How to set and achieve your contractor goals in 2020

5 tips to setting and achieving your contractor goals in 2020

As we head through a new year and new decade, what better time for contractors to set goals and aim to make 2020 their most successful year of contracting yet? After all, those that set goals are 10x more likely to succeed. Goals guide focus and help to sustain the momentum to accomplish your ambitions.

However, only a mere 8% of goal setters go on to achieve them. Fortunately, this handy guide from Umbrella Supermarket will equip you with everything you need to know about setting and achieving a realistic set of contractor goals in 2020.

Set SMART goals

Whatever a contractor’s goals, whether it’s acquiring a new skill or improving your finances, setting goals that are achievable requires contractors to get smart. This means creating goals that are:

  • Specific: a goal should be as specific and detailed as possible. Ambiguous, unclear goals are difficult to work towards, lack focus and won’t set you in the right direction to achieve them. A goal to ‘be more successful’ is extremely vague and can mean many different things to different contractors. However, a goal to ‘win a high-value contract with x client by August 2020’ is more actionable, measurable and gives you something real to work towards
  • Measurable: what metrics will you use to determine whether you have met your goal? Making your goals measurable in turn makes them more tangible, providing a way of measuring your progress and knowing when they have been completed.
  • Achievable: although it’s great to aim high, goals also need to be realistic. After all, increasing your contractor income by 50% in 6 months is not realistic and merely sets you up for failure.
  • Relevant: focus on setting goals that are relevant and make sense within the broader context of your career. If your aim is to improve your knowledge of GDPR in 2020, your goals should be focused around this, such as enrolling onto a GDPR online course.
  • Timely: finally, you need to set a realistic end date. After all, anyone can set a goal, but if it lacks realistic timing, then chances are you won’t succeed. Giving yourself 1 week to complete a training course is unrealistic and discouraging, instead you should set yourself a realistic completion date to work towards.

Strike a balance

Within a business context, goals are most likely to fail when they don’t inspire achievement. When setting goals, it’s important to ensure they are challenging yet realistic, striking the right balance to encourage success. Goals that are too easy don’t spur on achievement, yet impossible to reach goals are demoralising and discouraging.

For example, a goal to ‘increase traffic to my contractor website by 50% in 1 monthis highly unlikely and sets you up for failure. On the other hand, the goal to increase traffic to my contractor website by 5% in 1 monthis far more realistic and motivates real success.

Write your goals down

Although this might sound like an obvious course of action, those that write down their goals are  42% more likely to achieve them, yet less than 20% of people admit to doing so.

Whether contractors jot down their goals in their diaries, on the notes app on their smartphones or on their laptop, having goals written down will boost motivation, sharpen focus and helps you track your progress. By serving as a reminder of what you are trying to achieve, a set of written down goals will help keep you in check.

Make your goals manageable

Breaking goals down into manageable actions improves chances of success by 90%. Setting out specific actions you will need to take in order to achieve a goal will help ensure you don’t miss any important steps. Think of this process as breaking a goal into bite-sized chunks, breaking bigger objectives into smaller steps. This will help your goal seem less daunting and more attainable.

So, if a contractor’s goal is to win a high-value contract with x client by April, break down this goal into easy to digest chunks:

  • Attend a 3 week GDPR training course in March to gain the necessary skills
  • Throughout March, work on my interview skills, giving myself 1 hour each weekend to sharpen my pitch
  • Update my CV to reflect latest work experience and new skills by the end of March

Set your schedule

Once you have created a realistic set of goals and established an action plan of how you will achieve these, the next step it to set a timeframe outlining when you will achieve each sub-task by, as well as an overall completion date.

Whether your goal will take days, weeks, months or years to achieve, it’s important to set a schedule in order to stay on task. Whether you write these key dates down in your planner, set up a spreadsheet, input them into your phone’s calendar or use the likes of Google calendar, it’s important to be able to visualise your deadlines to make it easier to work towards them.

Be realistic and set a schedule that works for you. For example, if you know you have a 2 week holiday booked in April, don’t plan to start an online course at this time.

Review your goals

An important part of the process is to regularly check-in on your goals to determine whether they are still relevant and important to you. After all, the world of contracting moves quickly, and some goals can simply lose their importance or relevance to your career.

Depending on the longevity of your goal, carry out regular assessments to establish whether it is still valuable to you. This will help keep you motivated and determined to achieve the goals that are important.

Keep things simple

Whatever your ambitions for 2020, making use of the services of an umbrella company will help keep things simple, giving contractors more time to work on achieving their all-important goals. At Umbrella Supermarket, our easy to use comparison tool finds contractors the very best deals for them. Enter your details, compare quotes and enjoy a successful year of smashing your contractor goals in 2020.


Would you like more information on How to set and achieve your contractor goals in 2020?

Explore More Resources

umbrella vs limited guide

Umbrella vs Limited: Guide for Contractors

In the world of contracting, one of the biggest decisions faced by contractors is over the way they will contract. This can be under an umbrella company or through a limited company. Having a big impact on your daily working life, this is a decision that requires careful thought and consideration.