Do you believe in goal setting? Or have you found yourself struggling to set goals?
Our consulting craft, our business, and other parts of our life need care and feeding. Especially if we’re looking to continue to advance and be successful.
There have been times when I wasn’t as successful as I would have liked.
My relationships with my network waned. My sales funnel was thin on opportunities. And income was more erratic than I prefer. I had created a very anxious time, and I was worrying too much.
What do you do under those circumstances? Stop and take a breath.
Fortunately, I got excellent advice from one of my mentors. She suggested that I stop, take a breath, and fearlessly look at what I had done so far. This is not natural for me. In my culture, hard and sacrificing work is rewarded more often than working smart.
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.”
– Anne Lamar
On my mentor’s advice, I stopped halfway through the year to figure out what I could do to get back on track. I asked, “What had changed? Did I miss something I usually do? Or do I need to change what I am doing in some way?” I wasn’t surprised to learn I had missed something.
“There’s no point having a good aim if you’re shooting for the wrong stars.”
What went wrong? I realized I had set goals in fewer areas that year.
Every year I set goals. It’s how I have broken away from living in the welfare lines and family patterns. It’s how I have progressed my career and business even though I don’t have a business degree or an MBA.
I realized I had only set goals related to my craft as a consultant and my physical well-being. I had missed setting goals in meaningful categories related to:
- my business and finances,
- with my relationships, and
- my personal growth.
As a result, my business got sluggish. My motivation and energy dropped, like a rock, which made it very difficult to stay focused, efficient, and effective. I wasn’t making progress as usual on the goals I did set, nor was I feeling a sense of achievement.
I found the perfect solution at the perfect time.
I came across several articles from Michael Hyatt. He is an author, blogger, speaker, and the former chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers. In his article, he wrote about how to set goals, and he introduced me to 10 categories.
His categories resonated with me. They covered areas I didn’t even realize were essential to include in my goal setting. As a result, I reviewed my goals, re-set them, recommitted and took action. What was the effect? Even though that year had a sluggish start, it turned out to be one of my best growth years for my business and me personally.
I have never regretted it. The moral of the story? Set goals in these 10 categories if you are tired of your business not progressing. Set these goals if you are ready to earn more income and position your business to support a lifestyle you want.
“The distance between your dreams and reality is called action.”
10 Categories for Setting Goals for Your Multi 6-Figure Independent Consulting Business
In past years, I used to have only 3 to 6 categories for my goals. And even with those, I was successful in changing my path.
But as I continue to design a more fulfilling life, I need to gain clarity about what I want in all aspects of it.
And though I want to simplify many aspects of my life, goal setting is one area where more categories were better for me and my business.
So, during the year that things were not progressing well and business was disheartening, I stopped and took stock.
Then I reset my goals against the following 10 categories Michael Hyatt advocates.
I have never regretted it.
Goal Category 1: Your SPIRITUAL life.
Your spiritual life may seem like a difficult place to start.
But when I think about it, why am I doing all this hard work? Because I want to wake up every day feeling like I am taking action and bringing meaning to my life. To do that, I set spiritual goals for myself.
Determine these goals by examining your personal, ethical, or moral code and making changes to improve it.
My goals in this category relate to learning more about the philosophy of mindfulness and yoga as well as meditating. For example, I attend and listen to Dharma talks regularly. These talks help me learn about the spiritual philosophies that interest me, and they also have a component of meditation.
Goal Category 2: Your INTELLECTUAL or education and training life.
What are you doing to keep learning? What do you want to know more about?
I have a continuous goal to learn more about and practice Organizational Change Management (OCM), my consulting craft.
I have set the personal challenge to read at least an article or book every couple months on the subject. And I listen to a webinar via the Project Management Institute (PMI) or the Association of Change Management (ACMP) every quarter. This way, I can stay current in regards to my consulting craft.
Goal Category 3: Your EMOTIONAL life.
What are you willing to do to boost your emotional health? How will you be happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient?
People who are emotionally healthy can cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. These setbacks are inevitable, so how we chose to respond to them helps determine our emotional experience.
My goals in this category support both the SPIRITUAL and EMOTIONAL.
I give to my community by sharing my most valued resource: my time. I provide mentorship to younger, upcoming female leaders, helping them reach their goals.
Giving back this way keeps me aware of what others need and what is going on with the younger generation. And for me, it’s important to give back and do my part for others. When I don’t do this, I don’t feel fulfilled emotionally which then affects the other aspects of my life
Plus, when I support the younger generation it keeps me up to date with the current trends, so I don’t feel ‘old’ and out of touch.
Goal Category 4: Your PHYSICAL life.
What are you doing to ensure your physical health?
