When it comes to goal setting, there’s a real art to picking goals that are the right fit for the place you’re at in your business right now.
If your goals are too small, you’ll probably achieve them, which is obviously a good thing. BUT, you’ll also sell yourself short by taking the easier road in your business, and you won’t experience the growth you could. (On the flipside, if you set goals that are too big and unrealistic for your available time and resources, you’ll get stuck in overwhelm.)
The secret to avoiding either extreme is to set a stretch goal. A stretch goal is a goal that pushes you to do a little more and stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone. But – and this is the important part of how I view a stretch goal – it’s still within the realm of possibility for you to achieve.
It’s a goal that is just right for the place you’re at in your business right now.
And it’s the kind of goal you need to set to propel your business forward this quarter. Just ask my client – we’ll call her Stephanie – who used a stretch goal to streamline her focus and more than double her income goal in her service-based business last month.
At the beginning of March, Stephanie told me that she’d run the numbers and just needed to make $500 a month to make her part-time business a viable option for her. But I knew she had the time and resources – not to mention the talents, skills and market demand – to easily achieve that goal. So I asked her why are you picking that small number for you monthly income goal?
Then I asked her how it would feel to set a stretch goal for her income that month – something that felt a little harder to achieve but that was still plausible. After a conversation about her business (and her fears around setting a bigger goal), we determined that $1,000 was a good stretch goal for the place she was at in her business and life right now.
Here’s the best part: Stephanie emailed me a week later to say she’d blown her goal out of the water. She’d already topped the $1,000 mark – and we weren’t even halfway through the month.
Setting a stretch goal helped Stephanie think bigger, work a little harder and show up differently in her business. When she was just trying to make $500 a month, she didn’t feel as much urgency to do things like promote her business or convert new leads. When she decided she was ready to make $1000 a month, both her mindset and her actions shifted to align with her new goal. She stopped playing small and started taking actions to reach that goal that very month.
The stretch goal approach also worked for Stephanie because it forced her to simplify, which is the best strategy I know of to grow your business. That’s why I’ve made simplicity my focus as a coach for creatives and entrepreneurs; whether we’re talking planning, goal setting, content or visibility, I help women learn how to grow their business by simplifying what they do and how they do it.
Goal setting is a great place to start. So this month, I encourage you to look at the goals you’ve set for your business. Then ask yourself am I playing it safe by picking small, easily achievable goals?