I'm a naturally goal orintated person. I like to look towards a number or a $ amount, or something tangable I can see in the future. When I first started my business I was happy just to be in business. After about a year I realized that if I ever wanted to grow beyond my "comfort zone" I was going to have to do something. That's when I started setting goals.
And not just goals in my head, real goals that I could see. I found a dry erase board and I put it up on my office wall. From then on I started keeping monthly goals of what I hoped to achieve that month.
For me, this is pretty much the same thing as having a daily schedule. I have to have my planner to be able to function during the day. I like physically being able to see what I need to get done. Seeing it there in front of me pushes me to get it done so I can check it off. Just like seeing my monthly goals pushes me to be able to get them done.
Seeing these goals is enough to drive me but if you aren't a goal driven person you might have to find another incentive. Maybe tell yourself if you reach your goals you can buy ___. Or maybe if you get to a certain amount of time worked you can reward yourself with a day off.
If that doesn't work you might want to try the accountability approach. Have a friend, fellow business-person, or a mentor keep you in check. Make sure they know what your goals are and have them ask you about them every so often. You can offer to do the same for them.
I'd also encourage you to not set "safe" goals. If you always set goals that you know you can reach...where is your incentive to push yourself to do better?
Do you set goals? What helps you reach for them?
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