April 1, 2019
Myscha StaffordI have always been the type of person that likes to plan for things very far in advance —  maybe a bit too far sometimes. Think about where you were five years ago. Did you imagine yourself where you are today? I find myself trying to wrap my head around the idea that you can only do so much planning for the future. Life is far too unpredictable. If you’re like me, this concept is frustrating. To combat this, I am trying to make plans that are attainable in the shorter term, where I can realize the results in the not so distant future. In a way, this process is very similar to setting goals.

As the new season begins, what are the goals for your company? Are you focused on increasing sales, or taking on larger projects? Perhaps you want to downsize and finally begin the process of starting a viable succession plan. Maybe your goals for 2019 are more focused on your personal life and this is finally the year to feel less consumed by work, maybe take on a new hobby, or even learn how to make a mean curry.

As you set your goals for 2019, make sure they are SMART ones (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, Timely).

Specific: Define what you want to achieve. This is the who, what, where, when, why and how of your goal. Don’t allow yourself to be vague. Clearly outline what your specific goal is.

Measurable: Having a measurable goal means you will easily know once you have achieved your goal. What does this achievement look like? Quantify and qualify what achieving this goal will look like.

Attainable: After outlining what your goal is, can it really be done? Let’s say your goal is to quit your job and go back to school full-time to get that MBA you’ve always wanted; but the reality is you have a mortgage and lots of other bills to pay. Your goal is not attainable in the way you’ve imagined, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a compromise. Maybe for now, you keep your job and take online or part-time courses in order to eventually achieve your goal.

Relevant/Realistic: Ask yourself why you want to reach this particular goal. What is the motivated behind it? What do you hope to get out of achieving it? What skills and tools do you need to achieve it? Does your goal align with your overall business plan?

Timely: One way to reach a goal is to set a firm deadline. If you do not put a time frame on reaching your goal, there may not be much motivation to get it done. Make sure your timeline is realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure by leaving too little time, which may cause you to rush, but don’t leave yourself too much time that you then have the luxury of procrastinating. Setting target deadlines for achieving the steps toward your goal will help keep you motivated and accountable.

Although it’s not included in the acronym, I am adding another “R” on the end, (to make it SMARTR), for Reward. When you have achieved your goal, take time to celebrate your accomplishment and treat yourself. With all that hard work, you’ve earned it!

One of the goals of Landscape Ontario’s membership department this season is to get out and visit with members on job sites or places of business in each of our nine chapters. That’s right. From Ottawa to Windsor, we’re coming to see you. So if you have a unique or interesting project lined up this year (or one you are extra proud of), please let us know before our itinerary fills up. We love getting out to visit LO members at work. We always get great feedback, lots of new ideas, and a chance to thank your clients for choosing to hire a professional member of Landscape Ontario.

As the busy season begins, I leave you with this quote from Sir Richard Branson: “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.”

I wish you and your staff all the best this seasonal, and good luck reaching your goals.
Myscha Stafford
LO Membership and Chapter Coordinator