Are you on track for achieving all that you intended to achieve in your business this year?

Reflect on this: Way back in January, what were the business goals you set for the year?

Whatever they were, one of two things happened: you are either on target to accomplish them, or you are not.

If you are on track, congratulations!!

If you are not, remember one important piece of advice from Dennis Waitley:

"Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer."

Perhaps it is time to take a more strategic approach to business growth.

Below are 7 things that you can start doing now to help you strategically move your business forward.

1. Vision and Belief

· Vision Achieving goals are not ends in and of themselves; they are only a means to an end. Where do your goals fit into your overall vision or philosophy? This question is critical to answer. What are the consequences of not achieving your goals? What are the rewards and benefits for accomplishing them?

You have to know why you are doing what you are doing. There should be a sense of purpose for your business. What impact do you want to have on your clients? I talk to a lot of people in business and it is rare that they are successful without a clearly defined purpose

· Belief Are your goals something you believe you can accomplish? Belief in the attainment of any goal is a critical requirement in the achievement of that goal. Do whatever is necessary from writing out affirmations to visualization to giving yourself rewards for incremental progress.

2. Review and Assess

Review the goals and objectives you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Are you on track to achieve them? Review each one and determine the strengths and weaknesses of each component part. Once completed, decide if that particular goal is still something you want to or need to achieve. Be realistic. You only have a limited time frame to get each goal over the finish line. Create a short list of must be accomplished goals.

3. Strategic Goal Planning

To dramatically increase your chances of achieving your goals, limit the number of goals and write out very precise statements of exactly what you want to accomplish and the exact date it will be accomplished. Then, break that goal down into mini-action steps that have the same amount of specificity as the goal itself. The more specific and measurable each step is the better.

4. Avoid Obstacles

Determine what obstacles might stand in the way of achieving your goal. What potential problems can you see on the horizon? Develop plans and processes to determine and overcome the obstacles that will prevent you from successfully achieving each goal or action step.

5. Schedule the Time

Goal achievement takes time. Create an ideal schedule that carves out an ample amount of time for each goal activity and then stick to it. First, create the ideal schedule on paper. Next, transfer it to whatever calendaring system you are using. Be sure to account for each and every activity that is required for you to achieve your goal.

6. Keep Score

Review and track your progress every day. Every morning and evening review what you have accomplished that has moved you one or more steps closer to achieving your goals. If no progress was made, determine why and how to do better tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to revise, fine tune, or totally recycle goals as necessary. A particular goal may have sounded good at the time you wrote it out, but if it no longer resonates with you, throw it out. Keeping a goal that you have no strong emotional intention to accomplish drains your energy and takes away from accomplishing your other goals.

7. Celebrate

Celebrate your victories, no matter how big or small along the way. Enjoy the successful accomplishment of each milestone. This positive reinforcement will keep your energy and enthusiasm high.

I sincerely hope that by implementing these ideas you will have more successes to celebrate at year-end. When you look at the big picture, isn’t it really the sum total of all of the “little” steps we take that make such a big difference in our lives and businesses?

I’d like to close with two quotes from Vince Lombardi, the great football coach. He said,

“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”