December 10, 2014

It's that time of year where everyone is talking about goals and plans for 2015. I've been listening to podcasts and reading articles on every aspect of this annual process. I'm a stereotypical planner - I live by lists and goals and schedules. So I love learning more about what works and what doesn't work. After all the reading and listening, I've enhanced my planning tactics for 2015 and I want to help show you how you can reach your goals in 2015.

When it comes to setting social media goals, your goals will differ from everyone else. So, it's important you know what YOU want to achieve. Whether it's more opt-ins, more leads, more revenue, more followers, starting on a new platform, getting more active on a certain platform, posting more content, creating more content, or whatever else you want to achieve, you need to be clear about what you want in 2015.

Review your 2014 goals

Did you make goals for 2014? How did you do in accomplishing those goals? Whether you missed the mark completely or are batting 1000, knowing how you did this year will help you better plan for 2015.

If you missed almost all your goals in 2014, you need to know why. Were your goals too lofty? Did you just ignore them and push through your daily business chores? Did you come close but not quite make them? Analyze what you did in 2014 and use that information to craft better goals for you in 2015.

If you hit almost all your goals in 2014, congratulations. But, I would also advise you to take more risks with your goals in 2015. Setting easy to reach goals doesn't challenge you as a business or a brand or an individual. It sets you up for complacency. Yes, your goals should be realistic, but they should also push you. For example, if you typically gain 100 new Facebook fans a month, setting a goal to increase by 1200 fans in 2015 isn't a challenge - that just maintains the status quo. Instead, push to get 1500 or 2000 new fans in 2015.

If you didn't set any goals for 2014, that's ok. Now's the time to get organized and focused on your business growth for 2015. Follow the tips below to get yourself going in the right direction.

Post them where you can see them everyday

Your 2015 goals should be right in front of your face. You should be able to see them every single day. If you forget what goals you set, how can you make sure you actually hit them by the end of the year?

I post my goals on a bulletin board right above my desk. I made them pretty and color coordinated so that they enhance the decor of my office. But most importantly, they hold me accountable every single day.

Know WHY you're setting the goal

I heard this tip listening to a podcast by Amy Porterfield and it totally resonated with me. All too often we set this grandiose list of goals at the start of the year. We want a certain amount of revenue, or X-number of followers, or more free time, or whatever else you choose. And this long list develops but we rarely stop and ask WHY we want those things.

Why do you want more revenue (or a certain amount of revenue)? Maybe you want to pay off debt and you need $10,000 in extra revenue to achieve this. Or you want to invest in training for your business this year and need an extra $5000 to cover these costs. These are the "why" for your goal.

Why do you want more followers on social media? Why do you want to publish that ebook? Why do you want to start filming more videos or writing more blog posts?

Whatever your reason, be clear about your WHY and you'll find it much more of a priority to reach those goals.

But make sure your "why" is something you can define. Saying you want to "be rich" is not a why. It doesn't give you a motive. But being able to pay off debt, put money away for your kid's college tuition, buy a house, or other financial incentives are valid reasons that you can aim for. Likewise, wanting to have tons of followers to "be famous" in your industry isn't a why. But, having a larger audience, to educate more businesses, or to get more speaking engagements, or to increase website traffic, and other quantifiable end states make it easier for you to attain your goals.

Set as many goals as you need

Some years I only have a small number of goals. Other years I have long lists of goals. Know what's important for YOUR growth and set the goals accordingly.

Maybe you had a great 2014 and your goals for 2015 are going to be few but significant. Your plan is to take the opportunity to grow on the momentum of this year.

Or maybe you have a lot of small goals that are all going to build on each other to catapult your business ahead in 2015.

Maybe you just have a ton of things you want to achieve in 2015. Whatever, it is, set the goals - and as many as you need - to set yourself up for success in 2015.

Use a sliding scale of success

Another problem with setting lofty goals is that when we don't reach them, we get disappointed. We should be excited about our growth and looking forward to a new year, not dwelling on poorly we did reaching our 2014 goals.

So, instead of simply listing one big goal, create a graduated goal.

Maybe you want more followers on Twitter. Let's say in 2014, you gained 3000 new followers on Twitter. Your big goal would be to get 10,000 new followers in 2015. But gaining 7500 new followers would still be a big improvement and gaining 5000 new followers would be an improvement over 2014's growth. All of these qualify as achieving your goal, without leaving you struggling to reach the biggest goal. And every time you cross one milestone, it amps you up to push for the bigger goal.

Celebrating the small wins along the way encourages you and pushes you harder. And growth is growth. The ability to push yourself ahead of last year should be celebrated in your goal achievements.

Plus, using this sliding scale, you'll find you hit more of the bigger goals than the smaller ones.

Align your goals with your social media strategy

Your goals should be a part of your strategy. Therefore, your goals and strategy should work cohesively to ensure you're staying on the right course throughout the year.

