I wanted to title this post, “Why This Productivity Coach Hates Goal Setting.” I know…catchy, right?
You’d likely read it only to affirm your conviction: goal setting is ineffective. You’d be relieved of the guilt for not yet creating your 2018 business plan as well as vindicated for having no intention of creating it whatsoever.
Unfortunately, I wouldn’t be doing you a service if I let you off the hook. The reason I hate “goal setting” is because most of us don’t do it properly.
Written goal setting is imperative to memorialize one’s intentions, dreams and desires.
Have you heard about the Harvard MBA Program that posed the following question to the graduating class of 1979: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”
3 things were discovered:
- 84% had no specific goals at all
- 13% had goals but they were not committed to paper
- 3% had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish their goals
In 1989, the interviewers followed up with the graduates. Two things were discovered:
- The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84 percent who had no goals at all.
- The 3% who had written specific goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together!
With full transparency, the above “study” has been called into question. Nonetheless, let’s say the study is only partially true. The simple takeaway? The odds of fulfilling your intentions, dreams, desires – your goals – increase dramatically when they are written and easy to monitor.
Here are 6 SIMPLE steps to help you create goals and then stay on track to accomplish them!
- Identify and get a crystal clear “WHY.” Your “WHY” powers those necessary aligned actions that drive results, that bring your dreams and desires to life. Think of it as the fuel that powers your car, no fuel, no movement.
- Write SMART goals. SMART: Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic and Time Sensitive. Example: the goal “Add 100 contacts by Dec 31, 2018” is specific, measurable, action oriented, realistic and time sensitive. While the goal “Improve objection handling skills,” is not specific, measurable, or time sensitive.
- Outline your weekly schedule. This can be done either on paper or a web based calendar, by establishing time blocked appointments for the important activities necessary to drive results. Always tackle the most important tasks first thing in the morning, specifically, prospecting and lead follow up. Time block for client appointments, escrow work, and new projects afterwards. Avoid deviating from your schedule as much as possible. If you need to “erase” a time blocked activity, be sure to replace it!
- Work your time blocked activities in the following order: new business development/lead generation, appointment setting resulting from aggressive lead follow up, current transaction follow up and problem solving, going on appointments and negotiating contracts, new project work.
- Remember that tomorrow begins tonight. Tonight, create tomorrow’s revised schedule and list of tasks so you can hit the ground running in the morning!
- Every morning before you begin your work day, review your goals and your plan on how to accomplish them. Doing so keeps focus on your WHY! As Nietzche said, “He who has a WHY to live for can bear almost any HOW.” He understood that getting and remaining clear on our dreams and goals keeps us committed to doing the work, even when we’d rather not.
Humans typically overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can achieve in a lifetime. By adopting the goal setting principles above, you’ll find it easier to stay focused on your goals. Totally off track? Dissatisfied with today’s results? Review these tips and in the morning, begin anew!