October is the first month of the last quarter of the year, and a time to look back on the year to see how many of your goals you’ve accomplished, and look forward to determine your path for the rest of the year.
If you’re like most of us, you had grand plans at the beginning of 2015, maybe in the form of New Year’s resolutions like losing 25 pounds or quitting smoking. If you’re an entrepreneur like me, you may have had ambitious business goals, launching a website, opening a bricks and mortar locations, or perhaps increasing sales on existing platforms.
Many of us are now looking back, thinking “where did the year go?”
The reality is that setting goals is not enough. We need to set realistic goals with measurable results. If your ultimate goal is to lose 100 pounds in one year, how are you going to achieve that? You need to lose 2 pounds per week….that is a realistic target, but how are you going to do it?
In order to reach your goal, you have to take that goal and support it with a workable plan. For weight loss, that would include some form of physical activity every day, and cutting out the daily pumpkin spice latte that has 8 teaspoons of sugar in every cup, or the evening junk food binge in front of the TV. However, that’s still not an actionable plan. You have to open up your calendar and schedule every visit to the gym, then actually meet those commitments.
That’s the difference between setting a goal, and setting a goal supported by a plan to make it happen.
My goal to open a bricks and mortar location? Needs an actionable plan that would include scouting a viable location, and determining all the costs required to get the door open. An actionable plan requires that each step in that process have a specific timeline.
Look back on the plans you had for 2015, whether personal or business, and don’t just lament the fact that time got away from you, and you didn’t reach your goals. Ask yourself, “did I make a plan to reach the goals that I set?” If the answer is no, take this last quarter of 2015 to set realistic goals for 2016, supported by actionable plans, and you will not be in this same position at this time next year.
Now I’m off to make some plans….