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Setting Personal Goals

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Setting personal goals is essential when starting a home business. If you don't know what you are hoping to achieve, you will not have a strong enough purpose and can be distracted from your path.

First you need to ask yourself why you want to start a home based business. it might seem obvious but it is important to consider your own situation and what you want to achieve.

What are your lifestyle and financial goals?

For example do you want to achieve independence and financial security, escape from a job that doesn't fulfil you, spend more time at home with the family, be a work at home mum?

A home based business can be lonely. It requires discipline, hard work and dedication and the road will be tough. There will be highs and lows and many people will give up before they achieve their goals so it is important to plan properly and ensure that you are not one of them!

However, a home business can be incredibly rewarding too. It will allow you to give up the commute to work, spend more time with your family and loved ones, choose what hours you work and much more. It doesn't happen overnight so make sure you have the support of those around you from the outset.

I have heard it many times before but you need to have a strong enough why if you are to succeed in a home business. Evaluating your situation and where you want to be helps you to uncover your personal goals and what that "why" is.

The Science of Goal Setting

If you didn't already know it, there is actually some science behind why setting goals works.

It is due to something called the Reticular Activating System which is a part of the brain that filters out information. Effectively it protects you from information overload and focuses on things that it decides are highest priority. It continues to filter information in the same way until we tell it otherwise.

Most people recognise this when they buy something new, such as a new car. Say you decide to buy a "flashy new car" having done some research and had a test drive. You may have placed your deposit and are waiting for delivery of your new car.

What happens? Suddenly you see "flashy new cars" everywhere. Now, there are no more of these cars on the road, it is just that your brain's reticular activator has been alerted to them and allows them through the filter.

Thinking about what you want to achieve and writing down your goals has a similar affect.

In order to be focused on success, you need to know what success looks like.

Personal Goal Setting

In the intial stages of choosing your business, you need to consider a number of important factors.

Setting both personal and business goals are important to this process otherwise, you may find that you launch yourself head first into a business that won't provide you the answer to your personal goals.

For example, one of my primary personal goals is to have a business that I can do anywhere in the world. Whilst I am prepared to work hard whilst I am building the business, it is critical to me that I can generate long term residual income which will effectively become my pension and give me the ability to travel with my family and work when I choose to do so.

For me, an online business was the only way to go. In evaluating my options I ruled out anything that I could not do with only the use of a laptop and phone. I also ruled out anything that meant my earnings were restricted to my direct actions.

Again, this may sound obvious but you would be surprised how many people do not do this!

Consider the answers to these critical goal setting questions and incorporate them into the goal setting section below.

1. What are my personal goals?

2. What strategies can I use to achieve these goals?

3. How can I implement these strategies to achieve my goals?

This will have got your started but is only the beginning of the goal setting process.

What will your life really look like in 1 year's time. What will your day to day life look like? What will you have achieved?

Most of the goal setting information I have read says that it is the WHY that is more important that the WHAT.

Most of the information on the internet assumes that everyone wants to earn more money. This is the WHAT. But what that doesn't do is differentiate for you WHY you have a need or desire to earn that money. It is not the money that will drive you, but the underlying reason you need that money.

What is your WHY?

The WHY will be personal to you and how you measure you success will be very specific. No one else will be able to judge your success as it is likely to be something that feels right to you.

Does that make sense?

One example, of my WHAT is to be able to give up my part-time job. In addition to my desire to travel, this has three driving forces:

1 - So that I can be around for my son when he starts school. I don't want to have to leave him in after school care every day. This goal is around my family life and well-being.

2 - The second driving factor is around health and self-fulfilment. I have a stressful day job which doesn't fulfil me in the way it once did. It impacts on my health when I get stressed.

3 - Being stressed and unfulfilled at work impacts on my family relationships.

Being able to earn enough money doing what I love from home will enable me to achieve the overall WHY of my personal goal.

I won't go into any more detail of my own goals but I just wanted to give you an example.

Here are some resources to help you identify your own WHY and to begin to break that down into some personal goals. The business goals will come later and will identify the business tasks that you will need to achieve your personal goals.

Personal Goal Categories

When setting your personal goals consider what you want to achieve in all aspects of your life. Don’t just limit your goals to your career – you must achieve a balance and therefore your goals need to cover all areas of your life.

Consider setting goals in each of the following categories.:

Career Goals

Whatever your circumstances, your career is probably the aspect of your life that occupies the biggest proportion of your time. Even as a stay at home mum, career is something that factors in determining what is most important in your life at any given time. This includes career satisfaction and development but it shouldn’t overshadow other elements in your personal goal setting.

Creativity/Personal Development Goals

Do you want to achieve any creative or personal development goals? Whether it is learning a new skill, being creative, self-discovery or continued learning.

Education Goals

Is there any knowledge you want to acquire in particular? What information and skills will you need to achieve your other goals?

Family and Relationship Goals

This often forms the central thrust of many people’s personal goals. What kind of relationship do you want with your partner, your children and other family members? Are your relationships supportive? What do you need to change?

Spiritual Goals

Peace of mind, faith, resolution of the ‘meaning of life’ – whatever this means to you. This is important to some people but not others so it could be something that you leave out or your goal might be a simple as helping out in your community.

Financial Goals

As much as we might wish it didn’t, money does make the world go around. We need to earn enough money to put food on the table and pay the bills so our personal goals have a financial basis regardless of whether we are driven by the accumulation of wealth itself. How much money do you want/need to earn at various stages of your life? How much money will you need to achieve some of your other goals? What planning is required in order to accumulate wealth, use it wisely and share the benefits with those you choose?

Health and Wellbeing Goals

Diet, exercise, image and quitting bad habits – these typically appear in New Year’s resolutions but they can form part of this process if there is something that you know you need to target now.

Recreation Goals

How do you want to enjoy yourself? Are there any interests, hobbies, pastimes or social activities in which you want to be involved? What about sport and holidays? What are you goals in this area? It might be relaxation or just having time for simple pursuits but you should set some goals in this area to achieve balance in your life.

Evaluate your Personal Goals

Write down your personal goals from each of the above categories and consider them carefully.

Download this form to help you.

Consider whether each personal goal is realistic and give yourself a time-line to achieve it.

You may find it helpful to divide each personal goal into smaller goals and tasks that will help you focus and plan ahead.

Above all, make sure that you write your personal goals down and put them somewhere that you can see them.

Return from Setting Personal Goals to Starting own Business

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