It’s the first of the year and a time when people often reflect on successes and failures of the past year in hopes of making change. Many refer to these as “new years resolutions” but many have gotten away from this all too common phrase due to the underwhelming success that people have in fulfilling their promises to themselves. I would like to share not only how to effectively set goals, but how to increase your success rate in keeping them.
1. Your Goals Must be Written Down. A study was done on the effectiveness of writing goals by Harvard Business School in 1979 and the results were that those that wrote their goals down earned about 10 times more than the 97% that did not write their goals down.
Your goals need to be specific & measurable in order for you to monitor your success. For example, if your goal is “to make more money” that’s not very specific, but if your goal is “to increase your net revenue by 25%” that is something which can be specifically measured.
Your goals should also be realistic. If you have never earned $100,000 in a year, it might be unrealistic to have a goal of making $1,000,000 in a year. Setting realistic goals help you not get discouraged.
Don’t be afraid to make changes along the way.
2. You Need to Know Your WHY. This is a very powerful part of setting and achieving goals. If you are trying to set a goal to please someone else, it can be a recipe for disaster. Your WHY answers the question “why do you want to accomplish the goal?” Some examples might be:
– to make more by working less
– to buy a nicer home
– to take more vacations
– so your spouse does not have to work
– to retire early
– to send your kids to college
– to buy your parents a retirement home
When things get tough and you want to throw in the towel, it is your WHY that can give you the extra energy to keep on going.
3. Have a Plan. Having goals is great, but if you do not have a solid plan that you can take to accomplish your goals, you will most likely not reach them. If you don’t have a plan, this is where working with a business coach can help. Someone who has accomplished what you are seeking to accomplish can show you the fastest road to getting there and save you lots of money and hard lessons. Some people actually like learning the hard way because they feel that it helps them learn better. Notice I said feel, because that’s all it is; a feeling. It is certainly not the truth.
4. Have Accountability. Years ago I heard the saying “without accountability there is no motivation to change.” I don’t know where it originated, but I use it often. Having a business accountability partner (i.e. business coach) can certainly help keep you on track by helping you monitor your progress and celebrate with you as you achieve your goals.
Keep in mind that you need to have both long term and short term goals for your business, which includes your exit strategy If you want to start the year out right, give me a call and I will be happy to discuss goal setting and how I might be able to help you accomplish more in 2011 than you ever have before.
I wish you success!