Tde3dd8f98b53fadf5f0740adee60c631here’s no time better than the New Year to evaluate your business. Now is the time to sit down and evaluate what you’ve accomplished over the last year, what worked (or didn’t) and what you’d like to accomplish in the next year. Taking this time to write down your goals and making resolutions for your business is a very valuable strategy that has lasting effects on your progress. There’s more to simply writing out some broad resolutions though, so here are some tips for making the most of your goals this year.

Set Specific Goals

Setting any sort of goals for your business is a good idea, but it’s even better if you can be very specific in what those goals are. Do you want to increase your web traffic this year? Instead of simply making one of your goals or resolutions to increase your web traffic it can be more valuable to set a value to that goal. Here are some suggestions:

Instead of:

  • Goal: Increase my web traffic

Make a goal of:

  • I’d like to increase my yearly web traffic by 25%
  • I’d like to increase my average monthly unique visitors to increase to 100,000 per month

Instead of:

  • Goal: Improve my social media marketing

Make a goal of:

  • I’d like to increase my Facebook and Twitter followers by 25%
  • I’d like to increase my Twitter followers to 10,000 this year

By making specific goals you are able to zero in on exactly what you would like to accomplish and you will create measurable metrics that you can track your progress throughout the year.

Set up Realistic Goals

It is also important to try and make realistic goals. While you shouldn’t shy away from shooting for the stars, you will be most successful if you can create goals that are reasonably attainable. If you just set up your Twitter account this month, then making a goal of reaching a million Twitter followers in one year when you have no audience may be a little bit of a stretch. It’s important to evaluate what you think you can accomplish if you push yourself and work hard at your goal.

Another idea to consider when creating goals is creating multiple versions of your goals:

  • Base goal: This is your realistic goal that you believe you will be able to achieve if you work hard at your plan throughout the year
  • Stretch goal: This goal is a little beyond your base goal that pushes you beyond what you reasonably think you can achieve
  • Dream goal: This is the goal of your dreams that may not be deemed reasonable, but is a look at the “big picture”

Come up with a Plan

The New Year is focused on creating resolutions and creating goals but there is a reason most people give up on their yearly resolutions only a few weeks into the year. And that is because people don’t create a plan! Writing down things you’d like to achieve is great, but if you don’t create some sort of plan of how you plan on achieving those goals then you’re going to have a difficult time reaching them. Just as important as creating your goals are creating a plan on how you will actually accomplish each task.

Set Check-in Points and Milestones

Yearly resolutions and goals are just that, yearly! Setting up check-in points and milestones is crucial to making sure you are on track to complete your goals. Set up a schedule of when you would like to readdress your goals and check-in on your success whether it’s every month or every 4 months. During this time it’s also important to evaluate how your plan is working. Just because your first check-in may not be as successful as you had hoped, doesn’t mean you should stick with the same plan. Continuous evaluation and change of directions when necessary are an important part of the process. Creating milestones are another great way to celebrate your successes throughout the year to motivate you to keep pushing forward.