Friday, May 1, 2015

Goal Setting: It’s Not About Ideas – It’s About Making Ideas Happen


“It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” —Scott Belsky

We’re into the second quarter of this year. It’s time to think about where you’ve been and where you’re heading. It’s time for ideas.

According to Business Dictionary, an idea is “a thought or collection of thoughts that generate in the mind.”

They’re usually derived from intent, but they can also be unintentional.

Ideas are the foundation of all advancements. And, they’re at the foundation and growth of your business.

While ideas may be the initiating force behind success, they’re powerless without action.

Action is the implementation of an idea. Action is taking deliberate steps toward an end. Action is what makes dreams a reality.

So, how do you turn an idea into an actionable plan?

Four basic steps you will need to take to get started.

1. Create a plan.

First: Take that idea and actually write it down, don’t just type in your laptop or computer, actually write down what you’re idea or goal is. Then you can put it in your computer.

This idea should be considered your long term objective.

Second: Divide your long term goal into short term goals with actionable steps you can take to reach your objective.

Suppose your objective is to boost your social media marketing in order to build a large and loyal following with conversion potential. Divide that into sub-categories. They may be:

• Two to three social media channels to devote more time and effort into
• Who will handle this strategy (if you’re a solopreneur, it’ll be you)
• Time to be allotted to this new strategy
• Budget for this new strategy
• Create user engagement and connections
• Actionable steps needed to accomplish this new goal

Why write your goals and action steps down?

According to an article in Entrepreneur.com, “Warren Buffett has described writing as a key way of refining his thoughts.” And, “Richard Branson once said, ‘my most essential possession is a standard-sized school notebook,’ which he uses for regular writing.” (1)

Along with this, another article, 5 Reasons Why You Should Commit Your Goals to Writing, explains, “Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University in California, did a study on goal-setting with 267 participants. She found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.” (2)

Writing goals down takes more thought than typing away. This makes you more conscious of what your goals are. It adds, if you will, emphasis to what you want.

So, it’s easy to understand that writing your ideas / goals down is a key to fulfilling your goals.

Finally, keep your goals and action steps front and center. You need to see them daily (throughout the day) as a reminder of your intent.

TIP: Make sure your action steps are realistic and doable. Nothing will squash your motivation and efforts more than not being able to fulfill your action steps.

2. Implement your plan.

Your goal and actionable steps are on paper and in your computer. Now it’s time to actually take action. Follow through and post more to the social media channels. Engage with other users by Retweeting, Following, Liking, Sharing, and so on. Take all the actions you’ve listed in your plan.

3. Keep it up – persevere.

Whatever action steps you do, do them wholeheartedly and regularly. Don’t give up because you don’t quickly see results. Give it time to determine if the steps you’re taking are the right ones for you and your business.

4. Analysis and Revise.

While you do need to give your actions time to generate positive results, you also need to test what you’re doing.

Determine what’s working and what’s not. Then revise your plan accordingly.

Don’t waste time on efforts that aren’t working. Try a different approach or marketing strategy.

Your time and effort will be much more productive if you regularly test your results.

There you have it, four basic steps to creating and implementing a business plan. Take the time to write your ideas / goals down and create and implement actionable steps to help you achieve them.

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References:

(1) http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/234712
(2) http://michaelhyatt.com/5-reasons-why-you-should-commit-your-goals-to-writing.html

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10 comments:

  1. These 4 steps will help writers to map a flexible strategy and stay on track. I will tape this to my wall. It's a great way to remember to be consistent and persevere.

    Debra Toor, www.ecostoriesbydebtoor.com

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    1. Debra, I'm glad you found the post helpful and 'wall taping' worthy. :)

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  2. I agree with Deb, and good idea to tape to the wall. These steps will take the "fuzz" out of my current plan!

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    1. Linda, I'm glad you also found the tips helpful. It does help to have something in front of you as a reminder and to help clear the 'fuzz' away. :)

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  3. Okay, Karen, doing it this weekend--step one and two today. May I just ask--how often do you analyse? Weekly, monhtly, quarterly? I'm guessing I need to look at everything monthly to keep me on track and quarterly to inspect results?

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    1. Annie, Good for you!

      I just wrote about this. I write so much can't remember which article it's in. LOL
      Anyway, you don't want to go crazy with analytics. I check mine weekly, sometimes every few days. If I do it more often it's to see which posts are working. Unless you notice a drop in traffic or engagement, once a month should be fine. And, yes, every quarter is fine for a complete overview of how you're doing.

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  4. Great post Karen. I think step four is extremely important. It's what keeps a goal and it's plan on track once the initial excitement wears off.

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    1. Mary Jo, analyzing what and how you're doing is critical. I've been noticing that articles on social media are the heavy hitters now, in regard to marketing. And, now that Google and Twitter are partnering again, your Tweets have the opportunity to be on one of the higher SERPs.

      And, don't forget about Google+. Google favors those posts.

      The social engines are becoming very powerful.

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  5. Thanks Karen, this is very timely for me. Following the A-Z challenge, I've rethought my entire blogging schedule. (Actually, I've come up with a blogging schedule! Before it was more miss than hit!) I've done step 1 and half of step 2 in my head! Now to write it down and complete step 2 - for all of my writing. Not just my blogging.

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  6. Shirley, glad it was helpful. Having a schedule for you blogging is a big help. It keeps your blog active. The same holds true for your all your writing and marketing. It provides focus.

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