5 Steps to Better Goal Setting

August 4, 2006


Today our advisor Jerry King said to me, “Everybody looks good when they are shadow boxing, but it’s a different story when you put someone in the ring with another fighter.”  It’s funny because it’s true.

When you work for yourself, and have no one to report to, it’s easy to avoid setting goals for yourself and that is dangerous.  Take the time every three months – even if its only five minutes –  and write down your goals.

Tips for Effective Goal Setting

Make sure your goals are:

  1. Action-oriented (“I will write, clean, complete, send, XYZ”)
  2. Measurable (e.g. “I will go out to lunch with 4 new prospects”)
  3. Realistic and attainable (e.g. “I will learn to tie my tie in a windsor knot“)
  4. Constrained by time (e.g. “I will get this done by XXX date”)
  5. Prioritized (e.g. “this is the most important goal I have”)

You will be amazed how setting goals will focus your thinking, help you prioritize your daily activities, and you will be amazed where those two things will take you.  It’s a discipline.  You can thank yourself later.

Related: Small Business / Big Goals: Business Resolutions to Inspire


about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.