How to Know When it’s Time to Change Your Goals

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At the end of the year and at the brink of a new one, it’s tradition to reassess our goals and make new ones. But, how do you know when it’s time to toss those old goals or change them?

Setting new goals for the new year will help your business stay on track for success. You’ll have a roadmap to help you navigate decisions, changes and growth, so you can earn more while working less.

There are a few red flags I’ve come to recognize as signs that it’s time to change your goals, no matter what time of year it is.

The Desired Outcome is Outdated

The outcomes you are striving for change as your business grows, develops and matures. If the outcome of a goal is dated, or that achievement is no longer relevant to your business, it’s time to change it.

You can either scratch the outdated goal or just edit it to make it more relevant to your current direction. The important thing is to realize that spending time and resources to reach a goal with an outdated outcome may not be the best path to take.

Your Overall Direction has Changed

In some cases, your entire business has changed. With a new strategy in hand, it doesn’t make sense to continue to strive for old goals that aren’t complementary to your new plan.

Businesses are most successful when they have a detailed, organized business plan that includes goals that make that plan a reality. I’ve seen this first hand as a business coach.

You Realize it’s Unrealistic

Sometimes when we set lofty goals we get so caught up in the process that we set goals that just aren’t realistic. I’m a huge proponent of setting ambitious goals, because I believe they make me perform at my best. However, I also feel that unrealistic goals can actually be problematic.

When you have unrealistic goals and can never reach them, your team will get burned out, lose interest and even depressed, feeling that the work they are doing isn’t paying off.

Avoid this issue by changing unrealistic goals so they will help you improve instead of drag you down. Either change them completely or just adjust the desired outcome. Another fix for this problem is to set smaller benchmark goals that are more realistic but will still help you achieve that overarching, big goal.

You Just Barely Met the Goal

If you did achieve your goal, but just barely made it, consider what that means. Does it mean you need more resources? Does it mean that you pushed yourself to your limit? Did achieving this goal cause you to sacrifice efforts in other parts of your business?

Achieving goals is a good thing, but if you find that you are just keeping your head above water, it’s time to make a change. Consider changing the nature of your goals so you work smarter, not harder.

Or, lower your expectations. You may be achieving a little less, but in some cases that means you’ll see higher quality work and have happier clients. Goals should help your business grow; they shouldn’t become more important than the people you serve.

You Greatly Exceeded the Goal

On the other hand, if you greatly exceeded your goal beyond expectations, it’s probably time to raise your expectations and strive for something more. This is great news, because it means your business strategy is working and you’re making your career dreams a reality.

In cases like this, I recommend reaching a little higher and trying to accomplish more or setting completely new goals to improve a different area of your business. Both of these are great next steps you can take when you are successfully meeting goals and will help you propel your business forward even more.

This time of year goal setting is common, but make your business stand out and even more successful next year by being strategic about it.  If you are interested in some one-on-one help setting goals and making a business plan that will lead to success, contact me.

About the author 

Deborah MacDonald

After almost 25 years as an entrepreneur, I continue to grow my business, my passive income streams and my wealth. And now I mentor others on their wealth journeys by teaching them how to fund their own freedom lifestyle.

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