As an entrepreneur, setting goals is what you do. You set goals to grow your revenue by a certain percentage each quarter, goals to meet with a certain number of potential investors each week or goals to write a certain number of words per day.
But while you’re busy setting goals for your business, are you neglecting setting goals for yourself in the process?
Are you letting your business goals crowd out personal development? It’s easy to get so focused on your professional and business goals that you forget the importance of personal goal setting. However, setting goals for yourself is essential, keeping you fresh as both an entrepreneur and a person. Let’s have a look at why.
Personal vs. Professional Goals
1. Increased Self-Confidence
When you set goals and achieve them, it provides a major boost to your self-confidence. This increase in self-confidence will improve all areas of your life, from your relationships with people to your success in business to your overall sense of well-being. And your personal goals provide the perfect low-stakes sandbox to boost your self-confidence through “small wins” on the goals that you already find meaningful enough to pursue in your free time.
2. Pushing Your Comfort Zone
Along with boosting your self-confidence, setting personal goals also provides an opportunity to expand your comfort zone without the risk of serious consequences for failing to meet your goals. If you make the wrong decision in your business, it can jeopardize your livelihood. Therefore, you’re less likely to take risks in business, even when it’s ultimately to your advantage to do so.
With personal goals, in contrast, taking risks and going beyond what’s comfortable are far less potentially disastrous. Yet, you still get the practice taking risks in a safe environment, ultimately making you more comfortable with pushing your comfort zone in higher stakes areas such as growing and developing your business.
3. Personal Development
Setting goals for yourself offers an opportunity for a type of self-improvement that you don’t get in your professional goals. Sure, learning to get better at sales or sharpening your knowledge of a particular software provide a kind of improvement experience that can be rewarding. But these goals do little in the long run to make you a better person.
With personal goals, in contrast, you have the opportunity to improve yourself in a way that lasts beyond your specific job, company or career. This process offers a chance to remember that life is about more than just spreadsheets and dollar signs — it’s also about figuring out who you want to be.
How to Set Personal Goals
Now that you understand what personal goals are and what benefits come from setting them, let’s take a look at how to set personal goals that you’ll be able to achieve.
1. Pick Meaningful Goals
2. Balance Long-Term and Short-Term Goals
While there are no rules for setting personal goals, we recommend striking the right balance of short term and long term. This way, you have big things to work towards while still benefiting from the motivation that comes from achieving things in the short term.
For example, you might have a long-term vision of running a marathon, but that’s far too big a goal to help you maintain the motivation to meet it. To balance this, you can break that down into smaller goals that form a marathon training plan that consists of running a certain number of miles per week. This way, you’re far more likely to accomplish your goal.
3. Set SMART GoalsThe SMART goal-setting framework is a powerful tool that you can use to set yourself up for success to achieve any goal you want. It consists of setting goals that meet the following criteria:
With this (or any similar framework) in place, you’ll be able to increase your chances of achieving your goals to a far greater degree than if you start without a plan. For a full exploration of SMART goal setting, check out our SMART goals guide.