9 Tips for staying focused on reaching your goals
How are you doing with staying on track, and following your plans? I love the planning, but find it harder to actually find the time to do what’s on the list. So this year I have done some research and gathered together some tips to help me – and hopefully you too. Have a read of my 9 tips to help you stay focused and reach your goals, and see what will work for you…
I have 9 tips for you for staying focused, sticking to your business plans, and reaching your goals. I’m writing this towards the end of February, and for about the first time in six years of running my own business, I am actually feeling like I have been sticking to my plans. (Well, more or less anyway, a lot more than usual at least!) Because I finally worked out what will help me to do that.
It can be hard to stay motivated over time, to get distracted by lots of other things that we have going on, or simply get so busy with working in our businesses that we forget to keep working on our business too. But staying focused on our goals is essential if we want to keep growing our business, and get to where we wanted with our life.
So here are lots of ways that could help you too, tips to help you stay focused and reach your goals. Don’t feel the need to try all of them, but pick one or two that you think will work for you, and see.
This is a big one. I really recommend trying this, rather than just writing a list of goals and then not looking at them again!
Once you’ve had a good think about your goals, and what you want to do this year, write each one down at the top of a new page.
Then underneath, write down all the steps you need to do, to get to the end goal. Then break each of those down into the different steps that you’ll need to do to get those done. Then you’ll be able to see and remember all the things you need to do to get to that goal, but also see what you need to do first.
And then you can put each mini step into your time plan for each week, or even each day. And that will really help you actually do each little bit that will move you towards the end goal.
And you’ll be able to tick it off the list each week too, which always helps with the motivation!
Yearly, Quarterly, Monthly, Weekly and even Daily Plans
Plan your time. Don’t just leave those goals steps as a list on a piece of paper. Plan out your time, and when you are going to work on each one, whether that is one step a month, a week or even a day. Plan your week and make sure you include time to work on those goals, so that they do get done. Many entrepreneurs swear by time blocking, by planning out your day hour by hour, as a way to get through your work. I prefer lists of things to do that I can tick off!
Try both, or any other way that works for you, and plan when you are going to work on your business as well as in it, to make sure you are moving forwards and growing. I have yearly and quarterly plans so I know what I’m working on and where I’m heading, but also use monthly lists of goals and goal steps which I break down into weekly plans too.
Remember to track your progress too, on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, so you can see how you are doing and if anything needs amending in your plans.
If you like to see things visually, try creating a vision board to help keep you on track.
Make a collection of inspiring pictures, showing how you want your life and your business to be like, what you want to do, experience and buy. It could be created as a secret Pinterest board, or you could actually cut out photos from magazines.
Then print it out / stick it together, and hang it on your office wall where you can see it all the time. Looking at where you want to be, will hopefully keep you wanting to work on your goals to help you get there!
Find someone, or a group of people, who will keep you accountable. They need to be supportive, and probably not family or friends but rather other business owners so they know more about what you are going through. They could be online, or you could meet in real life from time to time. Either way, you can share your goals and plans for each week or month, and then keep each other accountable. Cheer each other on when you’re having a rocky patch in your business, and celebrate your wins with them too.
Running a business by yourself can be a lonely way of working, so this will help that aspect too. And the simple act of telling someone else what you are going to get done this week, or this month, means that you are much more likely to actually do it, so that you can tell them you have, rather than confessing to not!
This is why I put a goals for this week post into my Facebook group each Monday, followed by a catch up on the Friday, to see how everyone has been doing. It helps me to make sure I do what I said I wanted to each week, and hopefully it helps you too. If you’d like to join in and you’re not in the group yet, do come and find us at Your Brand Story.
I have monthly accountability with a few other business owners via a whatsapp group and occasionally meeting up to do some planning and helping each other too, and you could set up your own version of that.
Remember your why, why you are in business, why you run your own business, why you do what you do. (Plus why you want to earn money – and knowing what you will spend it on when you have it helps too, which might overlap with the vision board option above too).
