The New Year’s Resolution is entrenched in pop culture. There can be a lot of social pressure to make yours on January 1. But while making your list of this year’s to-dos has been a tradition, following them is often a struggle. There’s not much structure behind how you’ll reach your new life-changing goals.
I prefer to set strategic goals for myself and my business. You can create new strategic goals at any time of the year. Still, I encourage you to spend some time during January to craft a thoughtful sales strategy backed by measurable goals for your food business.
What I also like about setting up strategic goals is that, unlike the New Year’s Resolution, it is more systematic. You can put a structure behind each target to guarantee it is attainable. In this episode, I summarize 10 mistakes you might commit and should avoid when setting up your goals.
How to turn these common mistakes into a list of accomplishments on track for success? Tune in to this episode to find out!
Virginia Foodie Essentials:
- I am not a big fan of the New Year’s Resolution. My aversion is that I think, for most people, it’s a fabricated marker. They’re hoping to reinvent themselves just because the calendar has turned a new page. - Georgiana Dearing
- The New Year’s Resolution is so entrenched in pop culture that there’s a lot of pressure to make one on January 1. Yet, there’s not much structure behind the process of creating and then keeping it. - Georgiana Dearing
- You need a method to keep your goals visible so you can review them monthly, weekly, or at some other regular interval. - Georgiana Dearing
- Deadlines create a sense of urgency. It is a marker that forces you to pay attention to your long-term plan. - Georgiana Dearing
- In most of your day-to-day accomplishments, your goals should push you and not break you. - Georgiana Dearing
- The true benefit of setting goals isn’t the payoff of hitting them. The growth happens because you’re trying to reach new heights. - Georgiana Dearing
- Setbacks will happen to you too. But with clearly defined goals -- created with an understanding of where each goal fits within your strategic plan -- when lightning strikes, you’ll be able to pause, take a breath, pick up the threads, and move onward. - Georgiana Dearing
Key Points From This Episode:
- The New Year’s Resolution is a fabricated marker with no structure or process, making it harder for most people to achieve.
- Instead of a New Year’s Resolution, a more feasible way to begin the year is to set strategic goals for yourself and your business.
- January is a slow time of the year for most of the food industry, so this month is an excellent time to review your business and marketing strategy.
- Most people make these common 10 mistakes when setting goals for themselves and their businesses.
- Knowing these common mistakes will help you turn them into a list of accomplishment tracks for success.
- The positive aspect of setting goals isn’t about hitting your target but the growth and development you get from working toward a goal.
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Note: We use AI transcription so there may be some inaccuracies
[00:00:00] Georgiana Dearing: Setbacks will happen to you too and probably already have, but with clearly defined goals. Once you created with an understanding of where each goal fits within your strategic plan, when lightning strikes, you'll be able to pause, take a breath, pick up the threads. And move onward.
[00:00:21] Georgiana Dearing: Welcome to the Virginia Foodie Podcast, where we lift a lid on the craft food industry and tell the stories behind the good food, good people, and good brands that you know and love. If you've ever come across a yummy food brand and wondered how did they do that? How did they turn that recipe into a successful business?
[00:00:40] Georgiana Dearing: Then we've got some stories for you.
[00:00:46] Georgiana Dearing: Happy New Year foodies. Welcome to the first episode of 2023 for the Virginia Foodie Podcast. I'm George Steering and I provide content marketing strategy and coaching for good food brands. It's the start of a brand new year, and I had a confession to make. I am not a big fan of the New Year's resolution.
[00:01:07] Georgiana Dearing: I think my aversion is because for most people it's a fabricated. They're hoping to reinvent themselves just because the calendar has turned a new page and the New Year's resolution is so entrenched in pop culture that there's a lot of pressure to make one on January 1st, and yet there's not much structure behind the process of creating and then keeping one.
[00:01:29] Georgiana Dearing: However, I am a fan of setting strategic goals for yourself and your business, and you can start those any time of. But for us foodies, January actually is an appropriate time to set some solid goals for your company. Because we're in the food industry, not only is January the time we turn a new calendar, but it's also traditionally a very slow time of year, and I encourage you to use this month to review your business and marketing strategy and set some new goals.
[00:02:02] Georgiana Dearing: Over the years I've worked with many retail brands, and every marketing project had a definite target we needed to reach. I've seen some amazing success stories, but I've also witnessed a lot of projects run awry. So today I've collected a list of 10 mistakes that you may be making in your goal setting work sessions.
[00:02:22] Georgiana Dearing: The first one seems pretty obvious, but number one mistake is you didn't write your goals. Unless you document your goals, you're not goal setting, you're having a conversation, and it happens all the time in meetings. When you toss objectives around in a planning session but never record them, you're causing two problems.
