Is it Too Late to Set Goals for 2016?

1454278130_c3d0f87796_zPhoto by Hans Splinter

How have the first two months of 2016 been for you and your business? Some of you may feel as if it’s been half a lifetime since Christmas, while others may feel that the year has barely got going.

Whatever your January and February have looked like, the end of the month is a natural time to take a step back and reflect on how far you’ve come. The best way to do this is usually to look back at your goals and targets and measure your progress against them.

But what if you don’t have any goals in place?

Many business owners use the start of a new year as an opportunity to set goals and targets for the twelve months ahead. However, the start of a new year can often be a manic time! You may have been too occupied with post-festive tasks and the end of the school holidays to have had a chance to sit down and think about the big picture for your business.

Equally, you may have gone the other way. It’s easy to get swept up in the ‘New Year, New You’ mentality on January 1st and make impulsive goals that aren’t truly consistent with your long term ambitions.

If you’ve found yourself in either situation, don’t worry. It’s certainly not too late to set goals for 2016, or even to change the ones you set originally.

Goal setting doesn’t have to happen on anyone else’s schedule

Here’s the good news: there are no rules about when you can set goals! There are certain points in the year when there is more of a cultural expectation to set goals, such as new year or the start of the academic year, but these times won’t work for everyone.

Goal and target setting is a very personal process. For best results I’d always recommend finding a target setting schedule that works for you.

You could consider:

Re-evaluating goals on your business anniversary:

If annual goal setting makes sense for you, why not pick a date to do it that has personal significance? This could be the anniversary of the date you started your business, the end of your industry’s particular ‘busy season’ or perhaps even your birthday. You may find that choosing a date away from traditional resolution periods gives you more headspace to make wiser choices.

Setting quarterly or monthly targets:

A year is a very long time! Some business owners find that it’s too long to focus on just one big goal. It may work better for you to set quarterly or monthly targets. These are likely to be smaller, more achievable goals that will enable you to see real progress.

Working with a goal setting professional:

We all have different strengths. Setting and sticking to SMART targets might not be yours. If this is the case, it doesn’t have to be a problem. There are a wide range of professionals who are qualified to support you through this process. Regular sessions with a business coach could have two benefits in this sense: they could help you to make wise decisions about goal setting and provide a built in accountability factor.

Will you be taking time over the coming weeks to re-evaluate current goals or set new ones? If so, you may find it helpful to take a look at some of my previous blog posts on goal setting.

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