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#13 The Fundamentals To Goal Setting

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The Fundamentals To Goal Setting

The Fundamentals To Goal Setting: 10 Steps to Achieving Impactful Goals

Many set the same New Year’s resolutions every year, hoping to see different results. They are stuck in the same cycle of setting goals, forgetting about them or failing to achieve or even to start them. What might not be surprising is that only 8% achieve their goals. 

It seems modern society encourages us to think about the next significant milestone or chase something new. However, we don’t think enough about accomplishing the goals with a strategy in mind. 

What is Goal Setting?

Goal setting is an intentional and detailed process that identifies a new pursuit, skill, or project and a plan for achieving it.

When you set goals, you take control of your life’s direction. Goals provide you with focus and clarity. Your decisions and actions should bring you closer to achieving those goals. 

“it is a never-ending path but we can enjoy the journey on the way” 

Hannah - Client

Getting positively uncomfortable

The real challenge is not deciding if you want the result but accepting the sacrifices required to achieve your goal. You must consider if you want the lifestyle that accompanies that goal. This is where planning is essential as it will identify what must change to accomplish the goal. 

Before the exhilarating and enchanting outcome, do you want the dull and unappealing process? Everybody wants a gold medal, but not everybody wants to train like an Olympian.

Goal setting is about choosing the rewards you want and the sacrifice you are willing to pay.

How to Set Goals You'll Follow in 10 Steps

1. Start With Why

To identify the goal you want to achieve, you need to start with why you want to achieve it in the first place. It has to be something meaningful to you and not what is expected. For example, if you consider being a parent in the next five years, your why might be healthy to keep up with your child’s play activities and sports. A parent would need plenty of energy from rest, mindfulness, diet, movement and more. An expectation could be societies pressure to be skinny. The latter isn’t your personal motivator and will cause you internal conflict when trying to achieve your goal. Whereas the former is a more compelling and exciting reason to be working on your health. 

2. Prioritise the Ultimate Goal

Before you set the Ultimate Goal, take a closer look at what you’re trying to achieve and ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Does the goal allow you to get closer to your why?
  • Is this goal something you genuinely want right now? 
  • Is it important enough for the necessary effort and lifestyle change? 

If you’re unwilling to put in the time and effort, it may not be worth pursuing. Everything in life comes down to priorities and what you would like to achieve – conscious choices and subconscious decisions. Life becomes a series of messy experiences you struggle to manage without setting goals or objectives. You become the plaything of coincidence. 

One of the most significant obstacles to achieving goals is other goals. Sometimes you can overestimate your achievements which leave you struggling with your time and attention. Whenever you work on a new goal, you are taking focus and energy from your other goals. 

One of the quickest ways to make progress on your Ultimate Goal is to wait on less essential goals and focus on one Ultimate Goal at a time. It would be best to reorganise your priorities to allow improvement to come faster because you are now fully committed. 

3. Process, Not Outcome

Focusing on the process is one of the most challenging parts of setting and achieving goals. Due to the nature of a goal, you start with the end in mind. However, it’s the tiny steps you take to get there that matter. For example, the outcome you want to achieve is confidence in large public speaking events. That’s the goal. But working towards this goal, you discover that you are most comfortable in small interactive groups. Did you fail at achieving this goal? Not if you believe in the power of the process. 

In good time, you will build up the courage to speak publicly to large audiences, but you’re less inclined to keep trying if you think you’ve failed. 

4. Plan For It

Many choose an Ultimate Goal but never create an action plan to determine how they will achieve it. Your action plan should include all the necessary steps you need to take to get there – no matter how small they may appear. Grab a piece of paper and get writing. This will help you with the next step. 

As mentioned earlier, you need to be sure you are willing your change your lifestyle to get closer to achieving your Ultimate Goal. Now is the time to create the Evolving Goals, which change as you grow. They are designed for the next three months and focus on the habit changes.

If you want to be that parent with high energy, the habit could focus on regular sleeping for the next three months.

If you want confidence in public speaking, the habit could be reading a script out loud at home. 

5. Habit Stacking

There was a study that asked the participants to complete the following: “During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [DAY] at [TIME OF DAY] at/in [PLACE].” The conclusion of this research shows that you are between 2x to 3x more likely to stick to your goals if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how. 

After/Before [CURRENT HABIT], I will [NEW HABIT].

Here are some examples:

  • Sleep. After I have my dinner, I will read my book and rest my mind.
  • Meditation: Before I have my morning shower, I will meditate for ten minutes.
  • Situps: Before I make my bed, I will do 30 situps.
  • Water: Before I leave the house for work, I will drink some water.
  • Emails: After I’ve had my lunch, I will complete my emails. 
  • Job hunting: After I have my dinner, I will email my CV to the job I want.

Habit stacking and implementation intentions help us move from the goal in our heads to the specific process that will make it a reality.

6. Write Your Goals Down

When you write your goals down, they become real and tangible instead of a vague idea that lives in your mind. Once you’ve written your goals, keep them somewhere visible. Put them on your wardrobe doors, near your computer screen, or on the mirror in the bathroom for when you brush your teeth. Look at it weekly or, better yet, daily.

