Finance Small Business How to make 2014 a year to be proud of

How to make 2014 a year to be proud of

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This is a great way to get 2014 turning out how you’d like for your business or professional life.

It’s called “Diary of a Goal”.

Here’s what you do:

1. Pick your important goal for next year

Ideally, your goal should meet the following :

• simple to articulate (tho’ tricky to do)

• measurable

• you really want to make happen

For example, I’m going to pretend that your goal for next year is to make 1000 sales.

2. Name your Diary after your goal

Let’s call it Diary of 1000 Sales. Don’t miss this step – it works! The act of writing it, reading it and seeing it as a title embeds your goal firmly in your subconscious – and that’s where you want it. Once your goal is in your subconscious, your brain works away on the idea even when you’re not making a conscious effort. Truly. Magic will happen.

3. Start with a little warm-up time

Don’t put off starting your diary until the end of the holiday season. The sooner you start, the more time you’ll have to prepare yourself before the year begins in earnest.

4. Write about your planning

Here’s some good stuff to write about during your warm-up:

• how you set your goal

• plans to reach your goal

• worries you have about reaching your goal

• why your goal is important

• the first steps you’re going to take towards your goal

5. Write in your diary every day

You don’t have to write much, but you do need to write daily. Just say what you’ve done today towards your goal. Most things can be angled in some way towards that. For example, taking a day off work freshens up your mind so you’ll be more productive tomorrow.

6. Having trouble knowing what to write?

If you’re stuck for inspiration, imagine you are going to reach your goal – and when you do, you’re going to be invited to give a talk (or write a book) about your experience. Your diary will form the basis of what you’re going to say. Now write it as you go!

7. Write as much as you want

If you really enjoy writing in your diary, then write as much as you want about whatever you want. I find that when I write a lot, I start to get a bunch of really good ideas. Write them in the diary too.

8. Check in to see how you are progressing towards your goal

I’m sure you will do this anyway. But write it in your diary. Not too often – perhaps monthly.

9. Always write down good stuff

It could be big new order, a mention in an influential blog post or a fab testimonial from a client. Whatever it is – write it down.

10. Every so often, read your early diary entries

Looking back in your diary helps you see what you’ve achieved. Sometimes it’s tricky to get that kind of perspective!

11. See how your activity changes

Here’s the magic of the “Diary of a Goal’. Once you get into the habit of writing daily about what you’re doing to achieve your goal, you’ll start making sure you have good things to write. It happens subconsciously. Truly!

I use Day One to keep my journal. But you can use whatever you like – a word doc, google apps, or even *goodness* a real-life book!

This article first appeared on the The Business Bakery blog.

Julia Bickerstaff advises small businesses through her consultancy The Business Bakery and is the author of How to Bake a Business.