Setting Goals & Holding Yourself Accountable

I spent some of the holiday break mapping out a plan of attack for some of my goals here at [] in 2012. The end result is still a bit of a work in progress. But so far, it’s a lot more than just “I want to do X next year.”

That’s where most people fall short. They plan on “accomplishing X next year” but there’s no accountability built into it. It’s just a statement. A goal. And somehow, you go about hoping things will work out.

“Oh, I wanted to publish that ebook to encourage more people to sign up for my email list. I’ll finish it in February.” February becomes April. Then September. Next thing you know, it’s December again. And we’re working on goals and resolutions for the New Year all over again. 

Setting A Specific Goal

What specifically do you want to change or accomplish in 2012? If you have a real estate blog for example, leads to you are the number of IDX registrations you receive in any given week/month. So instead of saying “I want to double my IDX registrations,” get more specific and assign a number to it. So instead, you might say “I want to generate 1,000 IDX registrations by this time next year.”

See how that number is much more specific.

Once you’ve figured out that number, you can start mapping out the list of activities you need to accomplish by March, June, September and December to make it all happen. In other words, what kind of progress will you need to have made to make a certain level of progress each quarter?

Look at your 1,000 IDX registration figure and say:

  • From January to March I need to find a way to get 100 new IDX registrations by doing the following _______________________________.
  • From March to June I need to find a way to get 200 new IDX registrations by doing the following _______________________________.
  • From June to September I need to find a way to get 300 new IDX registrations by doing the following _______________________________.
  • From September to December I need to find a way to get 400 new IDX registrations by doing the following _______________________________.

Do the math: 100 + 200 + 300 + 400 = 1,000. 

Each quarter you’ve assigned yourself a specific target and you’ve said to yourself, “I need to do this to make it happen.”

Do you see how that’s much more realistic and accountable than simply saying “I want to double my business in 2012″? This way, your setting goals and executing your plan on a month-to-month basis rather than your end-of-the-year check-in.

My Goal(s)

I want to add “X” (I have a specific number in mind) number of members to Real Estate Blog Topics by the end of 2012. I have a pretty good idea of how well the landing page converts with raw traffic to the site, but I also know that my email list converts much better. So my goal is to increase my level of newsletter subscribers – the idea is that a percentage of those subscribers will convert to paid memberships.

My newsletter is a 7-part series and on-going email newsletter. Here’s how it works: Reader Subscribes > Receive a Welcome Email > then…

  • Lesson #1
  • Bonus Video
  • Lesson #2
  • Lesson #3
  • Promotion
  • Lesson #4
  • Lesson #5
  • Lesson #6
  • Lesson #7
  • Promotion

Emails are between 1 and 3 days apart. And I’m tracking everything – open rates, click-thru rates, time-on-site when a click-thru results on someone reading through the landing page, and more.

Figuring out those numbers what step 1. Setting up the individual lessons and creating the follow-up email series was step 2. Step 3 was conversion – but switching to the Generate Theme from StudioPress made that part relatively easy. The last and final step is assigning a specific number: “I want ‘X’ number of subscribers by 2012.” Then, mapping out what I need to get done each quarter to meet my quarterly progress goals. I wrote some of my goals and numbers down on large 5″ x 8″ index cards and they’re mounted on the wall next to me as a reminder of what I need to work on.

This way, I have a quarterly go and a list of action steps that I need to complete in order to meet that goal. Remember what I said about accountability.

What about you?

What are your goals for the new year? What specifically, do you want to improve? And what do you need to do to get there?

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  1. says

    My goal is to set some goals. Seriously. I know that may sound strange. But setting goals (especially ones you’ll be held accountable for) is scary. It means you’re getting SERIOUS. You’re treating things like a REAL business. And that means you not only can succeed, but you can also fail. No goals – no chance of failure. This year, I’ve finally gotten up the courage to move from “I’m just doing some online stuff” to “this is a real business and I need to take it seriously.” So, first things first – I’m setting some goals!

    Thanks, Ricardo, for reminding me of what I need to do over the next week or two…

    • says

      Monica: And no time like the present to get started!

      Being afraid of failure is a tricky one. It holds you back so much – I know because I’ve been there. But if you can embrace that, and move forward anyway, knowing that everything is going to be ok, you’ll see truly amazing results! 

      If you “fail,” correct, learn and keep moving forward! Do that, and you’ll have nothing but successes to embrace in 2012 :-) 

      Thanks for the comment Monica!

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