If you’re running a business you almost certainly have a to do list, whether that’s a daily list of actions, an ongoing list of project activities to complete or a mix of the two.  People use all kinds of devices to manage these, from complex project management software to a bit of scrap paper.

But the to do list is only the sharp end of a bigger goal.  If the items on your to do list are not helping you to achieve something, then why are you doing them?  You know the rule ‘do it, delegate it or dump it’.  To achieve goals you have to stay focused on doing the things that get you there – and not getting side-tracked with the trivia that could be done by someone else (or just not done at all).

So how do you decide what your goals are?

There are two exercises involved here:

  • Your personal goals – what you want from life – financial goals, material possessions, educational aspirations, health and fitness, family and career.
  • Your business goals. If you’re a business owner what do you want your business to grow into?  This might be a vehicle that allows you to work a few hours a day and enjoy life, or you might want to grow into an empire that earns megabucks and provides employment for lots of people.

You need to do both of these exercises to ensure that your business goals and personal goals are congruent.  That might sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people’s personal goal is to travel the world – while building a business into a big success.  It’s not impossible to do this, but it will depend on what kind of business your choose.

Dreams only become goals when you take action

So now it’s time to take each goal and break it down into the actions that will achieve it.  These actions need to be prioritised and given deadlines – and some may be allocated to someone else to do.

If you put your actions to take in your diary and allocate time to them, you’ll achieve your goals – almost without making much effort!

Time to turn your dream into a goal and then into a to do list!