I've just finished an enforced break (well, reduced workload) thanks to the school holidays, and I'm keen to get stuck back in. Any small business owner would feel the same - we are NOT a work-shy crowd by any stretch of the imagination.
But, although I'm itching to back into the thick of it, I've made a decision to suspend my full-blown return to work for a (short) period of reflection and actual goal setting. All the business gurus tell us to have clear goals, and indeed you probably set one when you started business. But what happens when your business is up and running? Are you too busy dealing with day-to-day decisions and and actually DOING business? When was the last time you reviewed your goals? Are you still on course? Are they still relevant? Do you need new ones?
Almost everyone is familiar with SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound), and they can be very useful indeed. But what is your goals are not so easily defined? What if they are more personal? Well, you can still set goals...in a fashion. Defining a well-formed outcome can really help you to focus on what you want, why you want it, what will happen if you do/don't get it, and how you will know you have achieved it. They go beyond cold, hard stats and instead tap into the more emotional side of goal setting. Because of this, they tend to be something that you commit to more easily. Both types of goals are defined in detail here.
As Steven Covey states in his book 'The 7 habits of highly effectively people' - we all need to take time out occasionally to 'sharpen our saw'. So, take an hour out in the coming week and focus on what it is that you want to achieve. Review any old goals that you set yourself, and/or set yourself some new ones. Use the SMART criteria where you can, but why not also try defining a well-formed outcome. It may be the most worthwhile hour you have all week.