New Year's Resolutions, Goals, Objectives, Ambitions, Vows, Promises... most of us have something we have set ourselves to accomplish this year.
Let's discuss why we do it, how we do it, and what we get from it. (And yes, I will share some of hakamount's goals as examples!)
Why Set Goals?
Everyone has their own way of setting a 'goal' for themselves. It could be prescribed on a piece of paper with a tangible result (Run a 20 minutes 5k) or it could be much broader, like 'Be Happy'.
I'm not here to tell you what's right or wrong - well actually I am. The right way is the way that works for you. But looking beyond that, why do we set these types of goals?
In my opinion it's for many reasons - firstly, it gives people a sense that they are working towards or progressing in something. It gives a sense of fulfilment.
It gives focus and structure. It places priority on one 'thing' or emotion and allows us to drive towards that. It enables easier decision making and removes ambiguity.
It drives output. Having a clear and defined vision increases the volume/effectiveness of what we do.
I'm writing this blog now because it is topical (New Year and all that). The truth is, goals are not dictated by the time of the year. And in fact, associating them with a time of year leads to failure. I prefer to use the year changing as a time to assess.
'I said i'd do this, how much progress have I made?'.
So how should we set out goals?
How To Set Goals
As you may have gathered, I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions. This is because by February/March people run out of steam and the goal you set for yourself looks a distant memory.
Using January to set an unrealistic target leads to a lack of consistency and hence, failure.
Whether you are someone who likes a very clear and tangible goal (like the 20min 5k) or you're someone who prefers broad ('Be Happy) - the key is to be consistent.
I prefer small changes over time, rather than going from 0 to 100. Let's look at the two examples.
1. A 20 minute 5k
If you start from nothing, and instantly begin running 5 - 6 times a week, chances are you'll pick up an injury.
2. Be Happy
If you try and make every single outcome end with you being happy, you'll fail within your first day.
Whilst the goals are different, the approach is the same - small changes over time.
There's something to be said for setting short and long term goals. Personally, I find use of both to be beneficial. Short term goals work well for the more tangible stuff. It's easier to see 3 weeks in to the future rather than 3 months. With hakamount, it might be something like 'Agree partnership with X before the end of the month'. It's a short term goal that would help me reach a long term goal of 'Growth'.
It depends on the person, but 'Growth' may be too broad. Some people may prefer 'Grow revenue by 40% this year' - and that's fine too. Like I said earlier, whatever works for you - both have pros and cons. The benefit of a long term goal is that it provides a vision - that vision drives short term decision making.
'Be more healthy' = great long term goal
'Switch from 2 sugars to 1 sugar in my tea' = great goal for January
So my advice for 'The How' is:
1. Don't wait for January to set your goals
2. Set long and short term goals
3. Be consistent
I've mentioned growth, but what are hakamount's goals?
What Should Your Goals Be?
I currently have 3 goals for hakamount which centre around: Growth, Community & Giving Back.
As any new start up aims to do, we want to grow our brand significantly - that's the long term.
In the short term, I'm exploring ways we can get our vitamins in the hands of more customers. Recently, we have upgraded our shipping services which enables us to be a lot more scalable and hence ready for growth. Over the past few months we have improved our website and social content. Looking forward, we're in talks with a few carefully selected retailers with the possibility of forming a partnership nationwide.
Community is something I have given a lot of thought to recently. Everyone chases numbers, whether it be followers, sales, views. Personally, I would rather have a tight knit group where everyone shares the same values, dreams and ambitions. I'm like that personally, and I don't see hakamount being much different.
In the short term, I'd like to create great engagement on our socials - where everyone can laugh and comment on the photos, but also relate to the goals that we all share. Additionally, I'm trying to find the right time to release some 'haka merch' - a small way for our community to rep the brand and what we stand for.
Giving back is an interesting one - in all honesty, we can do more in this area. Whilst we try to choose eco friendly packaging and limit waste - I feel we could do more.
I've said to myself in the past 'we will give back but we need to grow first' - a mistake. We don't need X amount of money or X amount of followers to give back, so watch this space. I want to look back on this blog sometime in the next 12-24 months and be proud of how we have helped those in need.
And that's a wrap. These are largely just my opinions based on my experiences. Hopefully one of you can find them useful and incorporate them in your day to day.