Our bodies are the vessels that enable us to reach our goals and carry us forward on this adventure independent consulting and life in general.
Last year, I had to change my goals related to strength lifting. Instead, I needed to focus and learn why I was so ill and losing too much weight. Goal achieved late last year! Now that I am physically better, I’m revising my goals for this year to get back to a weekly routine of yoga and strength lifting.
What do you want in this category? Maybe you would like an alternative for managing your allergies or a different meal plan?
Goal Category 5: Your MARITAL or significant relationship life.
This category may be optional for you.
However, if you are sharing your life with a significant other, you may want to set goals for your relationship. It could be as simple as aiming to invest time in doing something together, like cooking classes. Or you may set a goal to participate in activities so that you can meet your potential life-partner.
This year, my husband and I have a goal to take several mini-vacations together, away from our home city. This aim allows us to reconnect and check in with one another.
Goal Category 6: Your PARENTAL and family life.
Family dynamics can be elaborate or simple. And family can be small, like mine, or large. Regardless of your family structure, it’s best not to take it for granted. To do that, it’s worth spending some time together as a family and determine some relevant goals.
Again, this may be an optional category for you.
If you have children, what are you willing to do to show up and do your best as a parent? And in my case, what will I do to support my ageing parents?
In past years, my goal was to be as supportive as I could for several terminally-ill relatives. Now I am focused on helping my mother with her health and appointments. I also have a goal related to connecting with my family:
- my sisters, who are distant from me,
- parents who live nearby, and
- parents who live in another country.
And when our family goals and ‘plans’ come together, we celebrate together.
Goal Category 7: Your SOCIAL life.
Do you have a social circle? Alternatively, maybe you want to build or engage in a social circle.
In my case, being an introvert (which surprises many), I have a goal to not only call a friend a week, but to get out and spend time with them a couple of times a month. I have this goal because I care about my friends. Unfortunately, it’s just not natural for me to reach out to them. So I have to set a goal to be mindful.
This serves me in multiple ways:
- It engages my social circle, and I make time to have some fun.
- I am available to help my friends.
- My social circle helps me work through concerns and recover from my setbacks, both personal and business.
- It prevents me from slipping into solitary habits and feeling isolated, which in turn affects my business.
In the past, I was not as mindful of my introvert tendencies. I allowed myself to become isolated and depressed. And then I slipped into a self-pity party and thought I was alone to solve my problems.
Thankfully, I have an exceptional social circle these days. And when I am not following my goal to connect regularly, someone usually notices. They poke at me, helping me come up out of the dark and back to my usual sunny, motivated, and ‘live life to the fullest’ mentality.
Goal Category 8: Your VOCATIONAL or career and business life.
What did you have to do to start your career? When you started your business, did you have goals for it?
For this category, you want to focus on a goal that will support your long-term career or business objectives. Does your consulting craft need an infusion of new techniques? An upgrade? How about connecting with a particular number of potential clients per month? Or maybe it is time to create or update your LinkedIn profile?
This category is full of goals to keep progressing my business. To name a few, I want to post valuable content every week this year, as well as get bookings to be a guest speaker at conferences and on podcasts. I also have goals related to my corporate client-due to the nature of our business, we still need to manage and deliver to their expectations.
Goal Category 9: Your FINANCIAL life.
What are your financial goals for yourself or your family? To save more? To contribute more to your investments?
When it comes to your business, what goal would you set? To increase your service and product rates? To manage your cash flow better?
My husband and I have personal budgets. Yes, even with our extraordinary business and life, we still have a budget. And setting one, together, helps us stay aligned with one another. Just this past month, while on one of our mini vacations to Palm Springs, CA, we confirmed our budget goals along with our relationship and business goals.
Goal Category 10: Your AVOCATIONAL or hobby life.
It is healthy to have goals outside of your career and business.
What are you doing purely for pleasure? What hobby do you want to learn or improve? This should be a goal in addition to your vocation (career or business).
For example, I continue to try my hand at various arts. I loved art in high school and was very good at it. I find it relaxing, and it also feeds my creative juices. The creativity of this one activity helps support my consulting craft and business creativity requirements as well.
I love when I take one action and feed two focuses.
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
– Tony Robbins
Goal setting has helped me build success in every aspect of my life.
Now, I sit down and write out my goals for the year in all 10 categories. This helps give me direction: a place to focus. (And I often find I can accomplish multiple goals with the same action plan.)
They haven’t only helped the success of my independent consulting business-I have also increased my sense of achievement and feeling of being part of a bigger picture.
May you too find more success this year, in whichever categories are essential you. It’s is never too late to set or revisit your goals.
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Thanks for reading.
Founder and President
Stand & Deliver Inc.