Are you keeping your goals in check this year?

There is no doubt we have just begun a New Year. The workforce is seemingly alive again with a fresh outlook on how this New Year will be better than those prior. I want to challenge you to remain committed to keeping the excitement alive—not just for this month, but for all of 2012!

Resolutions are always important, but only if you keep up with them. Taking your business to the next level will only happen if you make it possible. How can this be accomplished? It’s simple! Goal setting and checkpoints will be the key to keep yourself in line.

If you still have not set new goals for 2012, I recommend you begin now. Take some time out of your time—yes, time—and think about what you want to achieve this year. Let’s say you want to take on five new clients by the end of the second quarter; write it down.

It’s important for you to remember that your goals should be as specific as possible. Notice above that I mentioned five new clients. Saying that you want new clients is not sufficient. Write a measurable goal down and make sure that it is something realistic.

Also remember to be timely in your goals. You will also notice that I not only mentioned how many new clients you should aim for, but also by when—in the above example, I specified by the end of the second quarter.

Even if you don’t achieve all five new clients by the end of the second quarter, it is still something specific that you should be working towards. It’s important to aim rather than shooting aimlessly.

Now that you’ve established your goals for the year, think about when you want to check in with yourself to see how you’re doing. For some, a checkpoint might be every week, every other month, and some may even be daily.

Frequency matters. You will want to be fully aware at all times where you stand in achieving your goals. You don’t want to get to the end of the second quarter and realize that you only have two of your five new clients. If you do, then one of two things might have occurred: you have either set your goal of five too high, or you’ve lost track of what you’re working towards.

Are you using the exact same techniques for acquiring new clients year after year? It might be useful to note that if those methods didn’t work in the past, they may very well not work in the future. I suggest that it is important to be different in 2012.

Even if what you’ve been doing seems to work, you can always benefit from trying new techniques. Diversifying your sales approach will only sharpen your skills and increase your presence. All you have to gain is knowledge… and that new client!

The thing about goal setting is that it doesn’t work unless you plan, review, and revise when necessary. Keeping yourself in check throughout 2012 will help you get to where you need to be… one goal at a time.