We hear from successful people often about the importance of setting goals. How having goals is motivating, inspiring and enables them to breakthrough to new heights of achievement. If all that’s true, then why don’t more of us set goals? My theory is we’re afraid of failing. Next to speaking in public, fear of failure is #2 on most peoples’ list of greatest fears.
Know this; people who have goals do better than those that don’t. Those who write down their goals outperform those whose goals are not in writing. People who write their goals down and share them with others do the best. Why is that?? It’s because while our goals may be our individual aspirations, we don’t achieve them alone. Often we need the help of others to accomplish what we set for ourselves. At Think2Perform, we call those people enablers. Enablers are people that have a vested interest in us achieving our goals. They could be family members, close friends, colleagues at work, our boss…
There’s more, however, that you need to know to be a great goal achiever…
Here’s the SECRET; people who regularly set AND achieve their goals focus on doing their key activities. What are key activities? They are the tasks/activities that “I must do” to achieve my goals. Goal achievement follows the law of cause and effect or what we call “natural law”. Our goals are the results or outcome we desire. In order to achieve them we’ve got to focus on what we can control which are our “key activities”; the “cause” in the law of cause and effect.
Every goal we set has key activities that drive the outcome. Take our health for example. If we want to live healthier lives (lose weight, run a marathon, lower our cholesterol), there are only three key activities; diet, exercise and rest. If I want to be healthy (and being healthy is a value, not a goal), then I have to know how much of each key activity that must be done BY ME to achieve the goal.
By focusing on doing more of the key activities, I will in fact become healthier. If I want to achieve some specific health goal, then I have to know how much of each of the key activities “I must do” to make the goal a reality. Once I have the answer to the “how much” question for each key activity, then I get to the final step in setting myself up for goal achievement success which is answering the final, MOST important question; Am I willing to do them?? At Think2Perform, we call this the ACID TEST question.
If I answer the ACID TEST question, “yes” then I’ve got a goal. If the answer is “no”, I’m not willing to do the key activities to achieve the goal then I’ve got a dream, not a goal.
Let’s use a business example.
Suppose Company X wants to hit a revenue target next year. Company X’s executive team has identified what the firm needs to gain the market share it must achieve and how much revenue will be generated. They even take the firm wide objective and divide it up by business unit, department and region so that everyone in the firm is clear on what they’ve got to do to hit the goal. That’s where many companies stop. See, hitting a revenue target is a result and we can’t control results, only activities.
To increase the odds of Company X hitting its goal, the executive team would go deeper and identify the key activities the company must do that would have the greatest impact on increasing revenue. That could include; acquiring new customers and/or selling more to existing customers.
Then the question becomes how do we do that?
What are the activities WE MUST DO to generate more customers and/or sell more to our existing customers???
How much of each of those activities must we do? AND who’s going to do them?
The FINAL question then becomes; Are we willing to do them?
Once we have those answers, the odds of goal achievement go up dramatically for Company X.
That’s the SECRET; as a firm, team or individual, we’ve got to have a goal, know what our key activities are, know how much of each we’ve got to do AND we’ve got to be willing to do them.