Spring Cleaning: Write Down Realistic Expectations and Goals

Part of spring cleaning involves strategy: you don’t just grab a broom or piles of boxes and start tossing stuff willy-nilly. You need to figure out where you’re going to put everything and in what order.

The same goes for spring cleaning in your business. After all, you had a business plan when you started, so why wouldn’t you have one when you’re reorganizing and cleaning up your act? Setting goals and expectations for your business is one of the more important steps you can take as a business owner or employee.

But they have to be realistic goals and expectations, and that’s part of spring cleaning. The goals you’ve previously set for yourself may not have been all that great in the first place, and – as you’ve grown and evolved – those goals and plans could even be hurting your business.

Knowing Your Limits

We all want our businesses to take off the instant we put them out to the public. It would be nice if every single one of our ventures took off like a rocket and made us set for life at the drop of a hat.

However, it doesn’t work that way, and very few businesses know that level of success right off the bat. For most of us it’s a constant struggle over months and years before we ever reach a position of security. Even then it still seems like it’s one thing after another running a business.

Well those “one thing after anothers” have to be dealt with somehow. And if you don’t know your limits, you may set unrealistic goals for yourself, expecting more than is possible.

Everyone knows what it’s like to overreach your limit. One time in college I took a trip to another state to see a concert with some friends. I thought I could drive forever – until it was 4 AM on the way back after going for almost 24 hours. I quickly discovered I wasn’t invincible and had reached my limit. Luckily nothing happened and someone took over for me, but the lesson was learned. But too many business owners keep driving the proverbial car in the same direction long after they should!

Squeaky Wheel

The good news about amending your schedules and goals to be more accommodating to your lifestyle could mean drastic changes for your company. You may not realize it, but in the past you’ve undoubtedly set some harmful expectations for yourself. These unrealistic goals make you stressed, tired, and irritated, especially when you don’t reach them.

These goals are a type of “squeaky wheel.” They’re always making noise in your ear but you never fix them; instead, you placate them, and convince yourself it’s your fault.

“Of COURSE I didn’t make all fifteen meetings today day, it’s because I’m lazy! UGH!”

Come on. Squirt some WD-40 on those squeaky wheels and get your cart moving smoothly again. Look at what you’re trying to motivate yourself to do every day, week, month, etc. Figure out where your big stress points are (end of the month, beginning of winter holidays) and reconfigure them so you’re not pulling your hair out. If all else fails, call an audible and pull in some outside help!

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