Business, Goals Edition How to Hit the Target That You Want
By: Dale Beaumont • 4 years ago •
As a leader, coach, manager or business owner, you would already know the importance of goal setting. Surround yourself with any successful person and they’ll tell you that goal setting has been a major part of their success. No doubt, to get to this point, where you’re reading this article, you would have achieved many goals in your life. I’m not going to go through the basics of explaining why goal setting is important (I assume you already know that) and I’m certainly not going to cover any of the steps, because no doubt you’ve been following some type of process or formula already.
What I do want to address in this article is why many people don’t achieve their goals, and to put in place a number of measures to ensure that you reach more of the goals you set for yourself. You can then take these same principles and teach them to the organizations, teams or groups that you support.
The biggest challenge that people face when it comes to goal setting, is of course, execution. It’s one thing to set goals, it’s another thing to systematically go about achieving them. Think of the number of people that start setting goals on the 31st of December. How many of those people have actually stuck to them by the 5th of January… not many. What I’ve done is identified five things that you can put in place after you set your goals, to ensure that you complete more of the goals that you set.
1. Limit your focus.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re setting goals is they work on too many things at the one time. Now this is a hard thing to do because many people reading this would put themselves into the category of overachievers, and we always think that we want to do more. Sometimes by attempting to do more, we actually get less done. Why is that? Because as you would know, if you dedicate yourself to too many different things, all you do is dilute your focus and attention of the things that really matter.
In a book, Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish, he talks about the fact that each quarter you should limit the number of goals to no more than five per person on your team. When I first heard this I thought five is too small, I thought I would go for ten or even twenty, but in the attempt of trying to do too much, I ended up achieving less. I’ve now learned that there is wisdom in having no more than five goals at any one time and I would normally recommend you stick to this over a period of ninety days. Each ninety-day cycle you would come up with five main goals that you’re working on. By limiting your number of focus to just five, it means you can give them the attention and focus they deserve and then you’ll end up completing more of them. That will give you the power and confidence to set more goals for the future.
2. Social Sharing.
We all understand about peer pressure, and peer pressure is often times viewed in a negative way, however, peer pressure can also be used in a positive way in order to help you achieve more of the goals that you set. One of my recommendations is that when you set your quarterly goals, you get together with a group of 5 to 10 of your colleagues or friends share them with the group.
Once people make a public declaration that they’re going to do something, then they’re much more likely to follow through. People want to be seen as a person of integrity and will therefore take more actions to complete those goals when others know what they’re committed to. This positive peer pressure can be used in a very powerful way. If you are working with groups or organizations, then implementing this one strategy can make a huge difference in the amount of goals that people reach and complete.
3. Weekly Accountability
Even though it’s great to get together and share your goals with a social circle, you don’t want to fall into the wilderness and having noone to talk to along the way. One of the things that I’ve found very useful is to have what I call an “Accountability Buddy”. This is a person that you team up with and call once a week, at a certain time. You don’t have to get together face to face, this can be done on the phone or over Skype, but you call each other once a week at this set time. You each have to report on the progress that you’ve made over the last week in terms of the five goals that you’ve set for that quarter.
By taking this action, you will find yourself being a lot more productive during the week. You want to show up to that phone call with some good news and to say that you’ve actually committed to doing certain things. This, again, can make a huge difference in terms of your activity because you now are responsible, not only to yourself, but to someone else as well.
4. Daily Visibility
Another reason why people don’t follow through and achieve their goals is they’re just not in their face. They’re not visible. They set them, but then they don’t refer to them often enough. What I suggest you do is take the five goals that you’ve set for the quarter and write them down on a piece of paper and stick them on your home office, in your work office, maybe even laminate it and carry it around your backpack or briefcase. The more your goals are in front of you every single day, the more likely you are to take daily actions to achieve those goals.
5. Reward Yourself
The final thing that I found made a huge difference to achieving more of the goals that you set is having a personal reward. Sometimes in life it’s very easy to get what we want but holding back something that you truly want until you achieve a goal can be a great motivator.
Say you wanted to get new wheels for your car or to go to a particular restaurant. You would then tie that into a goal and only allow yourself to have that pleasure once you’ve actually reached that goal. On the reverse side, I have seen people that have found that they’re more motivated by negative things than they are positive things. One of the things that you could say is that if you don’t do it, you have to give a certain amount of money to somebody that you may not like or you have to dress up in a chicken suit and do a dance at the next meeting. Sometimes these negative consequences can also be a great motivator. Pick one or the other and then decide which is going to work for you.
There you have it. These five powerful steps will ensure that you achieve more of the goals that you set. I strongly recommend that you implement these strategies for yourself and then duplicate this with your teams and organizations. I wish you well on your goal setting journey and look forward to seeing you achieve more of the goals that you set.____________________________________________________________________
Dale Beaumont is Founder and CEO of Business Blueprint, a Business Education company that has provided training to over 20,000 Business Owners from Australia and New Zealand. To find out more and attend one of Dale’s free events throughout Australia, visit www.newrulesofbusiness.com.au
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