5 steps to set up the right goals for 2020

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New Year resolutions

As we get close to the start of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to review the status of your business and start planning your goals for the New Year. It’s essential to have a clear picture of where you are now, so you can set up clear goals and be able to map your progress and celebrate your successes next year.

Why not start by looking at what has gone well this year?

1 – Review this year’s successes

Make a list of everything that you have achieved this year. Listing all your achievements this year will help you stay motivated and start 2020 with renewed energy. Try to list all your achievements, however small they seem to you. This will also help you when you plan for the New Year.

2 – Think about what you could have done better this year

It is important to review all those things you didn’t get around to or that you think you could have done better. Think about how you could include them in your planning for next year.

Make sure you write everything down so you have a record that you can use later for planning. I can be a bit chaotic and using mind maps helps me put my thoughts on paper in an organised way. If you’ve never used a mind map but would like to try it, look at this blog post to find out what they are and how to use them.

Once you have reviewed how your blog has performed this year, it’s time to plan for next year.

3 – Set up your goals for next year.

Think about what you want to achieve next year. Starting with high-level goals is a good way to stay motivated. For example, if your main goal is to earn some extra money with your blog so you can use it for a family holiday next year, put that down. Even look at a few pictures of your dream holiday and print them out. This will help you stay motivated. You can even create a vision board with all your goals for next year. You can then keep the vision board where you can see it daily to keep your motivation going.

When I think about goals, I try to associate my blogging goals to my personal objectives to keep me motivated. For example, if your goal is to grow your blog and reach 200,000 views by the end of Jun next year, why? What is this going to do for you? Maybe the extra income generated by extra views will allow you to quit your current job and have a better work-life balance and spend more time with your family. Now, that is a good motivator!

Make sure your goals are clear and measurable. You need to assign a clear deadline for each goal and set up a clear measure of success. For example, don’t just say “I want some extra money for a family holiday”. Instead, your goal should be something like “I want an extra £2,000 by end of June next year for a family holiday in Aug”.

Setting up clear deadlines and measurable goals will enable you to put together a clear plan for each goal and to measure your progress.

4 – Break down your high-level goals into simpler, more achievable goals.

Take each one of your high-level goals and think of a few ideas to help you achieve each goal. Do a bit of research to understand how each idea is likely to contribute to the final goal, then prioritise them and choose which ones you will take forward. You need to know how and how much is each detailed goal contributing to your high level goal. For example, if you want an extra £2,000 to take your family on a holiday next August, you need to know how much each of the ideas you will implement will contribute to the overall goal. Let’s say:

– New affiliate: £200/month from Feb-Jun – £1,000
– New set of printables to sell on your blog – £100/month March-Jun – £400
– Adds added to your website – £150/month from Mar/Jun – £600
– Launch of a new course in the New Year – £300
– Increased traffic – 5,000 extra views a month from Apr-Jun – extra affiliate income of £300.

These are just examples, so please don’t take these numbers as an estimate. Use your experience or do some research to do proper estimates.

At this stage you are only doing a high level estimate, but you need to know how you will achieve your end goal. If what you want is extra traffic or extra subscribers, you can follow a similar approach, break down your main goal into smaller ones and estimate how much each idea will contribute to your total goal.

5 – Put together a detailed plan to deliver each goal.

Think about the detailed steps you need to take to deliver each idea you’ve chosen on step 4. A good way of doing this could be to write each idea on the top of a page and start writing the more detailed goals and the detailed steps to achieve each goal. For example, if you want to launch a new set of printables to sell on your website you will need to:

– Research what is available from competitors and how you will make your content unique or provide more value.
– Outline the content of your printables.
– Write the content.
– Think about the overall design for the printables: colours, format, etc.
– Put it all together.
At this stage you have a final product that you can start selling.
– Add the new product/s on your website.
– Start marketing the product.

Think about how long each step will take you and which steps need to be completed before you can start another task. You need to take into account here the deadline for your end goal and make sure you can deliver everything on time. Put together a detailed plan for each detailed goal with clear actions and realistic timescales.

Once you have a clear, detailed plan for each high level goal, you have a clear list of actions and a timeline that you can use to start your weekly planning. Remember to review your plan regularly and adjust according to your progress. Keep a clear timeline with the deadlines of your detailed goals and a view of your high-level goals to keep you motivated.

Don’t do too many things at once. Make sure your goals are stretching you but are realistic. Setting up unreasonable goals that are unachievable will only mean that you will keep missing your deadlines and you will lose your motivation.

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