This tactic reminds you to keep working on your goals often. As you’re writing down your goals, use a positive tone, so you stay excited about achieving them.

7. Align Your Environment With Your Goals

Many of the decisions we make in our lives result from our surroundings.

Before sleeping, browsing social media is likely to be the default action if you go to bed with your phone in your hands. Eating is more likely the default action if your cupboards are filled with biscuits and cakes.

The same can be said for positive surroundings.

By storing a kettlebell next to your sofa, you are more likely to do kettlebell swings instead of sitting watching TV. Drinking water instead of coffee is more likely to be the default action if you have a bottle of water on your desk. 

8. Make It Public

You are more likely to stick to the goals if you tell someone about them. Share it on social media and provide updates. The encouragement can keep you accountable. 

9. Measure Your Goals

We all love to receive feedback – it is very human. The boost in our motivation is when we can see our progress. This doesn’t have to be validated by others. It can be an internal validation. Not everyone will understand your why as they have a different direction to travel in. Measurement is so critical for practical goal setting. By measuring your results, you get insight into whether you are making progress.

Check out the SMART goal setting PDF.

10. Take Action And Evolve Your Goals

Now that you’ve planned everything out, it’s time to take action. You didn’t go through all that work to forget about your goal. Every step you take should lead to another until you finish your Evolving Goal, and then it is time to repeat the process until you achieve the Ultimate Goal.

What shall you do now? 

Join the Goals & Accountability group for £39 per month or book in a call with me. I can help you find the right course of action for YOU. We can talk about your dreams, goals, desires and map out how you can achieve them.

Take the steps today to build your tomorrow!

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Tammy Whalen Blake

Tammy Whalen Blake

Founder of go to yellow
Personal Development Coach

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How diverse is your micro-business?

Redefining Success | Resorting Life Balance

how diverse is your micro-business?

How Diverse is Your Micro-Business?

The benefits of a diverse workforce are well communicated. But if the opportunity for diversity doesn’t present itself, can it be an unrealistic aim for a micro-business owner?

We have all become more familiar with the significance of diversity in the modern world. It’s a no-brainer that a diverse workforce is better for all. Diversity can promote ideas and innovation. It can restore that everyone is valued regardless of ethnicity, gender, ability or perceived position in society. 

Still, it can be challenging to introduce this into a micro-business with one to ten employees. In many cases, just one employee and some infrequent freelancers. Regardless, diversity is still an area of development in micro-businesses. 

If you are a large multinational, you have natural access to various opinions and perspectives. Although this doesn’t guarantee that they are sought or listened to. For micro-businesses, this can be more complicated. Working in a small shop, or running an online business in a similar part of the world, leads to a lack of unique perspectives inside your business. With that in mind, it may seem that a micro-business is at a disadvantage. If you’re running a one or ten person business, it can be challenging to be diverse. Making matters worse, many micro-business owners fall into the trap of hiring people who they like, and who are like them.

Thankfully, it is possible to renew your thought process about team diversity once you understand how good a diverse team is for your business and how simple it is to create one. However, there is one more dynamic to diversity to consider – physical and social aspects only make up a fraction of diversity. The rest lies in the diversity of thought.

What good is promoting diversity if everyone thinks the same way? The key to successfully implementing diversity is to have a team with diverse backgrounds and diverse thoughts. Only then will authentic innovation and growth be achievable.

Why diversity matters

Aside from being simply the right thing to do, growth orientated micro-business owners understand the many benefits of a diverse team and know that it’s part of business growth. A diverse team brings diverse viewpoints and perspectives to the company in terms of age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientations, gender, gender identity, and national origin.  

Among other things, these factors can help you develop new products and new services to provide to customers. The variety of your team’s backgrounds, cultures, and upbringings are a strategic advantage that you can maximise.

The advantage of diversifying your thinking

Hiring diverse employees or freelancers can benefit your business as differing world views, experiences, and skillsets expand, resulting in new ideas and opportunities. These can boost your audiences, as customers often find it more appealing to work with someone they can relate to. 

Someone who has lived only in one city, one county or country won’t have the same experiences as someone who has lived abroad or travelled. Great ideas come from unique perspectives. 

Thinking safe won’t change the world, but diverse thinking can. Steve Jobs once said

"those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are usually the ones that do".

Steve Jobs

Consider the impact of inventions like the iPod or the smartphone. Its businesses like this have diverse teams willing to challenge the defy the possibilities, try things new, and potentially failing before succeeding.

Attained Diversity

We each have a natural trait we are born with, with other forms of diversity attained through life events. Diversity of thoughts can come from prior work experience, things we’ve learned from schools, parents, and friends. In other cases, we have diverse thoughts from a variety of perspectives and belief systems.

Financial Performance

According to a 2017 McKinsey Report, businesses with racial and ethnic diversity teams are 33% more likely to outperform their industry peers in terms of profitability. Gartner reported that in 2022, 75% of businesses reflecting a diverse and inclusive culture would exceed their financial targets.

