the screen.
One of our 2010 goals has to do with increasing our readership and only with your help and referral can we achieve it. If we make it we promise to include you in our next celebration!
p.s. The image for this post was the original image on our team page when Savvy launched. If I could have figured out a way to make it 6 Angels instead of 3 I would have lobbied to keep it!