A few months ago, I got a new Fitbit. So far, I have set a goal for myself – and upped it a few times as I thought I was doing better. What I have begun to realize, is how tricky “goal setting” can be. As a matter of fact, setting goals by myself for myself is downright dangerous!

As a Fitbit wearer, I started to wonder about goals and not only how we set them, but why. Should we set goals that can always be achieved, no matter what, or should a goal be something we strive for, that is just out of reach?

The “Definitive Goal”

As I began researching, I considered the definition of “goal”, I was reminded that sometimes there is a definitive goal, without which you will certainly lose.

A great example is basketball games. In order to win the game, you need a collective team goal to sink more baskets than your opponents. The ultimate goal, of course, to have more points so you win the game.

The “Personal Goal”

But we’re talking about different goals here. There isn’t really any game – yet there is. As a matter of fact, I now know where the phrase “game yourself” came from. It has to do with setting (or not setting) goals for yourself. That is, whether I walk 10,000 steps every day or not is up to me. I get to decide the goal. Of course, one thing is certain – that goal should be truly attainable for me. However, if I consistently meet that goal or exceed it, have I set a goal that is too low? On the contrary, if I am never able to make that goal, have I set a goal that is too high, and should I be concerned?

Those are the perils of personal goal setting that we grapple with every day. That’s why goal setting is so blasted hard, including marketing goals. Especially when we set them for ourselves.

When I think of marketing goals, there seem to be three main groups of marketers:

  • Those who don’t keep any kind of marketing schedule or calendar. They just go about each day, “doing or not doing” any marketing – it doesn’t really matter. Oh, don’t get me wrong – they know that actually doing it matters, but they don’t think the overall schedule or consistency is important. They’ll get to it “when they have time”. (This would equate to the non-Fitbit wearer.)
  • Those who use a calendar or schedule and keep their target goals almost all the time. This group also includes those who exceed their goals – a very lofty bunch! (These folks wear their Fitbits even while sleeping and reach their targets, too!)
  • Then there are those who create the schedule, but don’t keep up with the marketing tasks. They want to at first, but, alas, begin to get further and further behind until the schedule or calendar is forgotten. (In Fitbit-speak, they wear it as a watch.)

Sometimes I’m in the Same Boat!

But hey, no judgment here. I’m thinking, as long as the Fitbit isn’t broken, you still can get back on board, right? Same with your marketing schedule – give it another shot. I’m not going to preach about the importance of online marketing consistency (but, there. I mentioned it anyway!)

Here are a few things that might help:

  • Review your previous online marketing plan – was it too aggressive for you? Maybe pull back a bit or get someone to help you with a plan that might work better.
  • Avoid doing “helter skelter” marketing tasks. Each time you decide to market your business, begin with a goal in mind that can truly be accomplished.
  • Are there some online tools that you can really start to use more effectively (I know, you tried this – but maybe something else will work better)
  • Should you outsource your online marketing tasks – or at least some of them? I meet a lot of solo-preneurs who try to do everything themselves and either never have time for what they love or never get around to the things they don’t. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

So, now I’d like to hear from you. Which group are you in?