If you want to be successful in life and more importantly in your VA business, then one of the most important steps is setting goals in both your personal and professional life.

If you just work to get things done, you end up going through the motions with no real purpose or drive. Setting goals gives you something to strive for, and skyrockets your chances of actually being successful, no matter what you set out to do.

When I set my goals, here are a few things I always strive for:

Aim high.

While it may seem logical to set goals you know you can reach, that’s really not going to make you any more successful than what you are now. To be able to achieve, you need to reach for something just beyond your grasp. Something that will motivate you to do more. Otherwise you’ll just end up where you started.

Be realistic.

At first glance, this seems to be totally opposite from the last tip. The problem with aiming high is that, if you constantly set goals you can’t reach, you’re going to fail over and over again. If you keep failing, you’re eventually going to give up with goal setting and settle for less than you’re capable of achieving.

If your goals are unrealistic, you also run the risk of putting yourself in danger. If you are 100% set on reaching a goal that is simply out of reach, you’re going to raise your stress levels. High stress levels can keep you from getting sleep, affect your emotional and mental health, and increase your risk of all kinds of diseases and illnesses.

Make a plan.

Having a goal is great, but you also need to know how to get to your goal. Otherwise you’ll end up getting sidetracked with things that distract you from your goals. Once you set your goals, make a plan of exactly how to get there – include the timescales. Most importantly, after you make your plan, follow through. To keep yourself on track, check your plan regularly. This will not only help you make sure you’re following the plan, but will also give you a chance to revise your plan if it’s no longer the best course of action.

Be accountable.

Having your goals in mind is great, but if you get distracted or reach a setback, you only really have yourself to be accountable to, and you only have yourself to provide you with encouragement. If you tell someone, they can help remind you of what you’re working for and push you to keep going. Make sure this is someone you trust, so you don’t worry about being embarrassed by what you really want. This could be a family member, a friend or another Business Owner – someone who is at a similar stage in their business journey or someone who is more experienced and can help guide you.

Keep objectives in mind.

When running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about your ultimate goals. That’s why it’s good to make sure you have reminders in your office of what you’re working for. If you’re working to provide a better life for your family, keep pictures of your family succeeding. Maybe you have an idol that you want to be like. Post clippings of them and their various successes around the office. These will help keep you focused on your goals and motivated to do the job at hand.

Review and Evaluate

Once you have an idea of what you want and a timescale for achieving it, you have something to measure your progress against. You now have a means of gauging how far you have come in attaining those things you want, the ability to see what your next steps are and a clear indication of the things you can celebrate achieving and overcoming.

One key in being successful is knowing that even if you fail, you can build and learn from what you did wrong. If you set a goal and fail to meet it, don’t give up. Keep trying to reach for the stars.

If having a VA Business is one of your goals, then VACT can help you launch and grow your VA Business; supporting your through the VA Momentum Course, which is where you can discover how to use your existing skill set to establish a successful business.