When was the last time you sat down to identify some key goals for your business? Or your personal life? Or anything? If you’re like me, committing to sitting down and writing out your goals is one of your goals. In a study from Harvard, the 84% of people asked who had no goals written down still hadn’t achieved them 10 years later. What’s that you say? You just said they never wrote them down so how can they achieve them?! Exactly. Wouldn’t you rather be in the 3% who not only had goals but had a plan and achieved them after the same 10 years? I sure do. And it’s something that needs work every day.
I’ve got my goals fairly organized in my head where they remain safely stored but the deficit of that is it’s very easy for them to get lost in the muck and mire that is one’s mind. It’s easy to forget what you are trying to build when you are in the building of it. By writing it down, the writing is literally on the wall. And if you know your learning style, then it’s so much easier to find the wall that you need to work with. If you’re like me, you’re a visual learner / processor so writing the goals down and posting them is even more important! If you’re a verbal learner, then take a little selfie video and record your goals. If you are an auditory learner, then pick a theme song that reminds you to keep on track to achieve your success and play it. A lot!
So you’ve thought long and hard about your goals and now you’re ready to write them down. Great! But what happens if you write down goals and don’t add an action plan? You’re back to the 84% who in 10 years haven’t achieved anything or you might be a bit closer to the 13% who had at least thought about goals but hadn’t written them down. They achieved more but I’d rather be closer to the 3% who were earning 10 x what their peers were after the same 10 year time period. Once you’ve grabbed your pen and paper and are ready to get crackin’, also add a column for how you are going to achieve that goal and the timeline. Under the how column, take the time to think about those in your network who can help you achieve those goals. Why? Because if you read on, you’ll see why your network is key to goals.
One of the great things of writing down your goals is the ability to use that process to get around the barriers that mentally we put up every day. If those goals that you so desperately want to achieve are still rattling around in your head then those barriers are even harder to overcome. Why? Because it’s easy to stay behind the barriers when you can’t see the path around. Writing down the goals will launch you in to the pathway of getting around the barriers. One of the great ways to get around barriers is to brainstorm with people who have either been through a similar situation or are able to connect you to someone who can help you get through the barrier. If you hadn’t written that goal down and added a plan, would you have even thought about how to get past barriers? So add those key people to help you work towards that 3%!
So how do you get going on goals?
- Brainstorm the goals. Business or personal.
- Write down the goals. Keep your learning style in mind.
- Make a plan of action to achieve the goals.
- Include people from your network who can help overcome barriers to your goals.
- Act on the goals.
Running a business, developing a business, thinking about a business – these all require you to set goals. Especially if you plan to actually work on them and achieve them. So get out your pen and paper or take out the goals you wrote down (and never put action to) and do something. Anything. Take a step towards getting past the barriers and achieving! You may have noticed the number of times I used achieve in this post. There’s no real replacement for achieving but thesaurus.com suggests words like accomplish, attain, earn, gain, and reach. Oh and win. I’ll agree most with that last one. Achieving goals definitely looks like winning to me.