3 Tips for Setting Goals for Your Business in 2016

This time of year, many of us start reflecting on what we want to accomplish. It’s a good time for thinking back and looking forward.

As you consider what you want to do as an entrepreneur in the next year, here are 3 tips for setting goals for your business:

1. Avoid the Long Laundry List of Goals

Too often, we make a long wish list of things we’d like to do. Whether it’s in your business or in your life, you might have a laundry list of things you want to do. This can be overwhelming and it’s a recipe for failure.

Rather than sitting down and writing out a bunch of things you wish would happen, think about your biggest priority. When it comes to my own goal-setting, whether it’s a financial goal or a writing goal, I like to focus on one or two major objectives. The same principle applies to setting goals for your business.

While you can always have minor goals to work toward, thinking about the next big step for your business is an important part of success as an entrepreneur. Take the time to think about the big picture, and figure out what the next big goal should be to help you reach the next level for your business.

You don’t need a huge laundry list of goals to be successful. In fact, you might be better off if you slow it down and aim high, putting your resources and efforts into one bigger, more effective goal, than dividing all your time up between smaller, less effective goals and getting bogged down.

2. Turn Your Big Goals Into Tasks

Of course, you can’t leave your big goal as-is because it’s hard to get started and easy to feel overwhelmed. Once you have your major goal — the one that you hope will take your business to the next level — break it down into different tasks. There is a process called chunking that can help you. Work backward from your goal, figuring out exactly what needs to happen for you to be successful.

Think of it as taking actionable steps to reach your goal. All of your chunked out steps should be moves you can make to reach your goal, and they should all build on each other, creating a road map to your big goal.

3. Don’t Wait Until New Year When Setting Goals for Your Business

Finally, don’t assume that you can only set goals during the first of the year. Instead, evaluate your business regularly, and set goals as needed. In fact, it makes sense to set one goal that will take you to your next big milestone, and once you’ve hit that, set your next important goal. Rather than listing out a bunch of ideas at once, figure out what your next big step should be and then focus on that. As soon as you accomplish your goal, move on to the next — without waiting for a specific time.

You’re likely to be more effective when setting goals for your business if you approach them thoughtfully and with an attitude of constant progression, rather than as a to-do list that you tackle perennially at the beginning of the year.