Having goals when you work at home or run a home business is important, but even more important is setting the right goals. The right goals will encourage you to keep aiming at them, while the wrong goals will frustrate more than they help. It’s not just what the goal is – it’s how you phrase it and how you break it down.

Look At Your Big Goals First

Go ahead, look at them. Your dream goals. The things you aren’t sure you can achieve. Get it over with so that you can get to the more practical goals next. Write them down.

Skip things you have little to no control over, such as “winning the lottery.” That’s more dream than goal. When the only control you have over a goal is the first step and the rest is sheer chance, it’s not a good goal. Make your goals something you can work toward and have some level of control over your success or failure.

Look At Your Midrange Goals

Your midrange goals are the goals you’re more confident that you can achieve in a reasonable period. They aren’t huge, but put them together and they might just lead to something bigger. They might not be easy, but you know more about how you’ll get there.

These might be income goals nearer to where you are now, learning a new skill, working more hours more often… you get the idea.

Break It Down

Even your big goals can be broken down into steps. You might dream of running a six figure business (or more), but setting that as a goal has nothing to do with how you get there. You need to break it down into goals that will take you in that direction.

You might have a goal to find 5 new customers in a month. Sounds like a good goal, but it doesn’t say anything about how you’re going to get there. What actions do you need to take to get there? How are you going to get more attention to your services to get those customers? Think this through to come up with the steps you need to take to reach your goal.

Smaller steps can make great goals. These are the things you can get done. Some may take a couple hours work while others will take weeks or months. Some may be a simple to commitment to work a certain number of hours a day on a project.

Consider The Obstacles

If it were easy to meet your goals, most people wouldn’t struggle with them so much. When you set a goal, think about what might get in your way.

When you work at home and have kids, they’re often one of the major obstacles you face. It doesn’t matter how much you love them and enjoy working at home so you can be with them, they also make it harder to reach your goals.

Staying up late to work or getting up early are popular ways to handle the challenges that kids add. That may not be enough. You may need to look at ways to add in a little child care so that you can work during the day as well. You may be able to get a family member or friend to take the kids some of the time, a lovely, potentially free way to handle things, but not something that works for everyone. Working during naps only works as long as the kids are young enough to nap, and may not be enough. Finding the right balance is one of the major challenges for many people who work at home.

Other things may challenge you as you work at home too. Pets, friends, neighbors, TV, chores, there are plenty of distractions that can make it harder to reach your goals. Find a way to deal with whichever are keeping you from reaching your other goals.

Take Action

All this planning won’t help you at all if you don’t take action. Don’t overthink your goals. Don’t overthink the steps you plan to take to reach them. Do something. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t.