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Without a plan, even the most brilliant business can get lost. You need to have goals, create milestones and have a strategy in place to set yourself up for success.

– Yogi Berra, US Baseball player, Coach and Manager

As 2020 was coming to an end, many of us hoped that 2021 would be a return to normal; or at least a return to the ‘new normal’! 

However for most people, certainly most business people, 2021 was another year of considerable upheaval, most of which was spent trying to adjust to a world that is changing very fast.

With a renewed emphasis on all things digital since the pandemic, business owners have had to adjust the way they work; but that isn’t necessarily bad news…

This month I want to talk to you about goal setting for 2022, so I’ve come up with 7 top tips to help you get your goals in order and start next year with a bang:

1. Reflect

Start off by taking some time to sit down and think about the past year. Grab a cuppa, switch on some calming music and take a look at your accounts, your marketing efforts, your customer feedback and even your diary entries, to give you a sense of the year.

What went well? What went poorly? Try making a list of these things to get them clear in your head.

2. Let go

Make a note of the things you did, or the things you have in place, that are not helping your business. Did that last social media campaign boost sales or did it simply stress you out?

If you’re currently doing things for your business that aren’t as successful as you would like them to be, then simply stop doing them. It sounds obvious, but sometimes we do things in our business simply because they work for other people, or because some ‘expert’ has told us we should.

All these little undertakings are worth a try, but every business is different and if something you’re doing isn’t working for you then don’t feel guilty or like a ‘failure’ if you want to stop and change direction.

3. Visualise

Create a vision for your life. Where do you want to be in 12 months’ time? I make sure to perform this exercise every year. I’m rarely where I set out to be last year because life isn’t predictable, but very often I’m somewhere even better!

The point is that with an image in mind of what I want my life and my business to look like the following year, I find it so much easier to create a plan of action to move me towards those ideals.

4. Set goals

Take that image and use it to create a set of tangible, achievable goals. Is there a certain amount of money you want to make? A number of sales? A particular project you’d like to finish? If so, make a note of these and place it somewhere where you can see it every day.

5. Design

Use your goals to help you design your actions for this year. Create a roadmap of how you will achieve those goals. This can be done in a few different ways, for example it could read as a journey: “first I will undertake some further study → then I will use my new qualifications on my website → my website will be the link I send to prospective clients etc etc.

Alternatively it could be a timetable: Jan – move office, Feb – create new client list, Mar – stage corporate event… whatever works best for you.

6. Diversify

One reason that our businesses can stall is that we may be frightened of change. However, if we’ve learned one this from the last two years is that change is inevitable and we should prepare for it and even embrace it.

That being said, it’s well worth considering diversifying your offering and, as I mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to do this in the current climate is with digital products.

Even if it turns out that 2022 isn’t the right time for you to launch all your new products, you will at least have considered and prepared your next steps so that if another big wave of change comes, you won’t be caught short!

7. Reach out

When people say “it’s not what you know it’s who you know”, they’re not necessarily talking about nepotism!

We all need a little help sometimes and nobody can succeed entirely alone. Think about whom you need to make contact with in order to make your goals come to fruition.

Do you need a VA or accountant? A designer or web builder? Do you need to join a new networking group or speak to someone with experience in your field?

A new year is a great time to forge new connections, so get out there and don’t be shy.

Summary

If you follow the advice above I guarantee you you’ll start 2022 with renewed clarity and drive, and that’s a feeling that can inspire you throughout the next year, even if it’s as crazy as the last one!

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