How to stay focused on your business goals and achieve them

Setting goals is an exciting activity,  as it lets you think of how you can reach those stretch targets that you have set for yourself, way beyond what you think you are capable of achieving. The mistake I often see entrepreneurs making is that they don’t spend enough time thinking about the game plan in achieving these goals, and how to maintain focus. A game plan ensures that you stay focused on your business goals consistently.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked as a business owner with all the shiny objects and tactics that are flung at us daily; a goal plan helps you to stay focused on what’s really important and aligned with your long-term vision. 

Other common mistakes to avoid in goal setting and planning:

Setting too many goals

When you set too many goals, it becomes difficult to stay focused on a few key actions that will drive the biggest impact in your business. You may have heard of the 80/20 rule which simply states that: 20% of your daily actions are responsible for 80% of the results in your life. 

You can apply this rule to business too. Instead of trying to do everything in your business, set one or two goals that you know will contribute to the 80% result at the end of the day.

No clear game plan

Setting goals is the easy part. Creating an action plan with timelines, milestones, reviews and mini-actions is the hard part. Before you start working on your goals, first set a clear game plan that is realistic and actionable, and stay committed to that action plan.

Setting goals based on what other people are doing

As a solopreneur, it is so easy to get distracted by what other people are doing. Especially the people you look up to. The truth is, the goals that they have set are totally irrelevant to where you are in your life and business right now.

Don’t use other people’s goals as an anchor for what you should be doing. Instead, evaluate where you want to be in your business in the next 5 years and work backwards. 

Mini tip: Think of the person you want to be and the lifestyle you want to have, and then set goals that are aligned with this. 

Overestimating their short-term potential

It is so easy to overestimate what you achieve in the short-term. This leads to goals that are completely unrealistic. And when you don’t achieve them, you could easily get into a downward spiral of no confidence in yourself or your business. Instead, overestimate what you can achieve in the long-term and then set goals that you know you can achieve in the next 3 months. 

Mini tip: You can use the “good-better-best” framework to set realistic short-term goals. Your “good” target represents what you can realistically achieve in the next 3 months. And your “better” target represents what you can achieve as a stretch. Your “best” target represents what is totally out of your reach and what would be AMAZING if you actually hit that target.

How to set your goals

Be intentional

My best tip for being intentional, is making time to work on your goals every single day even if it’s just 10 minutes a day. You can make a lot of progress if you set aside time and do this consistently.

Be specific

The more specific you are, the less mental space you will need to try and figure out what exactly you are working towards. I like to use the SMART goals framework. It is widely used in setting goals in the corporate and business world.

When you are specific, this leaves very little room in veering off focus and getting derailed by shiny objects. For example, if I want to grow my business, 

A non-specific goal is: Grow my business

A specific goal: Grow revenues to $10,000 this quarter by focusing on marketing Product X through my social media channels

The more specific you are, the easier it will be to create an action plan. An action plan will help you break down your goal into smaller, actionable steps.

Prioritize your goals

The fewer goals you have, the easier it will be to remain focused on achieving your business. I personally believe that one goal for each area of your life is enough to focus on for 90 days. If it’s a long-term goal, you can add another goal, but try to keep it at 2 goals at most. 

How to maintain focus on your goals

Time-block your calendar

The main reason why people don’t make progress in their goals is that they do not take action on a consistent basis. Time blocking is one of the most effective ways to ensure that you take action on the things that are most important to you.

Stop multitasking

When you are trying to work on multiple goals and projects at the same time, your brain loses momentum. This also causes mental blocks that can end up slowing you down.

Studies have also shown that switching between multiple tasks has a negative impact on your overall productivity and cognitive skills.

Instead of trying to do many things at once, focus on the goal that will get you the biggest impact. Then go all-in on an action plan that supports your goal. When you are working on your goal, remember to schedule time in your calendar to work on it. Remove all distractions and focus on the task at hand.

Use sprints to work out your action plan

Using short time spans creates a sense of urgency in your mind. This ensures that you don’t drop the ball in taking action consistently to make progress towards your goal. I like working in 2-4 week sprints on a specific activity that I know will help me in making progress in achieving my goal.

Focus on the action, not the result

If you want to stay focused on your business goals, I would highly encourage you to change your mindset about achieving your goals. Instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the action that will get you closer to the outcome. For example, if you want to make $10,000 in sales over the next quarter, instead of focusing on the $10,000 revenue, focus on the actions that you know will lead you to this result. These actions could include:

  • Creating sales funnels to increase your sales per customer
  • Creating a new product or service 
  • Being consistent with your social media strategy

The more you focus on the actions, the less anxiety and overwhelm you will create for yourself, and the more likely you are to achieve your goal.

You do not have control over how many sales you will make. But you do have control over how many potential customers you reach through your marketing and sales strategies. In that case, direct your focus towards the things that are in your control in your business.

Here are a few other tips to help you stay focused on your business goals:

  • Remind yourself of your goals everyday
  • Record daily affirmation on your goals
  • Get an accountability partner
  • Review your progress on a weekly basis, and pivot as needed
  • Develop habits that support your ability to work on your goals often

How do you stay focused and motivated on your business goals? Drop your comments below.

How to stay focused on your business goals and achieve them