How to set goals in your business that feel good and work

Setting and achieving goals. On this topic alone Amazon shows more than 5.500 books.
What is it about a goal that is so magic? And why have they often been so frustrating for me?
First the magic.
Reaching a goal, especially when it’s important to you,

gives a sense of fulfillment.
You expected something of yourself and you proved to yourself that it happened. So now you can trust yourself to expect and achieve even greater things in life, right?
Robin Sharma once said: “Your perception of your potential will determine how much of your potential you will live” and somehow I feel that is true.
Goals pull you out of your comfort zone. Even if you don’t reach the goal, you will take certain steps forward. When we wait too long or reside too long in our comfort zone, we tend to think and expect less of ourselves and lose confidence and a sense of meaning.
The right goals and commitment give direction and sparkle excitement and energy
So far so good. Goals are awesome.
However… Goals can be frustrating too.
Soooo many times I would have this awesome plan and then it didn’t work out. A growing fear of failure then lurked around the corner. So when I tried to go for something and it didn’t happen – let’s just say I fell flat – I could feel so paralyzed sometimes… Because I could have this crazy thought I was losing something. Not the outcome itself, but the dream it represented.
No goals then?
‘Joy is a now experience’, I tell myself every day. But only doing the things that happen in the now or only ‘spending-time-enjoying’ feels limited as well. Leaving the earth at the end of our lives knowing we just have spend time or enjoyed ourselves, is a hard to swallow concept for me. Not exploring enough what’s possible or not even trying to discover our full potential feels like fighting the laws of nature where everything grows.
Just because it needs to grow.
Year goals perhaps?
To me a year goal would feel great at the beginning of the year, but it would always lose ‘excitement’. Not only as soon as the first month would be less than planned. But, also [and that to me was a strange discovery] if I was outperforming in the beginning of the year! Both ways would drop the attractive tension that year-goal had for me once the year took off. And gone was the direction too. I even forgot about my year goal once… as a business owner!
I also discovered I didn’t start working on certain year goals until I had limited time left. I would procrastinate. Some goals felt so far out that it didn’t make me start today.
So setting goals as an entrepreneur is a balancing act between having direction, challenge and commitment and enjoying the now so that there is room for surprise and synchronicity.
So what’s a better way?

For me right now; 90-day goals!
90 Days give me enough time to stay focused and accomplish something, but not so much so that I’d fall back into procrastination.
It gives the exact right tension that makes me start today. I don’t spread myself too thin and it is enough time to to create new habits or learn a skill for instance. Exactly right to create and keep momentum. Also a 90-day focus gives me permission to reset quickly. A fresh start every 90 days helps me to see failure as learning and growth.
It makes sense though for a business to have an overview for an upcoming year, especially if you have team members.
I now set fresh year goals every 90 days.
Gosh, that feels free!
The freedom and the energy that this 90-day span creates, results in a lot more getting done. And more importantly; it results in feeling good and proud about myself. For the last 9 months I have mainly worked with my clients in 90-day or 3-month chunks. The results and the level of happiness were surprisingly high…
Let me hear your thoughts.
How do you go about setting goals?
What works for you?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.

2 thoughts on “How to set goals in your business that feel good and work

  1. Virginia

    I agree that 90 days goals are more encouraging, less overwhelming, and practical. You give yourself permission to be more flexible which makes being open to choices and opportunities easier.

  2. Marina Malmberg

    It makes so much sense to me Lianne! Yes, I have been there, with huge goals that were to big even for a few years to achieve as I see it now, and it was frustrating. I have been trying to convince myself that just enjoying life and having wonderful family is enough, but it doesn’t work for women who are leaders by nature… Eventually, I have made a strategic plan what I need to achieve and it was not defined as 90 days as I felt it would be too ambitions, yet it worked exactly within 90 day frame!

    So my next step is to follow 90 day pattern and be gentle to myself in setting goals. They shouldn’t be too heavy or unrealistic. Yes, we all have been there but we all live and learn!
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom, Lianne!

    Warmly, Marina

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