10 entrepreneurs share their tips on holding yourself accountable for your yearly goals
As an entrepreneur, give your best tip for holding yourself accountable for reaching your yearly goals?
To help you find the best ways to hold yourself accountable for your yearly goals, we asked successful entrepreneurs and business leaders this question for their best insights. From breaking your annual goals down into smaller ones to creating a personalized system of review, there are several tips that you may follow to start being accountable to yourself about your yearly goals.
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Here are 10 tips these leaders follow to hold themselves accountable for their yearly goals:
- Break Your Annual Goals Down into Smaller Ones
- Commit to a Schedule to Work Towards Your Goals
- Set Benchmarks Along the Way
- Take Inventory of Behaviors That Lead to Self Sabotage
- Complete One Job Before Beginning Another
- Avoid Distractions
- Have Weekly Meetings With Yourself
- Practice Reward-Based Learning
- Share Your Goals With Others
- Create a Personalized System of Review
Break Your Annual Goals Down into Smaller Ones
Break them down into more achievable steps. If you only set lofty annual goals, it’s hard to tell if you’re on track for success. By cutting your yearly targets into monthly, or quarterly, or weekly tasks, you make them easier to plan for. Psychologically, smaller goals also feel easier to accomplish. When I want to hold myself accountable, I make sure to follow along with my breakdown all year and ensure I’m not leaving myself too little time near the end of the year to complete it.
Rachel Reid, CEO, Subtl Beauty
Commit to a Schedule to Work Towards Your Goals
Yearly goals are often ambitious, and it’s rarely met without consistency. One way to stay on track is to set a schedule and commit to working on the goal regularly. This will help ensure that the goal remains a priority and ensure progress. Additionally, it is essential to be realistic when setting a schedule. If the goal is too ambitious, it may be challenging to stick to the plan. Therefore, it is important to find a balance between challenging oneself and being realistic to maintain consistency when trying to achieve yearly goals.
Michael Sena, Founder & CEO, SENACEA
Set Benchmarks Along the Way
Annual goals can be overwhelming and a lot can change within 12 months. In order to hold yourself accountable, set reasonable benchmarks throughout the year. Use those benchmarks to measure and reconsider your annual goals. If you’re too far off, you may rethink the target you set for yourself. Regardless, use it as a time to reflect on what efforts you should start, stop, or continue in order to meet your yearly goal!
Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing, Motivosity
Take Inventory of Behaviors that Lead to Self Sabotage
There is a certain amount of fear when setting goals, making it important that we put stopgaps in place to prevent us from self sabotage so we can reach our yearly goals. Many have concerns that their best may not be good enough, therefore some make small decisions that keep them from reaching their goal as it is easier to make excuses rather than to find out that their best effort is inadequate.
Taking the time to outline your negative behaviors, identifying triggers for those behaviors, and being brutally honest about your fears and how they prevent you from achieving your goals, will help you identify patterns that lead to self sabotage. By taking a full self-inventory of your negative patterns of behavior, you will be able to better catch yourself prior to engaging in self sabotage and do a much more effective job of holding yourself accountable to reach your yearly goals.
Adelle Archer, CEO & Co-Founder, Eterneva
Complete One Job Before Beginning Another
In my opinion, once you’ve started something, it’s best to see it through to completion before moving on to anything else. With more insight into the job at hand, you’ll have a better idea of how long it might take to finish. If you’re trying to learn a new piece of software, for example, you should set aside all other distractions until you’ve finished the accompanying documentation. After that, you’ll have a better idea of how long it might take you to set up the software, get used to using it, and reach proficiency.
Max Whiteside, SEO & Content Lead, Breaking Muscle
I’ve found that avoiding distraction is the best way to hold yourself accountable for reaching your yearly goals. There are so many things that can pull us away from what we should be doing – new ideas, opportunities, and even just little tasks that seem like they’ll only take some time. In my experience, my time is best spent focused on what has been assigned to me and nothing else. If I’m working on a project and something comes up that I think will only take a bit of my time, oftentimes, it ends up becoming the focus of my day. This causes backlog and delays in getting things done on schedule. Over the year, these small distractions add up and can greatly impact your ability to meet yearly goals. So I try to keep a very clear focus on what I need to accomplish and when I need to say ‘NO’ to things that won’t fit into my goals.
Arkadiusz Terpilowski, Head of Growth & Co-founder, Primetric
Have Weekly Meetings With Yourself
I like to set weekly meetings to keep myself accountable. These weekly meetings allow me to check in and see if I’m on track. By having a weekly meeting with yourself, you gain insight into your performance and areas for improvement. You could even set an agenda detailing key issues to work on, giving yourself a clear target for next week.
For example, if you’re looking to work with better clients, you might notice that you aren’t pitching enough. You can then write a plan emphasizing the importance of pitching. In this plan, schedule an hour every day where you pitch new clients. Constantly checking up on yourself and staying accountable makes achieving yearly goals easy.
Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money
Practice Reward-Based Learning
As human beings, we fall into habits based on how rewarding that habit is. The reward systems within the brain are activated when we experience something we enjoy, such as eating at a nice restaurant, going for a pleasant walk, or watching a show that you like; and this pattern can be hacked to instill productive practices as part of your daily life.
This is a reinforcement method called reward-based learning. Instead of indulging freely, add an extra step by first performing a productive action. For example: before eating a snack, finish up some paperwork. Or, you could go for a run before enjoying a hot bath. By establishing these experiences as rewards for doing deep work, and withholding them if you don’t, you’ll re-train your brain’s reward mechanisms. This leads to consistent progress as you gradually start to behave more productively. Over time, your willingness to reach your goal will overshadow any desire to procrastinate.
Andrew Gonzales, President, BusinessLoans.com
Share Your Goals With Others
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable when it comes to your business goals is by sharing them with others. That way, when you meet these people, they’ll ask you about your progress, constantly follow up and make you feel you need to stick to the plan. This sort of pressure or need to ensure you’re true to your word is a great form of motivation to help you reach your goals.
Jenna Nye, CEO, On the Strip
Create a Personalized System of Review
I make a yearly time capsule for myself. At the start of Q1 I make a set of goals for the coming year, then stash the document away until the year’s end. While I do not read the document wholly until the appointed time, I do schedule occasional automatic reminders to keep the task top of mind. Then, at the end of Q4, I sit down and re-read the goals and reflect on whether or not I achieved my objectives. Then, I start the process over next year. It is important to note that when starting this activity, in addition to mapping out targets, I also highlight past years’ achievements I am proud of as a way to motivate myself by acknowledging and celebrating wins.
Michael Alexis, CEO, tiny campfire