I recently helped 30 business owners identify and employ winning habits in their organization during a workshop. While talking about goal setting it occurred to me that even successful people really struggle with setting goals and more importantly, making a commitment to those goals.
Goal setting is hard because it feels arbitrary. It’s easy to get disenchanted with the process when you set goals and then fail. You start to think the goal setting process is a waste of time. Studies show goal setting can improve performance.
I have been setting goals for 25 years. Here are some things I have observed that have helped my clients, and myself, hit new levels of achievement:
This sounds really fluffy, but let me make this a little more concrete. Stephen Covey said to begin with the end in mind. We must create belief. We do that by reverse engineer our goals to see what’s needed for achievement. This process pushes us to come up with facts and systems to make the goal possible. This fuels belief. If you don’t believe you can hit your goal, there is no way you will.
- Set long and short term goals
Not only should you set big goals that stretch yourself for the year, you should also break those down by week, month and quarter to stay on track.
- Create space to review goals
You and I both have been guilty of going to a seminar or training, setting goals and then putting them in a drawer to never be seen again. Make sure you create a regular rhythm to assess your goal progress and review them.
- Get a team
Don’t attempt goals alone. Get support from virtual assistants, employees, mentors, coaches, etc. The more you leverage the talents of others, the faster you will achieve goals.
- Set big goals
Don’t wimp out and set small goals for yourself. In sales we used to say that we would rather set a big goal and come up short (where we still won big) than play it safe and completely fail. Set goals that scare you.
- Examine what behaviors need to change
What got you here, won’t get you there. New levels of achievement require new behaviors. Sit down and figure out what that looks like for you.
- Make a ruthless commitment to success
People tend to underestimate what it takes to achieve goals. When I started a business, I thought I would have healthy, consistent profits within the first couple of years. It took me almost five years to get to that place. I underestimated the time and the effort that it would take to get me there. When you set a goal understand that you will need to do way more than you think you do to get there.
If you have set goals for the year go back and make sure you have set yourself up for success. If you haven’t set goals yet, it’s not too late to start that process and create your best year yet.