Business Goal Setting in January: Methods, Madness and Making it Meaningful 

business goal setting

It’s January. That means one thing for us business owners: business goal setting. 

You’re probably groaning, because all kinds of things come up when we think about where our business is, where we want it to be and what is and isn’t achievable.

But business goal setting is actually your friend. It can also be great (free) therapy. This is your time to summon the things you want to achieve in this new year full of hope and stay focussed on what matters. 

A lot has been written about setting goals. We know about SMART. But if you take a step back from Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound, how do you know which direction to look to define the right goals for your business?

Consider this your shortcut to choosing the right business goal setting method for you. From 90 day plans to identifying massive goals that could change everything, how you set goals this January could be the difference between transforming your business and just treading water through 2024. 

goal setting for business
Setting SMART Goals: Defining success with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives.

Here are three methods for you to consider to get you beyond setting and into achieving.

Massive Business Goal Setting 

It’s a bold title and it’s the most aspirational and creative business goal setting method out there. Massive Goals Theory encourages you to think beyond what’s possible to what ‘could’ happen: nothing is beyond limits. 

Thinking ‘big’ can be really constructive if you feel like you aren’t reaching hard enough for your business, or you need to make big changes. 

What we call it

The ‘Buzz Lightyear’ approach. 

Why this might work for you

Research has shown that successful people don’t limit themselves to small, realistic and achievable goals. They set gigantic, ambitious goals. If you want to reach for the sky and aren’t deterred by ‘what ifs’ then this could be the perfect business goal setting exercise for you.

Why this may not work for you

Is ‘infinity and beyond’ actually achievable? Remember SMART – it’s important that goals are attainable and timebound, and your massive goals may not be. Mapping steps upwards to achieve these impressive feats could be a lot less fun than setting the goals in the first place. 

massive goal setting
Embrace the ‘Buzz Lightyear’ approach in business goal-setting: Think big, aim high, and push beyond traditional limits with Massive Goals Theory.

90 Day Plans

If your head is more in the everyday and you like to take things a little more as they come – the 90 day goal setting method is a more steady approach. Instead of setting goals for the whole year, just concentrate on the next three months. This leaves room for you to tweak adjustments along the way.  

What we call it

The ‘slowly-slowly’ approach

Why this may work for you

If your business is new, or you have a lot of responsibilities outside work, there can be a lot of factors in play that you simply have no control over. The 90 day goal setting method allows for you to go a little off-track without derailing your whole year. It’s also easier to stay on-track and motivated. Of course, you can break down your plans even further – to 30 day or even two week ‘sprints’. Find the time period that works for you.

Why this may not work for you

Without any massive goals in mind, some business owners can get demotivated. 90 day goals shouldn’t mean limiting your ambitions, but they are a way of looking at what’s achievable over what’s desirable. 

Navigate business goals with the ‘slowly-slowly’ approach: Short-term 90-day planning for adaptable, focused success.

Good, Better and Best

If you aren’t confident things are going to go perfectly to plan, but you don’t want to limit yourself to smaller goals, the good, better and best framework may be for you. 

Define degrees of success instead of one big goal – for example, if your overall goal is to increase your bottom line, a ‘good’ goal would be to increase your profits by 2%. A ‘better’ goal would be an increase of 10% and a ‘best’ goal would be 20% and more. 

What we call it

The ‘winning every time’ approach.

Why this may work for you

Good, better and best sits between Massive Goals Theory and the 90 day plan. There’s room for manoeuvre, but this business goal setting method still keeps you on your toes – with plenty to reach for. Stretch your imagination and look beyond what you can confidently commit to, without worrying about judging yourself as a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’. 

Why this may not work for you

Good, better and best gives you bonus levels to shoot for. But planning and task management within different layers of goals takes more time. Remember, you will be aligning your tasks to your goals, so if you have more than one version of your goal, you may have more than one to-do list. No-one wants that.

goal setting
Optimise goals with the ‘winning every time’ approach: The good, better, best framework for adaptable business success.

Set, Track and Achieve Your Business Goals in 2024 – With a Virtual Assistant

At Level Up we help business owners cut through the noise to focus on what matters. For many people, that begins with taking on a highly-skilled and professional virtual assistant (VA). There’s no greater addition to your business than someone who can help you set, track and achieve goals, while holding you accountable to your own success. 

Talk to us about how a virtual assistant could help you achieve your business goals for 2024!

Not sure which duties to hand off to your Virtual Assistant? Use this link to get your copy of the ‘Complete Virtual Assistant Delegation Guide‘, applicable to any business.