Get SMART With Your Goals

Few things in this life as as satisfying as the feeling of accomplishment. That mix of relief and pride is euphoric, isn’t it? Crossing the finish line, sealing the deal with a firm handshake, hearing others ooh and aah over an award you hold in your hands: nothing tops that.

Setting goals is actually much easier than most people believe. If you want to open your own shop or you want to get a promotion at your work, the idea seems daunting. But that’s only because at this point in time, it’s just an idea, an intangible concept and without a set plan, yes, it feels like something you can’t actually achieve. It’s like wanting to go to travel the country, but you don’t even have a road map. Here we’ve set out a few tips for that trip.

First, you want to be realistic with yourself. What is your goal? WILL you actually try to achieve it? Do you have the time and the interest to invest in the challenges because it’s not going to be easy. You can gain the skills and resources along the way, but if you’re not 100% committed, you may as well quit now.

So be specific. Identify your goal by answering the question “What do you want to achieve?” Not just “What do you want?” We all want health and wealth, but you need to think about what specifically you want to do. Do you want to lose weight? Do you want to have a certain amount of money in your bank account by retirement? Start broad, but just keep a specific goal in mind.

Saying “I want to walk a mile a day” is more specific than “Walk more.” Deciding to take a business class is more specific than wanting to learn about business.

Your goals should be measurable. Break down your ultimate long-term goal into simple short-term goals that you can achieve one at a time and you will be able to keep track of. Writing your goals is a great way to measure your progress because it makes them “real” and harder to forget.

You can write your goals and plan on a calendar, in a list, using an app or making a spreadsheet. Then, as you accomplish each step, you can cross them out. You’ll see your progress and it will keep you motivated!

Make sure your goals are even attainable. Do you have the funds to open a business? If not, do you know how to get funding? Is this the best move for you right now?

They should be relevant, too. It’s all well and good to want to open your own yoga studio, but if you don’t even like yoga, then what’s the point? Your goal should also in some way make you happy and fulfilled. If you’re not going to be happy once you reach your goal, then it wasn’t relevant.

Your goal should be time-bound. Give yourself a time frame you can stick to, but be flexible. As you accomplish or don’t accomplish each step, you need to be able to change your plan to stay on track.

When you do accomplish your goal, go ahead and celebrate! Do a dance, pop some bottles, but the most important part is to not stop! Set the next goal and keep moving forward. Because really, there is no “end” to your goals. Continue on, keep improving, keep learning, and keep expanding.

Happy goal setting!

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Get That Green! Benefits of Eco-Friendly Businesses

Trends: they buzz, they tweet, they’re viral! Trends are living entities in the social media world, and savvy businesses know who to harness their power for the good of a company. One of the strongest trends in the Western world over recent years has been environmental awareness. Consumers are naturally drawn to companies that care about the environment…no pun intended!

Day in and day out, customers are surrounded by ads and campaigns. They’re sick of the slick and fast slogans and visuals. They’ve learned to tune out the commercials and most people just fast forward ads altogether to get back to their TV shows. It’s a gift and a curse in the business world, giving consumers the power to resist you.

The simple solution is to be too irresistible! Advertising yourself as an eco-friendly company benefits you in several ways. First, think like the consumer: they hate waste. They don’t want to waste their money and they won’t waste their time if they’re not going to feel like they are a significant individual among the landscape of customers your business works with daily. So how do you combat this? If they know that your business will donate a portion of proceeds to an environmental cause or will plant a tree for every ream of paper you sell, they will know that they are a part of the bigger picture. Then they’ll be motivated! They’ll want a piece of that organic pie!

Advertising your environmental impact also puts you a head above your competition. Would you rather work with someone who offers benefits or someone who doesn’t? Obviously, you want to work with the group that offers more! Making yourself look better in comparison makes you harder to ignore and a much more attractive prospect for customers. They’ll appreciate that you’re doing more than your competitors and that kind of customer loyalty is worth its weight in gold!

Being “green” also keeps your organization relevant. So many companies have fallen into the black abyss of failure simply because they weren’t staying up to date on the latest technology, weren’t utilizing social media or simply weren’t connecting with the locals well. Staying out front and in the social spotlight will keep the world looking at you!

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