The new year is only a few days away. Have you set your goals for 2010 yet?
Ok, but what about your long term and five year goals?
If its been a while since you last looked at your long term goals, now is a good time to do that. Grab some paper and a pen/pencil/marker/crayon, find a quiet place and some uninterrupted time.
Start by thinking about your big picture goals. These are goals with no set time frame. They may seem crazy, or improbable, but this is your chance to dream. Create two sets of big picture goals – one for your business and one for your lifestyle. Big picture goals for your business might be getting your work into a major catalog or exhibition, hiring 12 employees, or generating a million dollars a year in revenue. Big picture lifestyle goals could be having every weekend off to spend with family or getting to live 4 months a year in Paris.
Now take a look at your business and lifestyle goals. Are they compatible? If not, which ones are most important? Which ones are you willing to give up or change?
Once you’ve thought about the big picture, now its time to make concrete goals. Start with your five year goals? Where do you want your business to be in five years? Be specific. Do you want to be selling in at least 50 stores? Have press in a major publication? Do you want that press just once, or once a month? What do you want your sales to be? How about your profits?
From your five year goals, which ones are achievable in 2010? Focus on a few major projects or goals – perhaps you want to exhibit in 12 retail shows, increase your web sales by 20%, or pick up 10 new wholesale accounts. Or perhaps you want to get a handle on your business finances. Just keep the number of goals your focusing on to a reasonable amount. If you try to tackle too many projects at a time, you’ll find you fall short on your goals for all of them.
And of course, your five and one year goals should all be helping you achieve your big picture goals. For each of the goals on your list, ask yourself – “does this get me closer to the life I’m dreaming about?” If the answer is no, question why you wrote it down to begin with. Perhaps you’re feeling some kind of external pressure. Maybe you think you should do a certain show or sell on Etsy because “everyone else is.” If a goal doesn’t mesh with your big picture goals, scrap it.
Now there’s one final step in the goal setting process. Goals are nothing without a strong action plan to help you achieve them. Write each of your 2010 goals at the top of a piece of paper. On each paper, write out the steps to help you achieve your goals. What activities need to happen daily, weekly, or monthly to help you reach your goal? Hang each of these action lists in your office or studio as a reminder of the steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
Next to those lists, hang up your big picture and five year goals. You’ll be more productive when you know your goals are moving you towards the life you really want.