8 Tools to Make Diversity Work in Micro-Businesses

Micro-businesses need to embrace an appreciation of differences. Finding common ground despite our differences is a way to build team rapport. Micro-businesses must work differently under this new model. They need to attract, train, hire, manage and promote differently. 

1. Vision and Mission Statement

A vision statement and mission statement can help you identify the people who believe in the same aspirations but have different views on how to achieve them. Something as simple as having an inspirational vision and mission statement for micro-businesses can work wonders for attracting diverse talent. Research by Deloitte has revealed that mission-driven businesses enjoy 30% more innovation and 40% more engagement from employees.

A vision and mission statement is a short paragraph that summarises what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. It is ideal for clients, competitors, partners and talent to see why you’re different, what you stand for and what your ultimate goals are as a business.

2. Improve your recruiting strategy

It is one thing to plan to be diverse, but if you can’t attract a more diverse team, you are setting yourself up for a lesson. Start by rethinking your hiring strategy.

  • Language. For example, masculine-type words like “hungry” and “dominate” are often less appealing to female applicants.
  • Flexibility. Employees or freelancers strive for flexibility and being able to achieve a work-life balance. Could you give them the options to be flexible?
  • Personality assessment. This tool will help you measure personality traits, motivations, and skills.
  • Expand your reach. Expand your search using third-party websites and online job boards instead of relying on the same recruiting channels. Check schools and community colleges, or Acadium short term apprenticeships. 
  • Work with partners. Create a board of trusting peers you’ve met at networking, hire an HR freelancer to manage the hiring process or work with organisations that specialise in diversity.

3. Hiring

When training new hires, the onboarding process should emphasise the core values and how the employee upholds those values. If the owner of the micro-business doesn’t behave against those values, the team dynamic will fail. Start within your leadership style first before hiring.

Great micro-business owners push teams to new heights of creativity and encourage task-focused outcomes. 

4. Feeling valued and expressing vulnerability

Most importantly, the micro-business needs to cultivate an environment where everyone feels comfortable sharing their views and genuine selves. These teams can challenge business strategy, products and preconceived ideas with unique and different viewpoints.

As much as the business feels like it is your baby, micro-business owners don’t need to control every decision. Allow your team to shine and maximise their perspectives. Trust the process of learning from each other.

You should also be aware that diversity can lead to conflicts among your team, so you have to prepare for this eventuality. For example, creatives are more likely to associate with other creatives and technical people tend to communicate better with other technical experience. Another conflict can be between age differences or socioeconomic backgrounds might weaken open conversations and team morale. 

Vulnerability and feeling valued will ensure no one is left out and that team members work better together. You may not always agree, but strong relationships will help overcome the disagreements, allowing the team to reveal the best action plans.

5. Celebrate team differences.

Run regular diversity awareness training and events or mix it into the monthly/quarterly team meetings. You could add a thank you email to the end of week sign off whereby each member sends a thank you to a team member for the efforts and why they appreciated it. 

6. Active listening

“This is the way it’s always been done” is the business growth killer mentality. Avoid team members feeling undermined, overlooked, and dismissed. 

You can keep it simple by talking with your team over breaks or video calls, giving them the space to express themselves without any preconceived biases or assumptions. You could host a meeting that encourages everyone to speak up or run a team survey. 

The key here is to listen to understand and not to respond. Listening to your team will ignite a beautiful relationship – take advantage of this leadership skill. 

7. Reflect, rethink, reboot

Plan time in the diary to reflect on what worked and what can be improved. The most straightforward method is gathering feedback from your team such as an online survey. Equally, acknowledge those who no longer work with you to see what areas need to be improved.

8. Teams aren’t just employees

Go To Yellow was built with one person and grew to 9. All of which were freelancers and apprentices or skill swaps with other micro-business owners. Everyone was treated as an employee. 

We also found diversity in an advisory board, in mentors from business-led programs and focus groups. The latter is what led us to create The Yellow Mastermind service.

The Yellow Mastermind solves business growth

At The Yellow Mastermind, we have six diverse micro-business owners per team, working together to build a reciprocal relationship without the increase in payroll. 

When I’m forming The Yellow Mastermind Team, I look to achieve diversity in three key ways:

  • All members of The Yellow Mastermind Team come from different sectors and are non-competing – this ensures openness and trust within the group.
  • The Yellow Mastermind Team are created with all genders, cultural and neurodiversity – this makes for a much better dynamic in the room and improved insight.
  • Different sized micro-businesses working together – they often bring different solutions to solving the same problems.

Suppose you get a team of people who provide this diversity and are all the decision-makers within their respective micro-business. The quality of thinking and insight is more significant than in a networking group or a group of people who look and think the same. Too often, networking groups drift into a situation where they hear their thoughts echoed around the room and struggle to break through their current growth, geography, product/service diversity.

If you want to grow your business, understand your customers, clients and suppliers but don't have diverse thinking, consider a new approach to business by joining The Yellow Mastermind.

Tammy, Founder at Go To Yellow. Tweet
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Tammy Whalen Blake

Tammy Whalen Blake

Founder of go to yellow
Personal Development Coach

Hear what others have to say...

client success stories

It's Your Turn