You can’t plan a journey unless you know your ultimate destination. I often run an exercise that asks the delegates to plan a trip from Glasgow to London. Before they can even start to think about their options, I get them to create a list of ALL the questions they would need answering before they could plan the journey effectively. The one question that is most often missed from their lists is actually THE most important one of all.
WHY am I making this journey?
Who’s sat for hours and hours in miles and miles of road works on the M5 with a car packed full of kids and camping gear on the way to Cornwall for a holiday? You don’t turn back you can’t, this is the two weeks you & the family have been planning since you did the same thing 50 weeks ago!
Who’s headed out to the shops just for something to do, only to find the road is blocked by an accident that you can’t get around? You change plans and head for the pub instead, or just go home. Changing plans was easy as the reason for the journey was so insignificant.
I meet so many people that appear to be adrift and bobbing about rudderless in the ocean of life, influenced by weather and currents they have no control over. These people have no clear destination and that’s fine if they are happy with that. Personally I like to feel a lot more in control of where I’m heading.
So, in business and in life our career and personal goals are our destinations, the places we want to be and the things we aspire to achieve. Just like a real journey our route to our goals can be blocked by unexpected events like redundancy and sickness and at this point our resolve is really tested. It is far easier to give up on getting somewhere we didn’t really think we could get to, rather than the destination that we absolutely must!
Here are my top goal setting tips:
Don’t confuse New Year’s Resolutions with Goals! In surveys I read that just 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution and 50% don’t even last a week
- Goals are ‘personal’ so do not list any goal that isn’t something YOU really want to achieve
- Only choose goals that motivate YOU
- Make a public commitment and tell other people what YOU will achieve, if they doubt you then use that as extra motivation
- Plan mini goals as ‘stepping stones’ to the larger goal! YOU cannot climb a ladder that has no rungs
- YOU must not only write your goals down but also have pictures to represent them
- When talking to other people about your goals YOU must be able to clearly explain the why, as well as the what?
- Once set YOU must ‘immerse’ yourself in your goals, have them written/pictured in numerous places, where you will see them on at least a daily basis
- Be bold but also realistic, each goal MUST be something YOU have the capacity to deliver, OR the capacity to learn to deliver
- Remember that the only person responsible for all of the above is YOU!
One final thought! If your life goals don’t scare you a little bit, then you probably need to raise your expectations of yourself!
Have a very Happy New Year!
Thank you for reading.
Stuart Allen ~ MD of The Sales Performance Company Ltd
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