According to Inc. Magazine, “Research conducted by Strava using over 800 million user-logged activities in 2019 predicts the day most people are likely to give up on their New Year’s Resolution is January 19th” — a day Strava has come to know as “Quitter’s Day.” From another perspective, another study shares how 64% of resolution-makers abandon their New Year’s Resolutions within one month. 

Today is January 24th — which means it’s possible at least one of the goals you’ve set for 2022 isn’t quite in motion and on its way to completion.

For small business owners, every year is a new opportunity to set, work toward, and achieve goals. But if there’s anything to learn from these studies, it’s that we need to reframe the way we stick to our resolutions and achieve our goals. At With Grace and Gold, we have a unique approach to goal-setting — an approach I’m excited to share with you today! And I’m truly hopeful our approach helps to carve a clearer path toward reaching your business goals in a confidence-boosting, actionable way.

A Clearer Path to Achieving Business Goals

Welcome to Episode 097 of Brand It, Build It. If you’re an avid listener of our podcast, it’s likely you know how passionate we are about the basics — mastering the foundational details of your business, your brand, and your website to create a successful and sustainable small business. We’re firm believers that small, daily actions can lead to big goals achieved. And these core beliefs shape the way we approach both goal-setting and the process of working toward our goals. Here are 5 action steps we recommend for success:

  1. Focus on building a strong business from the inside out. Whenever we’re thinking about adding a new layer or facet to our business, we consider whether that new layer or facet aligns with the core values and foundation of our business as a whole. We ask ourselves whether we’ve built a strong enough foundation to sustain that new layer — or what foundational details we need to put in place to sustain that new layer. As an example, from 2014 to 2017, With Grace and Gold offered solely custom brand and web design services. In spring 2017, we wanted to add a new layer to our business and offer customizable Showit website templates, too. Adding a new layer to our business meant asking questions like, Do we deeply understand our audience, their goals, and their needs? Do we deeply understand what need our Showit website templates would be filling? Are we able to create clarity within our business and offer two unique, separate paths for our website’s visitors? What would that look like? Do we have the systems, processes, and technology needed to add this new layer to our business? These questions helped us to confirm the foundational details of our business — our brand, our website, our core values and mission, our photography and copywriting, our marketing — we all pointing in the right direction, serving as a strong foundation from which we could add this new facet to our business. Of course, some of those questions later became action steps and tasks for us to complete in the pursuit of our goals — but getting in the right mindset and understanding the impact of our goal, helped us to better understand how achievable or attainable our goal could be.
  2. Remember small actions lead to big goals achieved. When Andra and I meet quarterly, we write down a list of goals and visions we have for the quarter ahead. We know small action steps will lead to big goals achieved, so once we’ve got our goals agreed upon, we write down and plan when the small action steps will be completed. We use a project management system to schedule when each small action step will be completed. That way, we can work toward our goals in a balanced way — in a way that won’t cause overwhelm or take us away from our larger business priorities. To plan our action steps, we name of our big goal, work backwards, and list every action step, large or small, that needs to be completed in order for our goal to be achieved. Action steps could be anything from creating a social media marketing campaign and newsletter campaign — to adding new pages to our website and testing those new pages of our website. No step is too small, because it will help you to measure and monitor your progress — and it will help to build confidence that you’re working toward your goal, little by little, every day, week, or month.

    If your goal is to create more Reels on Instagram, transform your goal into a SMART Goal: a Specific,  Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based Goal — and it’s more likely to be achieved.

    To make your goal specific: Begin by figuring out specifically how many you’d like to share and when you’d like to share them. (For example, I’d like to post one new Reel per week to my Instagram page, and I’ll post the Reel every Friday morning by 10:00 AM Central Time.)
    To make your goal measurable: Determine how you’ll measure whether your goal has been completed. For example, successfully posting your Reel every Friday morning by 10:00 AM Central Time will help you measure whether your goal has been achieved.
    To make your goal attainable: Determine whether you can confidently and somewhat seamlessly achieve your goal. For example, to have your Reel live every Friday, when will you create your Reel? Do you have time to do so within our work schedule, or where will you create time? To create your Reels, what topics will you draw from? Will you post a new topic every week, or do a series every month? Do you need any props or resources to create your Reels — like a tripod, a ring light, etc. Jot down everything you’ll need in order for your goal to be achievable.
    To make your goal relevant: Your goal should align with your business values and long-term vision for your business. As an example, if your target audience can be found on Instagram, using Instagram Reels to grow your business is likely a sound goal. However, if your target audience doesn’t use Instagram, being dedicated to Reels may not be relevant or a sound goal.
    Lastly, to make your goal time-based: There should be a realistic due date — which can be guidepost due dates along the way or one final due date.
  3. Schedule a business housekeeping day — or batch business housekeeping. For the first several years at With Grace and Gold, our business hours were Monday – Thursday, with business housekeeping days on Friday. Batching our business housekeeping allowed us to work in our business Monday through Thursday and on our business on Fridays. This distinction between serving our clients and building our business helped us to confidently serve our clients within our business hours — and helped us to work toward our goals every Friday. Batching will be unique for every business owner, but it can help you to experience greater focus as you work on your goals piece by piece. 
  4. Check in with yourself along the way. How does it feel when you create each goal? Or how does it feel when you work toward each goal? There is an emotional component to goal-setting, and we believe it’s important to check in with yourself and ensure the goals you’ve set and are working toward feel right for you and for your business. We’re firm believers in not adding to our business, simply for the sake of adding — but adding from a place of purpose and peace. Adding from a place of wanting to serve our clients better, or run a more sustainable business. So, remember to check in with yourself, see how you’re feeling, and determine if anything should change with regards to the goals you’ve set. 
  5. Have an accountability buddy. As a business partnership, we have a built-in accountability buddy in one another. Maybe there is a mastermind you can join, a small group of business owners you can create, a partner you can ask, or a business you can outsource to to help you work toward achieving your goals. Having someone to share ideas with, to celebrate progress with, or to work alongside can make all the difference. 

We are so hopeful these 5 action steps equip you to work toward your goals with focus and direction. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please share it on Instagram stories and tag us @withgraceandgold. We’d love to hear more about the goals you’re working on this year! 

About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, founders and entrepreneurs. Enjoy weekly, actionable episodes to build a successful, sustainable small business from the inside out.

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