As we wind down the year, we’ve talked about looking ahead to the new year with the right organization, process and planning in the last blog. Your focus and mindset will be a big part of your success.
However, tools are always what makes everything easier, and goal setting and success planning is no different. Here is a list of tools that should help you reach your goals and likely change your life in 2019:
Of all the social media networks out there, this is the one that is designed specifically to help people get connected in business to develop leads, find job opportunities, and collaborate with other professionals to get answers and perhaps have them help you on a project. No matter what your goals are, the best use of Linked In that will help you achieve them include:
• Discussions - these can happen by you simply posting a question on your own feed, or by adding your input to a question within a group page.
• Groups - Speaking of groups, these are designed to assemble people with more specific and similar interests to communicate with each other. Here too asking questions that reflect your understanding of a topic will help others learn about you, while giving you answers
• Company page - If you are a leader of a company, you should have a separate company page, which will offer another place to share your blog, company news, press releases and more.
There are hundreds, probably thousands, of options out there to login and learn about a host of topics, goal setting and personal development among them. To make sure this is a truly helpful tool, do a little homework to make sure any webinar you take fits these criteria:
• It’s live, not recorded
• The format is interactive, allowing for attendees to ask questions as the host is presenting
• The materials presented will be shared or sent to your in box
• There is action you can take from the webinar
LIkewise, you have work to do ahead of time to make it effective:
• Research the topic to make sure it’s exactly what you’re looking to learn
• Prepare questions to ask
• If there is an associated hashtag use it on your social media channels. It’s a great way to meet other people on the webinar and potentially create new networks from it.
• Research the presenter to see if they are on Linked In or Twitter and connect with them once the presentation is done. You may be able to continue the learning with them after the webinar is over
I know, I have a pet peeve about too much smartphone use, however there are many apps you can put on your smartphone to keep you on track and build business success. Consider loading an app to help you with
• Time Management
• Project Management
• Task tracking
• Successful habits
This is where things you take things seriously. This tool may not be the least expensive in your kit, but make no doubt about it, the right business coach can transform your business, which has a habit of transforming your life. The investment is worth the reward, and will give you a greater chance of greater success than if you were going it alone.
A great business coach will take an active role in identifying and strategizing goals with you. This isn’t a one-and-done deal, and that’s because coaching is a longer term proposition. It has to be if you want to develop an important business relationship built on trust. As you work closely and openly with a coach (the more you tell your coach, the more he or she can help you develop a strategy customized for you), the partnership you form should shape your future success for a lifetime.
I talk about making goals real, and part of that is by sharing them with others - your coworkers, your boss, your friends - everyone! The goals you set should lead you to success, so why wouldn’t you be excited and share them? So, another step beyond this is to ask someone to help keep you on track - an accountability partner.
The right accountability partner will be an invaluable tool in holding up that virtual mirror to help you take a good look at yourself to keep you honest to the promises you made when you wrote down your goals at the beginning of the year. Truly, this can be anyone, but they should be OK with being a little tough on you, and making sure you’re not making excuses.
Similar to a personal trainer or a physical therapist after you’ve had knee surgery, an accountability partner should motivate you weekly to reach those step-by-step goals needed to achieve the big picture goals. If you’re the only one who knows you didn’t reach a weekly goal, who cares? When someone else knows what you’re aiming for, it’s a different ball game. Your success is shared, and that’s exciting and can motivate you to stay focused. Likewise, falling short becomes even more painful when you have an audience. This is motivation by pain avoidance, yet can be as much of a motivator.
The journey to success requires personal development - a LOT of personal development. That means you need to look deep to understand the obstacles you may be placing in front of your goals, and what ideas you have that can help you achieve them. This is what makes a journal a great tool. It’s truly a “safe space” to unload what’s on your mind, and allows you to sort it out.
Examining what ideas and perceptions you have can help you take a step back to recognize the good stuff, and separate it from the bad or negative stuff. Business and life coaches say the practice also helps increase productivity and helps create clarity around your ideas. While you foster the good ideas and strategies, you can also work to eliminate or change the negative. In addition, making it a habit to journal daily helps you take those brainstorms before they’re forgotten in the busyness of life.
Success is up to you, but getting there is never a solo effort. And that’s OK - don’t think that it’s a sign of weakness to enlist the help of tools, in whatever form they come. Then at the end of 2019, you’ll have a whole lot more to celebrate, and more people to celebrate with.