Some of my whys are so that I can be here for the children before and after school, to be able to contribute to the household, to do something for me, to do something I enjoy doing, to do something that helps other people, and to be successful at what I do.
Be more specific too, and work out your whys for each of your goals, why you want to achieve them, and how it will help you/your business to do so.
Remembering your why every time you struggle to take the next step, will help you to keep going, to stick at those plans, to keep working on those goals.
Word of the Year
You’ve probably already heard me or other business owners talk about this, it’s all over social media at the start of January! It’s to guide what you do, what decisions you make, what you want to try and be, do, act, succeed at etc.
I chose one last year, and it really helped me to keep on track with what I wanted to do with my business. So I’ve chosen another this year too. In fact I’ve written a whole blog with tips to help you choose one, and some examples for you, so take a look here – Jane’s blog on choosing a Word of the Year.
Last year I chose growth; growth of my confidence, visibility, and business, and kept remembering that’s what I wanted to do to keep doing things that worked towards that. I want to keep doing all that this year too, so I’ve chosen Focus this time, to encompass that, and to keep me focused on growing my business, not get distracted scrolling social media, keep me focused on making some money, and on being more organised.
This is one I’ve only dabbled in as yet, but I can see that writing down your goals every day would keep them top of mind and could really help.
Journaling involves writing down your stream of consciousness. So choose your medium of pen and notebook, or typing on phone or computer as to what you can do quickest and easiest!
Write down what you are thinking, without censoring it, and with honesty and openness – it is only for your eyes. Start with your goals and how you are doing with them, tracking your progress and any challenges you have overcome. It might even help you think about your goals more, and realise which ones you definitely want, and which ones you just thought you did.
Acknowledge your victories along the way and it will help build your self confidence too. As well as recording your life and see how you grow, it could help your awareness of any problems and challenges, and give you insights to solving them or getting over them.
Most proponents of journaling recommend first thing in the morning, to clear your mind for the rest of the day, but try whenever works for you!
Affirmations and Visualisations
Finally, affirmations and visualisations. More ‘woo-woo’ than I usually talk about, and I don’t know much about all the energy stuff and law of attraction, but it’s something to look into if you’re that way inclined. Affirmations and visualisations seem to be a gentle way in though.
Choose some affirmations and positive phrases that resonate with you, and repeat them often. Like, ‘I can and I will, watch me’. ‘I am confident’. ‘I am successful’. ‘I can do it’.
Visualise reaching your goals. How it will feel, the relief, the excitement, being proud you made it etc. And repeat often.
Write down where you want to be this time next year, as though it is already then, and you have reached all the goals you set yourself this year. And repeat it often.
Repeat so that you start to believe it. And that should help to keep you working towards your goals.
Celebrate each milestone, every time you complete a step on your way towards a big goal. Try rewarding yourself with something you really want to help keep you motivated! (Make sure it’s a sensible reward though – not cake if your goal was losing some weight!).
So there are nine tips to help you stay focused and reach your goals, keeping you motivated and working towards where you want to be with your business. I hope you found that useful – which ones do you already do, and which will you try now? Let me know, and come back at the end of the year to tell me if it worked!
If you’d like some more help with planning out your year for your business, take a look at my new set of workbooks. These combine everything I have learnt about organising my year, to help you get yours all sorted too.
You get a bundle of 4 workbooks, sharing lots of tips and info: how to review your year before planning the next one, your vision for your life and business so you know what you are aiming for, how to work out your goals, the strategy you need to work out to get you to those goals, and how to actually map out your year, 90 days, months, weeks and even days. Plus templates and space for you to fill in all your notes, so that all your planning is kept together.
If you’d like some help filling them in, I am running a workshop on Monday February 24th to go through them all with you, and help you plan out your goals so you know what you need to do to reach them. You can book your place here:
PS Are you in my free Facebook group Your Brand Story yet? For tips, chat and trainings on growing your brand, visibility and business, and getting better brand photography. Click the photo to come over and join us:
9 Tips to help you stay focused and reach your goals