Do you roll your eyes when you hear the word “goal setting?” I used to roll my eyes too, but I’ve changed the way I think about goals. Since it’s a brand new quarter, I want to share with you my new way of thinking about goal setting with some goal setting tips.
As I recorded this podcast episode, it’s the first day of April 2019–a new month and a new quarter! I just reviewed Quarter 1 in my Bullet Journal, and I wrote down what goals I achieved and didn’t achieve. I also wrote down what felt really great about Quarter 1 including what I’m grateful for, what worked well, and what I’m excited about for quarter 2.
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I also just looked over the responses to a 6-question survey that I sent out to my email list and posted in the Video for Bloggers Facebook group. Some of the responses are really blowing me away with ideas for podcast episodes and new training, and it’s so much fun to see what YOU have to say. So, if you haven’t completed my really quick 6-question survey, you can head to meredithmarsh.co/survey and fill it out right there.
One respondent said that “Answering these questions seems to help me figure some things out that I just haven’t known how to answer.” So you might surprise yourself by completing the survey. It’s totally anonymous unless you tell me who you are in the response, which you can do if you want. Click here to complete my 6-question survey. So we’re going to dive into goal settings and KPI’s. If you’re not sure what KPI’s are, just keep reading and listen to the episode below.
Listen to Episode 34: Goal Setting Tips & Tracking KPIs
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I always used to roll my eyes when I’d hear the words “goal setting” because it seems like a no-brainer. Set a goal, take steps to achieve it, and then you either hit the goal or you don’t. But usually, we often attach some kind of “pass/fail” meaning to whether we hit our goals, and I think that’s why I used to resist really setting goals for my business.
Because I didn’t want to fail.
I recently started thinking about business goals in a whole new way, and Quarter 1 of this year was the first time I really put this new thinking into practice, so I want to share some goal setting tips with you.
For income goals, I used to think of a reasonably decent number for an income goal, and say “ok, this is my goal.” And then, I’d basically cross my fingers and hope that I reach it. Boom, goal setting done. But, that never worked. Ever.
My new way of thinking about an income goal is I think of a ridiculous number (ridiculous but believable) and ask myself, “ok what would it look like to reach this.”
Let’s look at an example… If you make $100/month in affiliate revenue now, and you want to make $1000, how can you 10x the actions that bring in those sales? 10x the traffic to your blog? To certain blog posts? How could you do that? Redesign a bunch of new pins and Pin like crazy? Tweet your links 10 times more? Post 10 times more on Facebook? Get 10 times more new email subscribers? There are tons of things you could do to 10x everything. Right?
Take what you’re doing now, figure out exactly WHAT is making your $100/month actually happen (this might be a tricky part). Is it traffic from Google, or is it traffic from Facebook? Is it email subscribers going to your site and making purchases – you have to get really clear on what actions are happening to bring you your $100/month so that you can 10x THAT.
Maybe you can drive 10x more traffic to one particular post on your site, OR maybe you can write 10 more posts on related topics that point to the same affiliate products. Will any of those things guarantee you’ll 10x your revenue? No. Not at all, but it sure as heck beats crossing your fingers, doesn’t it? It allows you to design a plan for yourself that breaks down reaching your goal into actionable steps. And, you can choose your path here, that’s what makes this so interesting, and what makes online business so much fun. And this works with other types of goals too, not just income goals. Want to increase your YouTube subscribers by 100 this month? Do the MORE of the RIGHT things that are bringing subscribers in the first place. By the way, if you’re not sure what those RIGHT things are, you can jump into my on demand masterclass on 5 Steps to Rapidly Growing your Audience on YouTube at http://meredithmarsh.co/masterclass.
Set Impact Goals
One of the new ways that I’ve been re-thinking goals lately are in not only having income goals, and number goals, like the number of subscribers, or podcast downloads, but also impact goals.
This is something that I’ve learned from my business coach, James Wedmore, and it has really helped me get clarity around why I do what I do. So for example, one of my goals for this year is to help 10,000 people get serious about YouTube so they can reach a wider audience and make more money. That’s an impact goal. It’s also tied to a monetary goal because if I can get 10,000 people into a free masterclass or 5-day challenge, or whatever – that’s 10,000 leads for my courses, coaching, and membership.
But it’s really important to understand that it’s the impact on 10,000 people whether the join my membership or not, it’s the impact I can have from them just showing up and me sharing my experience and expertise. That’s exciting to me. For you, maybe set a goal for 100 new subscribers, but also 100 new downloads of your lead magnet – assuming your lead magnet is actually helpful, valuable, and needed in your niche. When you can think of how your lead magnet will help 100 people, the impact you could have on their lives, their business, their – whatever your niche is – it’s no longer just a numbers game. And if you’re like me, then thinking about impact will help you get clarity around what you really want to achieve in your business, and your life, and how you want to contribute to the world. So that’s the way that I look at impact goals.
What if you Fail at your Goals
Now, there is another side to goal setting that probably doesn’t get discussed as much, and that’s the “what if I fail at my goals” side.
Remember I said this was the reason I shied away from really digging into goal setting? Because I didn’t want to feel bad if I didn’t reach the goals – ya know if the whole “crossing my fingers” thing didn’t work out.
Here’s where my mind has shifted around this. It’s not about reaching the goal, it’s about taking action toward reaching the goal. It’s not about hitting the goal, it’s about did you do the things that you said you were going to do. It’s about looking at those things at the end of the quarter, and asking yourself, what worked? what didn’t? And detach yourself from the outcome of the goal. Meaning, whether you did or your didn’t reach the goal, is not the point.
The point is the action you took, and your takeaways from that, and the decisions you can make to move forward with your next goal, and your next set of actions. The crux of this shift for me was in realizing that not only did I need to re-think how I feel about NOT reaching goals (that feeling of failure) but I needed to re-think how I would feel if I DID reach the goal.
Because reaching the goal, is not the success measure, right? It’s the action you take and what you learn from it. Deep stuff, right?
Whether you’re listening to this episode the day it comes out, at the beginning of a quarter, or some other time, I strongly encourage you to think about how you think about goals, and then, set goals! It doesn’t have to be at the beginning or the year, or quarter or month. And for all my fellow bullet journal nerds out there…
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I write down my goals in my Leuchtturm notebook, which I use as my bullet journal, and I’ve been writing down my quarterly goals each week, at the beginning of the week. Since it’s a new month, and I’m almost at the end of bullet journal, I have a new one coming in the mail today.
But I’m switching from hardcover, dotted, A5 to softcover dotted B5. It’s a little bit bigger but it’s not the huge A4 one.
(old) Leuchtturm1917 Hard Cover Medium A5 Dotted Notebook: https://amzn.to/2HRoxpk
(new) Leuchtturm Softcover Composition B5 Dotted Notebook: https://amzn.to/2Wycq3G