Guest blog by David Terry, Entrepreneur-In-Residence.
David Terry is an entrepreneur-in-residence at the WT Enterprise Center. In 2001, he co-founded the Enterprise Center with his mentor, Mr. Don Taylor. David is an entrepreneur and sought-after speaker and trainer.
Tips for Setting and Achieving Long-Range Goals
Entrepreneurs make the decision to design a life, not to just make a living; we dream of our future independence while living in this present moment. Unfortunately, however, the present can be filled with many obstacles that can get us off course. So, we need long-range goals to help us past those short-term obstacles, and, we need practical help in sticking to our plan.
Our goals are influenced by our dreams, values and roles. As a business coach, one of my favorite questions to ask is, “What would you try if you were guaranteed to succeed?” Or “Where do you want to go? What do you love to do? What gives you the most joy in life? What are you truly passionate about?”
To really begin this process, with no other distractions, just sit quietly and listen to your heart. We can dream of better financial, emotional, spiritual or physical lives. We have the ability to not only dream, but to pursue those dreams. So, think about the things that really make you want to get out of bed in the morning… the things that really thrill you. Then, write down your dreams.
Next, consider the things that you value. What matters most in your life? Reflect on what is most important to you. Determine what you believe in and how you see the world. Imagine that you have an afternoon to spend as you like. Do you go to the park with your family? To lunch with friends? Finish up some work? Or maybe go wherever the day takes you? Decisions about how you spend your time can often indicate your values.
Next, consider your roles. Who are four people that are most important to you? List your role in your relationship with each person, for instance, wife, manager, friend, son, etc. What activity can you plan to do with this person that will have a positive impact on your relationship?
Once you’ve defined what matters most, from pursuing your dreams, considering your values and defining your roles, then it’s time to set your long-range goals. Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. A SMART goal has a timeline and often some intermediate steps required to complete the goal. Prioritize each step in the order in which it should be accomplished and determine a deadline for each step.
The true power in realizing your dreams and accomplishing your goals is in proactively planning how you spend your time each day. Commit to consistently following these three steps to stay on tract to achieve your goals.
Step 1: Choose Big Rocks.
Your Big Rocks are your most important priorities. Ask yourself: What is the most important thing that I can do this week that would have the most important impact on my goals?
Imagine that you are given a pile of rocks – some quite large, and some quite small – and you are asked to fit as many of the rocks as possible into the bucket. The best way to accommodate all the rocks is to place the big rocks in the bucket first, and then allow the little rocks to fall into place around them. Compare this to your week. Schedule the most important things first, then schedule the less important tasks around them. The result? Higher productivity and focus on your highest priorities.
Step 2. Schedule the Week.
Schedule time for the Big Rocks first, then fill in the rest. The power of weekly planning is to schedule the important Big Rocks first, before the small rocks fill up your week. Your Big Rocks can be translated into appointments and tasks, or become an area of focus for the week.
Make a list of tasks to be completed during the week. After you have a realistic list of daily tasks, prioritize your list based on the highest value, ABC 123. The As, Bs and Cs represent the value of each task, and the 1s, 2s and 3s represent the order or sequence in which you will accomplish those tasks. Then, add them to your schedule for completion… don’t just leave them on the to-do list.
Step 3. Plan Daily.
From your weekly plan, set aside 5-10 minutes each morning to plan your day. Check your appointments/commitments for the day. Review your list of tasks to be completed, then determine the time available for tasks to be completed within the time available.
Incorporating these tips into your daily life will help you achieve your long-range goals!
If you are considering launching your own business or you are already on the journey to building your successful enterprise, contact us to see how we can help you build a great company!