Let’s be real- goals are hard to reach. Making them and keeping them is tough. Take a scan of self-help books on Amazon and there are thousands of books written on goals and goal setting alone. Yet setting a goal is a great and necessary thing. It’s what winners are made of and what winners do. And in business it is vital in order to lead and succeed. As Zig Ziglar famously said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” There’s a reason it’s so over quoted— because it’s true.
You may have the best business idea of all time but without goals and benchmarks you’ll never accomplish anything. How much do you want to sell? Who do you want to sell to? Where do you want to sell your product? These are all questions you should be defining and reaching for. Use these 5 steps below to figure out what your goals are and start reaching them:
- Make Goals– Yes, obviously. But broadly list out what your goals in the bigger, overall picture. “Goals are not wishes, dreams or even visions. Goals are bringing those things down to earth, and with our feet planted firmly on the ground we begin to take actual action steps to make our dream come true,” says Dave Ramsey, financial expert.
- Be Specific– Now that you have your big picture goals, break them down into specifics that are measurable. Saying “I want to lose weight” or “make more money” are not goals, they’re dreams. A goal is “I want to lose 20 pounds in 3 months” or “I want to make 2 million dollars this year.” Break it down even more. In order to lose 20 pounds in 90 days that means 6.6 pounds a month and 1.6 pounds a week.
- Are They Your Goals?– Your goals must be your goals- not your moms, wife’s, husbands, friends, etc. You’ll never lose weight just because your wife wants you to. If it’s not your goal then you won’t have the perseverance it takes when the going gets tough. Make them yours.
- Have Accountability– Have someone close to you hold you accountable. Have them check in to see where you are with reaching your goals. This is what will keep pushing you when things don’t go as planned. It will also accelerate your performance, keep you engaged and responsible. Again, if goals were easy to reach nobody would ever talk about it or bother to have them.
- WRITE IT OUT– I can’t stress this one enough. A recent study shows that individuals who simply wrote their goals on paper increased their success to 61%. Write. Them. Down. Post them on your mirror, your dashboard, the refrigerator- any place you’ll see it every day and be reminded of what you need to conquer. I have a friend who each day at 2pm her phone sends her an alarm notice with her goals as a reminder.
As the great businessman J.C. Penney once said, “Give me a stock clerk with a goal, and I will give you a man who will make history. Give me a man without a goal and I will give you a stock clerk.”