If your goal is to create more blog posts, your strategy should including time and resources for blogging. If your strategy is to build your Facebook marketing, your goal should be to grow your Facebook audience and/or leads from Facebook.

Set timelines for your goals

Some goals may be year end goals - for example, gain 1000 Instagram followers by December 31st. But every goal should have a date for accomplishment.

Do you want to write an ebook? Set a date to release it. Do you want to start a podcast? Set a date to launch it. Do you want to get active on another social media platform? Set a date to have everything established and active.

This is important because it keeps you on target throughout the year. You can organize your goals to realistically span the whole year, allowing you time to focus on each one appropriately. If you don't set timelines, what happens is that in November, you start crunching to get things "done". You end up rushing through and not producing your best work, or you end up giving up all together.

Perform goal analyses throughout the year

Similar to keeping your goals visible every day, you should be doing an analysis on your goals throughout the year. Whether monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually, take the time to review your goals and where you stand. Are you on track? Where do you need to refocus your energy to ensure you reach your goals in 2015?

Your goals should have some level of measurability which will allow you to track your progress throughout the year. With this method, you can ensure that you have reached your goals by the end of the year! I actually keep a spreadsheet (separate but comparable with the goals listed on my bulletin board) which allows me to track my goals monthly. I can see when a goal is completed or how much more of the goal is left until completion.

 

These are the practices I will be using to set my goals this year. I am really looking forward to seeing where Jenn's Trends will grow to next year and I can't wait to see where you take your business.

Do you have any goal-setting techniques that you swear by? Share them in the comments below!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. I especially like you focus on knowing “why” you are setting a goal (this is the only way it works for me!). I also find that having steps listed to reach a particularly big or important goal is key. Then I can feel a sense of accomplishment along the way, and that keeps me going. The only difference for me, is I tend to do a review and set goals at the beginning of September instead of the traditional New Year. This has always worked for me (and I even wrote a blog post about it!).

    1. Kim, I think it’s a great idea to do goals at a time other than the new year! There’s so much going on with holidays and new year plans, that it would be nice to have everything in place and strategized prior to the chaos. And I totally agree with having steps for each goal. It’s nice to know what your plan is for each goal and being able to check things off as you progress is a big motivation to keep on track.
      Thanks for your thoughts and input 🙂
      BTW, I would love to read your blog post, can you post the link here?

  2. Nice tips! If you really understand your why you can also change your goal quickly if the method is not efficient enough!

    -X-

    1. Absolutely, Joy! Having flexibility in how we reach a goal is always good. But knowing why we’re trying to reach that goal helps provide that clarity.

  3. Hello Jenn,

    I am first time on your blog and really amazed with this article. I am a recent entrepreneur and always love to chase my targets through out each day. I do separate my short term and long term goals and act accordingly.
    2014 was more or less good for me, I started my company and set few immediate targets and almost achieved them till date but my 2015 targets are more business oriented and obviously more challenging.
    I always break my targets for each day, each week, each month, each quarter and lastly for the whole year. This helped me a lot to prioritize and schedule my jobs to be done and to get them completed within a target period of time. You are absolutely right, setting up a timeline is an absolute necessity.
    Thanks for sharing these tips and wish you all the very best for your 2015 goals. 🙂

    Regards
    Soumya Roy

    1. Thank you so much for your comment and welcome to the blog!
      It sounds like you’re VERY organized with your goals 😉 It’s very impressive and looks like a very accountable way to ensure you stay on track throughout the year. Best of luck to you for a productive 2015!

  4. I hit almost all my goals for 2014, and I can’t say they were easy as much as more directed towards things I had more control over. I think that was smart going, especially since I was traveling a lot for work and doing otherwise wouldn’t have been workable. I have my new goals post coming out the day after Christmas, where almost no one will read it for once. 🙂

    1. That’s great Mitch! Congrats on a productive 2014. I hope you have another great year in 2015 🙂

  5. I recommend to show your plan to 6 other people (including men and women) and let them say what they think about it, I think it’s always good to have someone else’s opinion. It makes you see things much clearer at the end of the day. Planning is the one thing, the other thing I think is just be brave and try out something new if you didn’t acchieve one goal.

    1. Thanks Keyvan. That’s a very interesting perspective to show your goals to a variety of people and get their feedback on them. I definitely agree we should be open to trying something new and not letting missed goals hold us back.

  6. I found the info right on with my own practices. I also agree with the question of why is far more important. i just recently read the book Start with Why and it has changed many aspects of my business as well as my personal life! I look forward to reading more of your articles.

    1. Thanks Joe! I’m glad you enjoyed this and hope you’ll enjoy more in the future. And I’m glad to hear that you’re on the right track with your practices.

Comments are closed.

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