We all know that we should be setting goals for the business. It’s important to have a vision to help your business grow and become successful. We talk about setting SMART goals and working to achieve great things.

While goals are definitely helpful when it comes to hitting benchmarks and acknowledging milestones, the reality is that they might not provide you with everything you need for long-term staying power. You might be surprised to discover that creating the right systems might help your business even more than goal-setting.

Focus on Practice

You do want to measure your progress and see how far you’ve come. However, focusing exclusively on these performance measures can mean missing out on the daily practice that helps you succeed long-term.

Practice is about the things you do every day, and the systems you have in place can help you stick to the plan on a daily basis. Focusing on the practice of your craft can help your business, whether you are building systems that help you be a better marketer or a better writer.

Instead of saying, “I want X sales by this date,” consider the practice of systems that will get you there — and help you maintain the success. What if you have systems designed to help you better manage your sales process? Or your marketing? What are the things you do each day to help you make a little more money? Focus on the actions that make you better at your business, rather than the end result.

As you get better at the practice of your craft, and as your business improves, you’ll eventually hit your sales and income milestones — without being obsessed with them. And, not only that, but you will develop habits that allow you to sustain your business long-term. It’s the practice of these habits and the systems you put in place that result in a better business over time.

Keep Moving Forward

One of the problems with setting finite goals is that eventually you come to the end. You’ve lost the weight you wanted to lose. You hit a sales number you were most interested in. You reached the amount you wanted in your emergency fund. Now what?

Creating a systems-based approach can help you keep moving forward because you don’t come to an end of the road. In the past, I used to reach a goal and then fall into old habits. If I hit a goal weight, I reduced the amount of exercise I did and stopped paying attention to my nutrition. A few months later, it was time to set another goal to lose weight again. Now, I focus on the systems of better nutrition and daily exercise, rather than a specific goal weight. It’s more sustainable, and it is a system of better health overall.

The same principle works if you want to help your business. By using systems that allow you to move forward all the time, you can avoid a fall off in motivation that comes when you hit a goal. Acknowledge your continued progress, rather than getting stressed about how you haven’t hit a specific milestone by a set time. Use systems that help you improve every day and you’ll see more consistent results over time.

I'm Miranda and I'm a freelance financial journalist and money expert. My specialties are investing, small business/entrepreneurship and personal finance. The journey to business success and financial freedom is best undertaken with fellow travelers.

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