2 min read

Realistic Goal Setting


This year will come a’ roaring into existence with the same excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm that always accompanies a brilliant new year. We eagerly meet the chance to redeem slips and trips of the past 12 months on January 1 with a sigh of relief that the past is in the past.

We are conditioned to make new resolutions and do goal setting with each new year. The challenge of viewing the future and planning for it is just what we do as responsible business owners. But can we truly commit to making these intentions a reality? Can 2023 be different?

Successful outcomes can be ours if what we incorporate into our goal-setting and resolutions is a clear plan for accountability and follow-through along the way. Losing that holiday 10 pounds gained must include a solid plan for making it happen. And, in a similar fashion, a clear, step-by-step plan to increase the company’s bottom line, improve productivity or grow sales must be a solid part of our goal setting. There must also be an easy method for tracking and monitoring progress. These are the pieces that are the least fun and, at the same time, most critical.

The biggest obstacle to achieving success of well-laid plans is not external but comes from within ourselves. Can we set those realistic goals or intentions and be as diligent about monitoring our progress as we navigate through the year? For example, we may be determined to stay focused on our target niche market, which we know yields positive results; however, this resolve may go out the window. We feel the lure of that bright and shiny new sale that may appear. We absolutely KNOW that our sweet spot for peak performance is in the residential, high-end design/build market, but then the phone rings and there is the enticement of a chance to pursue a commercial project in our backyard. Commitments to our niche clients fly out the window at the lure of a new opportunity.

This year, 2023, should be the year of letting go of the allure of venturing off into areas that do not serve us, our business or our customers. Let go of being enticed by the bright and shiny possibilities … unless those have been included in your year’s targets. The word “no” is actually a “yes” within our business model. When you decline an “out of left field” business proposition, you are actually recommitting and staying focused on your plan. This does not mean that you never welcome growth opportunities or chances to expand your portfolio. But those expansions come when it is a part of the plan.

In losing those 10 pounds of Christmas cheer, you do not deny yourself enjoyable food; conversely, you choose better food choices and better health for yourself. As you select for a better you or a better business, you empower yourself on so many other levels as well. You model resolve and commitment for those who work with and for you. When you have shared goals and objectives, others observe your commitment and learn from you.

This can be the year you keep your goals and solutions simple and maintain focus on sticking to them 110 percent. Challenge and monitor yourself and also include a friendly watchdog or pack of watchdogs to review progress along with you. Get feedback and graciously accept it. You’ve got this. Bring on 2023.

About Deborah Cole

Deborah Cole is the founder of a commercial landscape firm with multiple locations throughout Texas. She now devotes herself full-time to speaking, writing and consulting.



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