Goal Setting for 2016
Goals are a part of life. Your business should have a business plan. That is, what are the goals of your business? Goals are not obstacles but are a reflection of where you want to go. Here are 7 benefits of goal setting for 2016 and beyond.
I’ve set many goals in my life and yes many were made on January 1st! Most goals were personal and most were not accomplished. But I’m setting goals in 2016.
Hey! Doesn’t Robin know the definition of insanity?
Yes, I do know the definition of insanity. It is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. But I am not planning on doing the same thing!
I used to set goals. I used to write them down in brand new journals! But I never accomplished those goals. I’ll let you in on the secret of what I’m trying this year a bit later in the post.
Turning a new set of Goals
With your woodturning you can set lots of different goals. One of my current goals is to spend more time turning on the lathe. In the past, time on the lathe, was important but not urgent. So the crisis of farm life, and life in general, kept me from turning. I turned when I had time. That was a lot less often than I wanted.
Now “more time on the lathe” is a very general goal. If I turned 100 hours last year and this year I turn for 101 hours, I’ve made my goal. But really I want a lot more time on the lathe. So I have set a specific amount of time each week for turning. I am making my goals specific.
You can set goals for what you do on your lathe. You could set a goal to master a specific turning tool. I used to be afraid of my skew chisel, but now it’s the one I use most often. A goal could be to turn bowls, or segmented turning, or boxes, or maybe a different turning each month. A goal is something that you want to do.
If you are considering turning your hobby into a business then you will have to include some broader goals to make this happen. Goals could be learning how to sell at the farmers’ market, how to do production turning, or learning how to use the internet to increase sales. What aspect of your turning business do you want to improve?
Here are seven benefits of goal setting.
Goals give you:
With a specific goal to achieve you will know when you have reached the goal. Make this as specific as you can. This challenges you to define your goals into objectives that you know when you make them or not. This could be attending 15 craft fairs in 2016.
With a target in mind you know which way to reach your goal. When trying to make your way through the forest you need a long distance goal that you can see so you always know if you are heading in the right direction or just walking around in circles. If you are doing 15 craft fairs do you know when and where they are? You can start your research earlier rather than trying to pick them up on the fly if you know what you want to achieve.
A specific goal defines what you are trying to achieve and gives you better focus on reaching that goal. If your goal is to turn natural edged bowls then spindle blanks are not going to help you reach your goal. You will focus on the right wood to turn in order to make a natural edged bowl. For doing craft fairs then you need to produce the products that you are planning on selling.
This is a challenging one. Yes writing your goals down means that you can go back and see how you are doing. If you don’t tell anyone your goals then there is no mutual support for your effort. However if you tell too many people then the telling of the goal becomes more important than actually meeting the goal you have set. Find a good friend or two to share with so they can encourage your progress.
This relates more to your business. Focusing on specific goals allows you to buy and allocate resources towards meeting that goal. I’ve wandered the tool aisles of too many big box stores not really sure what I was looking for. Are there any tools in your shop that are not being used? I’m not judging your tool purchases. However if you are planning on doing production runs then the acquisition of tools that facilitate your production is what you are looking for. If you are doing the craft fairs then a good awning or tent is in order. Then you can do both indoor and outdoor shows.
A goal will help you stay focused with your time. You will do the things that reach your goal and may set aside some activities until the goal is reached. (They can be new goals!) For me having a goal gives me a boost out of my chair and getting to work. For the craft fairs you can see the requirements of when and where on your calendar and schedule production work accordingly.
Setting goals and overcoming challenges gives you accomplishment. I have gone through periods of time where every day I was busy. But I was going through the motions but not heading in any particular direction. As a result with no target to hit I didn’t feel like I had accomplished anything. Now I know, our lives are much bigger than turning and even bigger than turning our hobby into a business. But there is a satisfaction that comes from setting out on a course of action and seeing it come to pass. Doing 15 craft shows in one year would be quite the accomplishment.
These are some of the benefits to goal setting. These are the benefits to me for setting my goals in 2016.
The secret to making goals work
I think the secret to turning the general “goals for 2016” into something that works will be reviewing my goals on a weekly basis. It is going to be the ongoing review that will give me the impetus to keep working on the goals. I don’t want to arrive in July and realize there is no way to achieve any of my goals. So I also have a goal of reviewing my goals on a weekly basis!
Let’s see how this works
I set a goal of writing two blog posts a week. Each week I determine what I am writing about and I see if I met my goal for the previous week. I can track my progress. However, if in one week I only write one blog post then I didn’t meet my goal in that week. I can pick myself up and try again. I could write three posts the next week or just pick up the goal again and write two. The weekly reviews keep me on track and help me focus on my writing.
I have also set quarterly review dates for this goal. This allows me to adjust the goal to meet my overall desire for my turning business and to adapt to new circumstances. Remember the goals are yours, you set them, and you can change them. But always strive to meet your goals. You don’t have to wait until exactly January 1st to practice goal setting. Any time is a good time to set goals just make sure you follow up on them.
The same is true for me spending more time on the lathe. I have set a number of hours each week that I would like to spend turning. If I am meeting that amount I might want to increase it or if it is limiting my activities in another area of my life then I might need to lower my expectations. But my goal is to spend more time at my lathe and improve my skills as a turner.
Goals are important
There are benefits to goal setting. There is also a benefit to reviewing the goals as you are in the process of meeting them. Life will always be a challenge and the review process allows you to be flexible and to meet the challenges as they occur.
What do you think of setting goals? Do you set goals?
Here are some links to other articles on setting goals.