2020 has been a year of challenges, but also a year of rethinking. There’s no doubt that lots of new ideas may have passed through your mind. Whether it was rethinking your work-life balance, saving money, or shifting towards a new business plan, there are many ways in which you may have dreamed up new goals for yourself.

Importance of setting goals

Imagine getting into the driver’s seat of a car and starting to drive, with no destination in mind. You may start out with an appreciation of the novelty of the situation, but how long would you drive for, before getting confused, bored, frustrated or lost?

Similarly, in life and business, we need to know what our goals are so we can design our tactics and everyday activities with purpose and direction.

Why is goal-setting important? Other than setting a clear course of action, setting a goal also encourages a new mindset: a mindset that is determined to get where you want to be, to be more organised and mindful about elements that can affect your future goals. Setting up a plan is the very first step of your new journey.

What makes a good goal?

“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” – Bill Copeland

Can you relate to this famous quote? No one wants to work hard, countless hours without getting anywhere. To make your goals reachable, you should know how to design them. Your new goals should be created in a SMART way:

Specific – Try to avoid generalised goals and set a clear direction headed towards where you want to be.
Measurable – Without measuring your progress, you wouldn’t know whether you achieved anything. Include value in your goals where possible, such as reducing your expenses by 10% by the end of 2020.
Attainable – Your goals need to be realistic. Don’t set up easy goals to only brush your ego when achieving them and don’t set goals you don’t believe are achievable.
Relevant – Relevancy is something that should be aligned with your overall vision. Are your goals in line with your personal beliefs or professional life?
Time-Bound – Whether you like it or not, deadlines are crucial to your success. It’s even sweeter when you reach your goals within an allocated time frame.

How to set a goal

Setting a goal can be quite overwhelming and may even feel like an impossible task. The best way to overcome this feeling is to divide your big goals into medium and short term goals. It’s helpful to write down your goals and split them into three categories: short-term goals, medium-term and long term goals.

Short-term goals

Short term goals are goals that can be achieved within a short time. If your big or long term goal is to establish a company by the end of a certain year, think about all the steps that you are missing to close the gap, and that can be done in the near future. It could be anything from getting another part-time job to secure additional funds, doing a training course or researching small business support. Here at QC, we are proud to call ourselves “Solution Providers”, and we offer a full range of business services and advice. Get in touch to learn more.

Medium-term goals

Your medium-term goals take a bit longer to achieve; it can be from a few months to a few years. The medium-term goal is often a result of achieving your short term goals. If you are starting a business and see this as your long term goal, your medium-term goal could be anything from improving your product, to reducing admin costs or starting on your company policies.

Long-term goals

If short and medium-term goals are successful, they compliment the long term goal. Your long term goal should reflect your desired future and be easily adaptable for social, economic and political changes. Your long term goal should also be aligned with your vision for the future. To set up a goal for the next 10-15 years is not an easy task, but keeping in mind the rule of breaking down big plans into small ones is always helpful.

An overall vision or setting up a one-page business plan can also bring more clarity to your goals.

How can QC Accountants Help?

We understand setting goals is not always easy. We’re here to help you understand your options, and take advantage of all the support available to you. Get in touch today.