[00:02:43] Georgiana Dearing: One, it's hard for you to keep track of your targets if you have no written reference. And two, the other person or people may misinterpret or misremember the goal. You could end up with teams working at cross purposes. And I've seen it happen. It seems like a no-brainer, but write down your goals. And because I always try to learn from my mistakes, I've started a habit now of saying, I'm gonna write this down because we have no record of error.
[00:03:13] Georgiana Dearing: Mistake number two, your goals aren't visible. How often have you written down goals and never looked at them again? I've done it plenty of times. I often find personal goals jotted down on shopping lists at the bottom of my purse. I had some big idea while doing something else, but I never transferred it to my working notebook.
[00:03:33] Georgiana Dearing: That's why you need a method to keep your goals visible so you can review them monthly, weekly, or at some other regular interval. I have been using the full focus planner for about a year and a half now, and I like having the system in place for reviewing and revisiting my goals all year long. Their system is essentially a calendar with prompts to help you record your goals and assign milestones for reaching them.
[00:03:58] Georgiana Dearing: To be clear, they have affiliate programs, but I'm not getting anything for this endorsement. I use the system because it fits well within my style project management mistake number three. Your goal isn't specific. I need to grow sales. I want to improve the R o I on my marketing. That language is aspirational.
[00:04:19] Georgiana Dearing: You're expressing your hopes, not your goals. I recently walked a team through this challenge. We need to add video to our marketing. They kept saying, we know we need to add video because that's the direction everything's going well. There's no quote to write for. We need video. The bid request we finally created for the video addressed the brand's goals, the stories the brand needs to tell, and how the brand would use the video as part of a larger marketing strategy.
[00:04:46] Georgiana Dearing: That was a project description. Their perspective vendors could assess mistake number four in goal setting. There is no due date attached to your goals. Deadlines create a sense of. So often in the food business, operations get in the way of growth. A deadline is a marker that forces you to pay attention to your long-term plan.
[00:05:08] Georgiana Dearing: It's easy to procrastinate when you don't have a deadline. Not every goal should have the same goal either. The deadline should be specific to each achievement you're attempting, and it should be realistic. For instance, if you need to double your sales goals, you must assign a target date for achieving that goal.
[00:05:26] Georgiana Dearing: Double our sales by the end of 2020. Mistake number five, your goals aren't miserable. The only way to know if you achieved your goal is to define what success means for you. Lose 25 pounds is much better than lose weight. Grow our sales by $120,000 by the end of 2023 is much better than grow sales. It's even better than the goal I mentioned earlier.
[00:05:51] Georgiana Dearing: Double our sales by the end of 2023 because it has a number attached to it. Whatever your goal is, assign a number or a percentage to each target. Mistake number six, your goals don't stretch you out of your comfort zone. Let's face it, the safest path is also kind of boring. You'll lose interest if your goals don't force you to push yourself, and it's always good to have at least one BHAG goal, that's B H A G or big, hairy, audacious goal, like get invited to the White House or have an hour long interview by Oprah Winfrey.
[00:06:26] Georgiana Dearing: But for most of the day-to-day accomplishments, your goals should push you and not break. Mistake number seven is you've created too many goals. Most businesses have more than one goal and plenty of people have ambitions outside of work. Studies show that the optimum number of targets necessary to inspire accomplishment is between six and 10 goals.
[00:06:50] Georgiana Dearing: Too many and you'll be overwhelmed and too few you won't feel challenged. Mistake number eight is your goals aren't stimulus. When you pursue a meaningful goal, it can be exhilarating and accomplishing it even more so. But if your goal isn't interesting or challenging enough, you're gonna lose interest along the way.
[00:07:12] Georgiana Dearing: Michael Hyatt of full focus causes us the messy middle people get bogged down somewhere near the halfway point, sometimes spiraling into distractions or procrastination. Define your motivations for each goal and put them in. Regularly reading over why it's essential to complete your intentions and what is at stake.
[00:07:33] Georgiana Dearing: If you don't meet your targets will motivate you to keep going. Mistake number nine is you haven't defined the subsequent action. You don't need a complicated action plan for each goal, but you do need to identify the actions you'll take to accomplish your goal goals. Need verbs, writing Dan next to a bullet point won't inspire.
[00:07:55] Georgiana Dearing: Call Dan is a little more helpful. Ask Dan for his feedback on the outline. By 10:00 AM is a very specific goal that uses action words in a deadline, and it's also helpful to clarify what's next, what happens after you hit your goal or milestone. Assigning your goal to a place in a series of achievements helps you keep the momentum going.
