New Year, New Goals

Red Zebra Birthday 2014Planning Tips for 2014

Ah, the first week of January – the week the world returns to work.  As you settle into your office still slightly aglow from the holidays, you’ll most likely hear the question:  “What are your goals for 2014?”

If you’ve read my blog (which of course you have, right?!?), you’ll know I’m a fan of goals and planning.  However, this question during this week drives me nuts!  (Bet you weren’t expecting that!)

All too often, I’ve seen this question lead to arbitrary goal setting.  What is arbitrary goal setting, you ask?  Arbitrary goals are just that arbitrary.  They usually aren’t founded on reality and are influenced by some external pressure.  (Like a new year, perhaps?)  And, most of these goals are big ole’ failures.

Allow me to show you Exhibit A:  New Year’s Resolutions.  The University of Scranton published a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology earlier this week that showed only 8% of people who make resolutions are successful.  Yep, you read that right, 8%!!  And that, my friends, is exactly why I detest arbitrary goals.

Meaningful Goals

Want to increase your odds from 8%?  Move from arbitrary to meaningful goals by following these steps:

  • Make your goal specific – Instead of saying, “I want to increase revenue in 2014.”  Say: “I want to increase revenue by 5% in Q1, 8% in Q2, 10% in Q3 and 15% in Q4.”
  • Define your strategy and tactics – Create a clear plan with measurable steps.  (For more on plans, click here.) Be sure to document it and share it with your staff.
  • Track key performance metrics Measure your progress.  Recalibrate your plan, if you aren’t quite hitting milestones.  Celebrate (like it’s 1999) when you do!

With clear intentions and planning, we can all make 2014 a roaring success!

Happy Birthday Red Zebra!

Speaking of milestones and celebrations, today is Red Zebra’s Birthday.  I wanted to say thank you to the clients, to supporters of the company and to you!  I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with each of you.  Here’s to many more successful years!  Cheers!

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