How to Set Mindful and Obtainable Goals for Your Business

Part One: Rearview Mirror

Higher levels of productivity in the workplace can often lead to higher levels of stress and nearly cripple your ability to mindfully set obtainable goals for the year. With February here along with deadlines, employee needs, responsibilities, meetings, expectations, etc., perhaps you’ve neglected or delayed the effort to sharpen your pencil and get clear on what you want to accomplish this year.

I’ve found that starting by looking in your rearview mirror provides you sage advice on how to mindfully set forward-looking goals. Let’s dive into a few easy ways to journey back in time and collect the wisdom from your past achievements.

Your Year in Review!

Make some time to reflect and see your business’s intentions over the past year. Grab a piece of paper and answer:

  • What goals have you set?
  • What were your intentions when setting those goals?
  • Did you meet them? Partially meet? Didn’t meet them at all?

Then note your observations. Notice the moments where things were thriving, and you were killin’ it. What situations required more time and creativity to find solutions? Moving these thoughts on to paper clears your mind so that you can see what you did/did not achieve within the last year.

It’s a free space to layout all these details. I suggest drawing out a timeline. Pinpoint moments on the timeline that were important for your business – whether good or times of adversity. Write, reflect, observe and be honest.

Have Gratitude!

In the previous year, what unexpected wins happened for your business? It’s good to step back and appreciate the unplanned wins. Identify at least ten accomplishments – planned or unplanned – to remind yourself of things to be grateful for and celebrate!

Gratitude gradually shifts your outlook on life because it makes you appreciate what you have rather than what you don’t have. It’s more than being a positive person; gratitude breathes positivity into everything you’re doing. It’s a monumental shift in focus, a new way of seeing things, one that involves a wide-eyed appreciation for the beauty of all things. Try it! And if you already do it – I applaud you!

What Worked and What Didn’t?

Here’s where we show humility. It’s ok to fail. Failures need to be celebrated right beside your wins. Celebrate the learnings they bring as well as the new opportunities. At this stage, you get to be gentle (not critical) and raw about your business plan. Notice the things that consumed your attention or created a vibration within. What were the difficult things said – or not said? Note all the challenges and tribulations. Remember to view these as, unexpected, gifts.

Now, look at how these areas can grow into practices and become driving forces in your business. Identify new ways of thinking and doing things. Perhaps this is a new mindset you want to explore and try ‘on for size’ going into this year. Welcome all these ideas the same way you welcome a long-time, wise friend.

Best of the Best!

Let’s breathe into all the learnings uncovered thus far and relish in the progress made to date. Note the ones that are most profound or significant “best moments”. Identify what made them unique and stand out above the rest of your successes. Maybe it was the impact you had across your clients, in your community/industry or even the world.

Take a moment and bask in your “best of” accomplishments of 2019. Be proud of what you and your staff were able to get done and celebrate with your team. If you haven’t already, send your key contributors a note expressing your gratitude – better yet do it through a hand-written note. Embrace and appreciate yourself and those around you and watch how it raises the whole group. Do it.

What do You Carry into the New Year?

Now let’s thread these learnings together and look for generalizations, patterns, tendencies, and underlying principles. Bring those insights together and be open to how they can work for you in 2020. And, of course, leave all the rest in 2019.

Keep an eye out for my next post where I share ways, I’ve found helpful in using these learnings to set the tone for your forward-looking plans so you can mindfully set obtainable goals. It’s never too late to plan your 2020 goals!

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A passionate organizer of people and initiatives, Erica Smigielski brings over twenty years of experience in project leadership to financial software and SaaS companies who want to launch their next big idea. She leads large-scale, complex projects like product launches and company mergers and acquisitions as well as focused efforts to bring structure and process to fast-track businesses. Erica holds certifications as a Stanford Advanced Project Manager as well as a Certified Group Facilitator, making her a master orchestrator of strategic planning, as well as a skillful communicator who can expertly navigate complex group dynamics.