Seven Proven Steps to Achieve Any Goal
Let’s face it. Most business owners don’t set a goal. So let me ask you this: if you don’t set goals, how do you know where you’re going? If you’re not setting goals you’re just showing up to work every day. Setting goals is a lot like planning a vacation. You must first determine where you are going. Then you can budget, plan on how you will get there, what you will need to take, and who will come with you.
- Focus on the goose and the golden eggs. The goose is the goal. The golden eggs are the daily actions that get you to your goal. If you spend all of your energy focused on the goal you’ll never reach it. You must create the habits to perform the actions needed to reach the goal. What if you wanted to write a book and every day you pictured what your book looked like, what it said, and lots of sales. The book won’t write itself. However, what if you did all of the above and sat every day and wrote 1,000 words? The average book contains 95,000 words. You could write your book and reach your goal in ninety-five days. On the other hand, if you spend two hours a day running with a goal of adding ten years to your life, think again. You’re probably spending those ten years running. The key is to focus on the goal and the actions that will get you there.
- Be interdependent. To be dependent is to be nurtured, taken care of, and sustained by others. We come into this world very dependent. We rely on our parents for everything in the beginning. Many adults never become independent. Dependent adults rely on others to get what they want. Dependent people say things like, “You didn’t come through for me,” “It’s your fault.” Many adults reach independence. To be independent is to rely on yourself to get what you want. Independent people say things like, “I can do it,” “To get something done right I have to do it myself.” Few people reach interdependence. Interdependent people work together to accomplish far more than they could accomplish alone, even at their best. Interdependent people often say, “We can do it.” To achieve your goals you must be interdependent. Determine who the key people are in your life or organization who you can accomplish more with than on your own. Set your goal with them and work with their strengths. A good leader knows that their success is determined by the success of others. How does the success of others in your organization directly affect your goals? If you want to make $100,000.00 this year, who are the key sales people in your organization who if they reach their goals allow you to reach yours?
- Learn to say yes. All too often business owners say these words: “I need to learn to say no.” The reality is they (you) need to learn to say yes. Every time you say yes to something you are in the same breath saying no to something else. If you say yes to taking a call you may be saying no to staying focused on the task at hand. A client asked me to provide team training on a Sunday evening. I was not good at saying yes at the time. I agreed to provide the training at 6:00 on a Sunday evening. What I realized that evening was a game changer for me and my business. I had actually said no when the owner asked me to provide training. I didn’t say no to him. I said no to spending time with my husband, my son, my daughter, and my three grandchildren who would all be at my house watching football as we did every Sunday. It was our family day. The day that we sat as a family and enjoyed our time together. My yes to training was no to my entire family. Now when a client asks me to do something, I immediately think, “What do I have to say no to in order to say yes to my client?” So sometimes it’s okay to say no to something and I tell my clients exactly that: “If I say yes to training I have to say no to my family. I’m not willing to say no to my family. You can understand that, right?” Or “If I say yes to training I have to say no to sleeping in late. That I’m willing to say no to. So yes, I’ll be there for the training.” The next time the phone rings, a customer makes a request, your email or phone dings, ask yourself, “Am I willing to say no to __________ to say yes to _____________ ?”
- Be proactive. It’s your life. Only you can choose whether you react or resolve. People who react are much less likely to achieve success than those who are proactive and resolute. Choose to be proactive. Zig Ziglar said, “Life is tough. But if you’re tough on yourself life can be greatly rewarding.” By reacting you are allowing your thoughts, emotions, and beliefs to determine your success. By being proactive you are taking charge and ownership of the outcome. If your goal is to move to a larger home, don’t just shop for a larger home. Do your research. What budget will you need? What style of house best fits you? Where will the house be located? What are the most important features of the home? Then begin the process of reaching the goal by proactively saving money, reaching out to the experts (being interdependent), and looking for available properties that meet your needs within your budget. In the crash of the market, many homeowners blamed the banks for their foreclosures. The reality is the homeowner was equally responsible, if not more responsible. Many, not all, people received loans that they knew were out of their budget. They accepted the loan and moved into a house they truly knew they couldn’t afford. Had they taken the time to budget, stick to their guns with the lenders, and been proactive about understanding adjustable rate mortgages, many of the foreclosures wouldn’t be on the books today.
- Get a mentor. I can personally attest to the importance of a mentor. I had dreamed of publishing a book for about four years. I finally called a friend who I knew had published a book and asked how he did it. He said he worked with a local ghostwriter and gave me his contact information. The ghostwriter agreed to work with me. We met once a week for about five months. Within that five months I completed writing the entire book, all twelve chapters, an eleven-chapter workbook add-on, the intro, and the summary. I collected testimonials. I met with a former client and asked for (and received) a foreword. The only thing left to do was meet with someone to design the cover. Then it happened. I got “too busy.” We didn’t meet for three weeks. Guess what got accomplished in those three weeks. You guessed it—absolutely nothing. I really wasn’t too busy. I just didn’t have a mentor to guide me and hold me accountable. End of the story? We met three more times. I now have a published book! Having a mentor is a must. Find someone you know is an expert who can meet with you regularly, guide you, and hold you accountable.
- Schedule your success. We all have the same amount of time in each day. So why do some people seem to be so much more successful than others? They understand the value of time. We could all declare bankruptcy tomorrow and by the end of the week make more money. However, once time is gone you can never get it back. If you want to reach your goals you have to schedule the time to do so. Remember, it’s your life. You choose what you do with your time every day. Start by getting a calendar. I prefer the electronic calendar such as Google calendar. If you prefer paper calendars that’s okay too. Now block time to perform the actions that will allow you to reach your goal every day . . . in advance. If your target date is in six months, block off an hour a day for the next six months. Then guard that time with everything you have. Plan everything else around that time. If an emergency, and only an emergency, comes up and you need to use that time, reschedule it immediately. You do have time—you just need to schedule it and use it wisely.
- Set S-M-A-R-T-E-R Goals!