What is a goal anyway? You hear about goals all the time. Often, people use terms like task, objective, mission, vision, wish, and even value proposition in place of the term “goal.” (Of course, if we’re talking about scoring a goal – as in soccer, this will prompt a completely different discussion.)
A goal, for our purposes here, is simply a statement that commits to a specific outcome (or set of outcomes) in a predetermined time frame. Easy enough?
Here are 7 Knock Out MUSTS to be considered when effectively setting goals or to at least get the most out of your goals – making them Knock Out Goals!
Goals MUST have Passion
If there is no Passion behind your Goal, again, what’s the point? It’s easy to lose momentum and focus if you weren’t that passionate about the goal in the first place. How do you know if you are passionate about your Goal? Well, you must consider the specific activity. The activity might be golf. Bowling. Boxing. Hiking. Fitness. Family time. Playing drums. Improv comedy.
Do you love it so much; you will move time when no time appears to exist?
Do you (or would you) invest your time, energy, and money in the pursuit of excellence?
Do you feel a sense of loss when you can’t be the best you can be at it?
Do you have a tough time hiding your excitement when you talk about it?
Goals MUST be SMART
Of course, the Goal should be smart in every sense of the word. I’ll just have to trust you on this one. What I mean here is that SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time driven. (Yes, another acronym! This one you probably know.) Your Goal must be specific enough to be focused; measurable enough to know when you’ve hit your mark, actionable enough to determine what needs to be done, realistic enough to be possible, and timely enough to create urgency.
Goals MUST be Lofty
This may be where a Goal differs from a task. A Goal must be far reaching and lofty enough that it can’t be crossed off of your checklist moments after writing it down. For example, joining a networking group should not be a Goal. After researching the group online, attending a couple of meetings, and paying your membership fee, you’re pretty much done. What’s a loftier purpose? How about being elected president of your Rotary club and creating an improved membership process by December? Creating at least 10 important referral based relationships within the Rotary club in 3 months? Your Goals should be a bit of a stretch, so make them count.
Goals MUST be about Process
Your Goal should be about putting a process or system in place, not hitting a specific result. Of course, the result is important. But the premise here is if you focus on the process, the result will be there. Sales producers are notorious for setting a commission amount (the result) as their Goal. That’s all well and good but so what? What will you do to hit that Goal?
Goals MUST be Accountable
Some people can hold themselves accountable to their Goals. Most can’t. What can you do to ensure that you will stay focused on your Goals? Maybe for every week that you don’t move forward on a Goal, you have to contribute a specified sum of money to your rival college. Or make 20 cold calls. Or sing karaoke with your friends. Or whatever. The point is, there has to be a negative consequence. (Negative consequences are much more impactful than positive ones.)
Hiring a business coach is another way to establish Goals while staying focused on them. The value that a business coach offers is holding you accountable to and for your actions (or lack thereof).
One of the best things you can do is choose an accountability partner. It could be a fellow sales producer or advisor. You could hold each other accountable to Goals and compare notes during weekly or monthly meetings. What gets measured gets done. And peer pressure is an excellent way to be held true to your school and get the things you need to get done, done.
Goals MUST be Written
A Harvard Business School study found:
83% of the population does not have any clearly defined goals
14% have goals but not written down
3% of the population has goals that are written down
The study concluded that the 3 percent that had written Goals were earning an astounding 10 times more income than that of the 83 percent group. In addition, similar studies have shown that individuals with written Goals also tend to have better health and happier marriages than those without Goals. You must sign your soul to the devil.
The power of written Goals is indisputable. Writing your Goals down is the first step to any action. And write them the old fashioned way – with pen and paper, not typed in a computer. Why is writing your Goals so important? It creates a commitment in your mind that gives you the momentum to perform the actions necessary to achieve your immediate Goals. Writing them is even more crucial for your long term Goals.
Goals MUST be Visible
Put your Goals in a place where you can see them every day. If they’re in a Word file somewhere, you’ll never look at them. Again, write them out long hand and keep them on a clipboard at your desk. Stick them to your bathroom mirror, attach them to the remote control for your TV, post them on the fridge, keep them in your wallet, or tape them to the GPS. Or all of the above. I keep mine written on white boards in my office. Get creative and try to have fun with it.
Write a goal that you will achieve by the end of the year. You have 2 months! Then write a list of tasks that you will need to perform to achieve your goal.
Put those tasks in your calendar and actually schedule time to achieve those tasks. Do it now!
Be unstoppable and don’t let anything get in your way!
Let me know how I can help you achieve your goal.
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