Daycare Goals and Objectives: New Year, New You
5,4,3,2,1 Happy New Year! As the ball drops on New Year's Eve, the excitement of a new year with a fresh start is a typical feeling many individuals experience. This is the time to think about your upcoming year and the goals you dream about accomplishing. How do you even start planning this?
If you are anything like me, my mind wanders into a kaleidoscope of ideas ever-changing, constantly moving, and rearranging into realistic and far-fetched ideas.
A New Year’s resolution is often temporary. It's about making a choice to do or not do something specific. A goal is the short/long-term of what you would like to achieve.
Let’s explore how you can grasp hold of reality and change those dreams into realistic daycare goals and objectives that you can achieve.
Turn Your Dreams Into Reality
The first step to turning your daydreams into reality is that you have to write them down. You have to take your dreams from only living in your head to living on paper too. As far-fetched as they might be, clear your mind and write down all your dreams that pertain to your business. Brainstorm using post-it notes for each one, and stick them on an empty wall. When you're done, group them together to like buckets.
Now, when you write down your goals, think of them as stepping stones to achieving your dreams - more on that in a minute. You will start to see how some thoughts and ideas might fit together and are accompanying plans. You must outline your personal goals, as well as your professional ones. Break them apart and giving them their own space.
- Dream = Owning my own child care center
- Short term goals (1-3 months) to get there:
- Create a Daycare business plan
- Create a brand and logo (if going the non-franchise route)
- Learn from someone successful (existing center owner or child care consultant)
Map Out Your Steps to Achieve the Goal
Turn your daydreams into set goals by mapping out what needs to be done. Right now your goal is just a vision for the future, but by writing it down and mapping it out, your vision becomes one step closer to becoming reality.
Break apart larger goals into smaller stepping stones to help guide you along the path of success. Did you ever see someone try to explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the other person could only do the steps the narrator told them? It's pretty funny to watch if you haven't seen it yet, and it could also be a great team-building activity. Think of yourself as the narrator and break apart your larger goals into simple steps you can follow and achieve, providing yourself with a treasure map for success.
There are many different formats you can use to map out your goals, but the biggest thing you need to do is start writing them down in any way that works best for you.
Set your Deadlines
After you write down your goals and map out your steps, it is time to set due dates next to each step. A deadline is vital in goal setting. This step is what holds you accountable and establishes a set date for when individual steps and goals will be completed. This is a way to turn steps into action and make a commitment to achieving them.
Don't worry, this is your internal timeline so know that it can be adjusted if you have to. However, the best way to stay on track is to meet your due dates and keep pushing along. When you are setting due dates for each step in your goals, make sure they are achievable but push you to work hard.
A good way to remember the above steps is to set yourself up with SMART goals. There are webinars, videos, and many documents on how to set smart goals, but let's explore the main concept. The biggest reason you would want to map out each goal into a smart goal is to make sure it fits with your big picture. This helps you grasp ahold of your dreams and make sure that it is worth your time and energy to achieve them.
S = Specific - When setting your goals be specific about what you want to achieve. This should give you a clear picture of precisely what you want to accomplish.
M = Measurable - This breaks apart your large goal into a measurable outcome letting you know when you have reached or getting close to reaching your goal.
A = Attainable - Do not be afraid to push yourself with goals that you need to stretch and reach for, but make sure that you can truly achieve them.
R = Relevant - When setting goals you want to ensure that they are part of your bigger picture by asking yourself if this goal helps you work towards your overall idea or business success.
T = Timely - When you are setting your goals you must place a deadline within each step to ensure that you stay on task and work towards achieving the goal.
This seems a little complicated, but it is straightforward to do. Let’s walk through a short example together.
S - To purchase a new playground structure
M - Host 1 monthly fundraiser event to assist with the overall costs
A - Management team will track the funds' progress after each event
R - Provides a safe and fun area for children and markets the overall program
T - One full calendar year, January to January
Setting up your goals into “SMART” goals will help you decipher what is an achievable and what goals you shouldn't put time and energy into. Spend time thinking through this process and trying to determine any roadblocks you might hit.
No one wants to be a quitter, but sometimes it is good to know when to throw in the towel. It is ok to determine that a goal you had in mind isn't worth your time and energy. It’s always best to go through the above steps and determine what goals you should work on and what ones you should table or trash.
It is important to place your goals in an area that you can see and reflect on often, a vision board is a great way to do just that. A vision board doesn't have to be complicated, it can be a simple collage of pictures or just words highlighting your goals.
If you write down your goals and just toss them into a drawer, you will likely forget about them. You will want to place personal or professional goals in an area that you can see often and if it is a team goal, find a place that you and your team can reflect on.
Staying on Track
Do not stress, take breaths and work through your goals as you have planned. If you get off track then just adjust and reflect on your process. Just because you get a little off track doesn't mean you have to give up completely. Adjust what you need to and keep working away at achieving your goals. Malcolm S. Forbes has said it best, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
Each time you go through this process you will learn more and more. You will learn what works best for you, how to map out your goals, and the best way to give yourself deadlines. Just remember, you will only fail if you don’t learn and move forward. Take the kaleidoscope of ideas and turn them into a snapshot of the goals you can achieve.
Are You Feeling a Little Overwhelmed and Would Like an Extra Hand?
If you are overwhelmed with what you need to get done or what steps you need to complete, let our Child Care Biz Help team support you. We can help assist you with goal setting and starting on the right track.
Our team is here to help guide you through the new goal-setting process and help take some of the heavy left off your shoulders. Contact us for more information about our child care consulting and bring in Caroline Jens and her team to help assist.
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Article written by Kate Burch, Child Care Consultant, Child Care Biz Help
Everything looks incredible I personally struggle with that I make one mistake and I stop I would love to learn how to accomplish goal setting.