[00:08:17] Georgiana Dearing: In other episodes about goal setting, I've shared a personal life goal of mine walking a marathon. It may not sound very audacious, but it is one of my BHAG goals. The big hairy idea for me is that walking a marathon requires a lifestyle with room for me to train for walking those 26.2 miles. My annual goals have smaller walking achievements throughout to help me stay focused on my b a G goal.
[00:08:46] Georgiana Dearing: Mistake number 10 is you aren't being held accountable for your goals. Accountability can take many forms, but the minimum requirement for being held accountable is to share your goals with someone else and then ask them to check on you. The planner I mentioned from full focus is a form of passive accountability.
[00:09:06] Georgiana Dearing: The prompts ask you to set aside time for reviewing and adapting your plan quarterly and setting monthly targets, creating weekly objectives, and finally assigning yourself a daily big three list of tasks that you need to accomplish before shutting down for the day. Full disclosure, I've adapted their process to my own handwritten notebooks Recently.
[00:09:29] Georgiana Dearing: I think I like full focus mostly because it's very similar to the process I've developed for working with my coaching clients, and so it's an easy reference point for me to share with you about the framework for setting and achieving goals. Those quarterly reviews are similar to board meeting. With my coaching clients, I talk about creating board ready reports, and you don't actually have to have a board of directors to make those board ready reports.
[00:09:57] Georgiana Dearing: Marketing as a business function, and if you frame your actions around targets that are valuable or would be valuable to a board of directors, you'll stay very focused on achieving specific metrics. It clears away the clutter of too many ideas. I wanna stop focusing on mistakes now, and instead focus on the positive aspects of setting goals.
[00:10:20] Georgiana Dearing: The true benefit of setting goals isn't the payoff of hitting them. It's the growth that happens because you're trying to reach new heights. It doesn't actually matter if you reach that stretch goal. You'll grow just as long as you are consistently trying to improve. I set that marathon goal in the middle of 2020 in the darkest days of the pandemic, and I'm a bit astonished that I'm still plugging away at it 30 months or so later.
[00:10:44] Georgiana Dearing: I started this year with a stretch goal to cover even more miles than last year, but I have come nowhere close to hitting it. I had a whole host of personal events interrupt my progress, not the least of which was contracting, covid and losing several weeks. But I've extended myself some grace, and I encourage you to be open to grace in your own experience.
[00:11:07] Georgiana Dearing: Many of you are in a similar situation. You set goals early in the year and the months rolled by and you've missed your mark. My BHAG goal of walking a marathon has lots of milestones within. I've picked up the thread where I dropped it and I am moving on. Setbacks will happen to you too and probably already have, but with clearly defined goals.
[00:11:29] Georgiana Dearing: Once you created with an understanding of where each goal fits within your strategic plan, when lightning strikes, you'll be able to pause, take a breath, pick up the threads, and move on. With that grace in mind, I've turned my list of mistakes into 10 steps you can take to keep 2020 threes.
[00:11:48] Georgiana Dearing: Accomplishments on track for success? One, write down your goals. Two, keep your goals visible. Three, be specific when you write each goal. Four, assign a due date for each goal. Five. Define how you will measure your goals. Six. Choose goals that stretch you and inspire. Seven. Limit the number of goals between six and 10 for the year.
[00:12:17] Georgiana Dearing: Eight. For each goal, write down why it is essential and what is at stake if you miss your targets. Nine. Define a clear action plan for your goals. And 10, find a way to be held accountable for your progress. And if you need help with accountability, I've got you covered. My year long Marketing Made easy program is one way to be held accountable.
[00:12:41] Georgiana Dearing: Your paid subscription includes the opportunity each month to book a free half hour call with me. Join book a call with me and tell me what you wanna achieve this year. And when you book the next call, I'll ask you how it's going. Plus, the real reason to join is you get monthly video training about marketing topics and emails with tips and training notes all year long.
[00:13:04] Georgiana Dearing: This year, it's a bargain at $490 for 12 months plus I'm on Shopify, so I have shop pay, which means you can set up your own installment plan to fit your. Sign up for Marketing Made Easy on the Virginia foodie.com. You can also find a link to it under the Grow Your Brand tab on va foodie.com or message me directly and I can get you connected.
[00:13:26] Georgiana Dearing: I'll also put a link to the program in the show notes. And that's a wrap on another Marketing Monday. If you like this episode, please leave a review on Apple Podcast or wherever you listen or like and share it. All of these things help me keep helping you in your business grow. Thanks for listening, and if you wanna learn more about how to grow your own food brand, then click on Grow My email@example.com.
[00:13:53] Georgiana Dearing: If you're a lover of local food, then be sure to follow us. We are at VA Foodie on Instagram. Facebook and Twitter. Join the conversation and tell us about your adventures with good food, good people, and good brands.