Business Banter: 6 quick tips on setting goals for focus and knowing when to say ‘no’

 In Business Tips

On the blog today, Hilary from UK Business Buddy, and small business coach Louisa Daubney, explore how goal setting can help create focus and bring clarity to your business vision or your plans for the year ahead. >>

As a new business owner and sole trader, goal setting was the last thing on my mind. That sounds odd, but 2020 was an eventful year that included redundancy, losing a furloughed job, losing many hours from my new job and accidentally creating a marketing business of my own. By the time January came around I felt like I was done with achievements and had already ticked off all my goals (even the ones I didn’t realise I had back in November)!

So when I listened to Louisa Daubney speaking about Coaching with Purpose and goal setting for 2021 I inwardly cringed. Goal setting has never really been on my radar, especially as I have been employed forever, preferring to tackle things as they come and retrospectively celebrating when things went well. However, an hour with Louisa changed my mind entirely…

Louisa says:

‘The start of the year is a great time to set goals for the year ahead. Taking some time to create a couple of goals for the year, or even just the first quarter enables us to have greater clarity over how we choose to spend our time. By writing down our goals and telling other people about them we significantly improve our chances of success.’

Indeed, during the recent Independent Oxford meet-up, we discussed how having goals keeps us from being distracted by saying ‘yes’ to too many projects or opportunities and helps us to decide what we say no to. Does it fit within your focus for the year?

Louisa’s 6 tips for SMART goal setting

As a reminder SMART goals are:


Try writing down a goal for the next three months of 2021. The brain needs to have something to hold onto, so ensure the goal is positive. Think about what you want out of the next quarter.

Then what?

  1. Draw an image or take a photo to visualise what success will look like when you have achieved this goal.
  2. Create a daily habit that will help you to achieve this goal. It could be something that takes one minute, five minutes, or an hour. You decide.
  3. Choose one person who you can update once every few days about your progress. Tell them that you are setting this goal and explain: what the goal is, why this goal is important to you and what the impact of achieving this goal will be for you.
  4. Find a likeminded group of people who are working on a similar goal. Tell them about your goal and feed back to them about your progress on a regular basis. Independent Oxford meet ups are a great place to do that.
  5. Write at least one action that will get you started with achieving this goal.
  6. Email me and let me know how you’re getting on at

Good luck!

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