September 1st was the 6 year anniversary of starting my Limited Coaching and Training business and the official launch of the new Solopreneur Club with 10 members. A glass of bubbly was on order!

July 16th this year was when I turned 50. A party was in order!

Milestones are all around us. Some we have no control of at all and they just happen, others we can choose to recognise and there are also those we plan for.

One of the main reasons many of us have stress in our business and life is that we either don’t plan for milestones or we simply don’t recognise or celebrate them as we should. We reach a milestone and it either passes us by or we set another one.

Whether working and living on your own, or working and living with others, it is essential that milestones are planned for, recognised, shared and celebrated.

Bill Gates once said that we set our sights too low when we create a vision for our future and yet we set our sights too high when we look at plans for the short term. These are wise words and I have often found working with many clients, that they don’t dream big enough for the future, but expect too much of themselves when we put together 90 days plans.

A vision for the future is probably the biggest milestone you will set, but the art of achieving this is to plan for milestones on the journey that will keep you on track. These are your shorter term goals and the most important of these I believe are your 90 day goals. These are your focus to keep you on track. But they need to be realistic, as not achieving goals can create stress. So when setting 90 day goals do your utmost to sense check these and scale them back if needs be.

Whether you work on your own or in a business with employees, it is important to recognise these milestones and celebrate. There has been much research into motivation that says we are more intrinsically motivated than extrinsically (Daniel Pink’s book Drive is a great read on this subject). In essence this means that it is best not to try and motivate people with the carrot of a reward, but to recognise it spontaneously after the event in some way. Harder to surprise yourself if it was a solo goal I admit!

You can also make your goals public. Telling people in your business, your friends or even more publicly what you intend to do can focus you even further to achieve those milestones. But again be mindful of setting tough targets that don’t get hit and increase stress levels.

Another great thing to do when you hit milestones is to take the positive outcome and “pay it forward”. When I reached 10 members in the new Solopreneur Club it was a trigger to support a charity I had become aware of and greatly respect.

There are so many ways we can set, recognise and celebrate milestones. So have some fun with them, enjoy the journey and don’t let them pass you by.