By Jason Jeter
Today I want to talk about going after your goals. No matter where you are in life, it’s extremely important to have goals. Even if you think you have reached your peak, you still have to have goals to strive for. That’s what life is for. To improve each and every day and that’s exactly what goals do for us.
So the main question is what are your goals? It could be anything. To start a business, get in shape, learn a new language, travel the world, or anything you can imagine. Each and every goal will be different for each and every person. Some goals will take a small amount of time and some may take years and years.
The tricky part is finding time to work toward your goals. It’s not always easy. Most likely, you are already extremely busy. That just means you will have to cut back on something else in your life. That can either be very difficult or not so difficult. Think about the things you spend time on that you really don’t have to spend time on. I can think of a bunch right off the top of my head that would be true for most people. They are, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TV, Internet, Phone, Texting, etc. If you just cut back 1 hour per day and took that hour to go after your goals, imagine where you would be in 1 month or 1 year? One of my favorite sayings is, “the reward is greater than the sacrifice.” Is the reward worth that sacrifice to you? It should be.
You see, the hardest part of reaching a goal is changing your old habits and getting out of your comfort zone. Your comfort zone is where you are most comfortable, but it brings you no reward at all. By getting outside of your comfort zone that’s where you will find massive growth and you will reach your goals. Staying inside your comfort zone is just an excuse not to reach your goals. I did it for years. I was so scared to do some things that I just did what I was comfortable with, and I hated life. Once I started getting outside of my comfort zone my whole life changed for the better and I’ve never been happier. Just do it, it’s worth it I promise!
And once you reach a goal, no matter how big or small, make sure to reward yourself. Maybe your goal is to eat healthy Monday through Friday. If you do that, go out and reward yourself with your favorite meal on Saturday or Sunday. Maybe you have a bigger goal like building a business, which may take years. When you reach that goal, go out and buy a car or watch or whatever you want. Just make sure to reward yourself for all the work you put in!
By Gail Ellis
Muhammad Ali once said “What keeps me going is goals.” Whether you are a business with 100 employees, a partnership of two or an empire of one, goal setting is essential to keep your business moving forward.
Setting business goals will allow you to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. This combined with a strategic plan will provide you with a road map of how to get there. As with all strategic plans the time invested at the beginning is crucial to the success of the plan. From our many years of experience working with business owners we understand that your time is valuable, however our experience has shown that setting goals can provide a business with a plan and targets to lead to success.
To assist you with this we have identified 7 key factors in goal setting for business.
# 1. Set Long Term Goals – 3 to 5 years.
The first place to start when setting your business goals is to look at your long term business plans. To do this you will need to revisit why you set up your business in the first place along with what you had intended to achieve. Have you deviated from your original vision? If you have that is ok too as the economic climate or other major factors may have forced you to re-evaluate your initial vision. Part of setting your long term goals will involve a review of your business, your market, the economic environment and where you want your business to be within each of these. The timeline for your long term goals should be between three to five years and should be viewed as more of an initiative rather than a goal. An example of a long term goal would be to increase your market share by 10% within three years. Long term goals may seem a little big, unrealistic and scary but step two in our plan will help you in achieving them.
# 2. Achieve your Long Term Goals Through Short Term Goals
Now that you know where you want your business to be, you need to get there successfully. Short term goals are the objectives that will enable your business to achieve its long term goals. If we take the long term example above of increasing your market share by 10% within 3 years, your short term goal to achieve this might be to increase your turnover by 2% each quarter.
Short term goals should:
- Identify specific actions to be taken
- Identify specific people responsible for the above actions
- Be consistent, for example if you want to increase your turnover by 2% you should not be cutting your sales team.
# 3. Use S.M.A.R.T. goals
This is an easy yet effective technique for setting your short term goals. S.M.A.R.T goals are:
Specific – your goals need to outline in detail what is to be achieved and by whom. This will allow accountability and monitoring of progress.
Measurable – you need to be able to measure your achievement to enable you to monitor and track the success of the goal.
Attainable – you need to ensure your short term goals are in some way attainable. Setting unrealistic goals may be counter-productive.
Relevant – ensure your goals are relevant to your industry and current market condition. There is no point setting a goal of increasing turnover in a market that is declining. Your main focus in this type of market would be to diversify.
Time specific – you need to set a time frame for both long and short term goals. Setting deadlines allows you to track your progress through your goals.
# 4. Be Flexible
As with life things don’t always go according to plan! You need to ensure that you are able to adjust your goals to deal with unexpected changes so that you don’t lose momentum. While your plans need to be specific as outlined above, if your circumstances change, you need to be agile as the quicker you can change direction the more successful you will be.
# 5. Get Employees Involved
To achieve any plan you need a strong support team. Getting employees involved in your business goals is vital, as they will be the drivers of the objectives you set. If you want strong employee involvement you might even consider co-creating your goals with your key employees. You might be surprised by the knowledge or suggestions they have on how best to achieve the desired outcome. Getting employee buy-in will enable them to gain ownership of the goals and will prevent a top-down dictatorship feeling amongst employees.
# 6. Track your progress
It is important that you monitor your progress to ensure you are on track. Monitoring your goals will allow you to:
- Motivate your team through the success achieved
- Identify if you need to modify your goals for any economic or other changes that were not anticipated at the outset.
- Identify which goals need more focus
- Identify if you are on track for achieving your goals within the timeframe set.
A good way of tracking your progress is through weekly or monthly meetings, depending on the goals set.
# 7. Celebrate your Success
Celebrating your success, both during and at the end of your goal will enable you to recognise the effort that went into achieving your goals. Celebrating milestones throughout the process will also act as a motivator for your team to continue on towards your next step. Celebrations can give you closure on goals you have been working on, while also providing encouragement to achieve the other goals you are still working towards.
We hope you find the above tips useful when setting your business goals. As with Muhammad Ali, they should keep your business going. If you would like any further information on goal setting please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.
Have you noticed how knowing how to make progress is one of those things that only seems massively important when you’re not making progress?
The stinger is that being able to get that feeling of making progress is so essential to motivating ourselves to keep going. Without it, we feel stuck and get frustrated very easily. We lose hope. We give up. We don’t see the point in trying, if we’re not going anywhere.
In fact, being able to make progress is essential to feeling like you’re living a kick-ass, meaningful life.
Without it, you will certainly slip into negative thinking, questioning what it’s all for, and why should you bother. Feeling stuck is just a natural consequence of not triggering that feeling of progress.
The good news is you don’t have to light up the world to turn it all around (even though this is precisely what most movers and shakers try to do!)
If you’re a go-getter, I KNOW you’ve been there before.
How do I know?
Because this is a common problem experienced by people who have big dreams, and a desire to go out and set the world alight. It’s not something experienced by people without vision or ambition.
I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and the most common block that talented people come up against is trying to do everything, all at once. Even if they don’t intend to actually do everything in one go, they still try to see that track they’re going to run on.
The way to overcome this is both simple and sophisticated.
Let me explain.
It’s simple in that you have to take the first obvious step forward to be able to make progress. Don’t try and make it complicated or too involved. Imagine you’re hitting a golf ball… you don’t want to be whacking it all around the course. Just put it as close to the hole as you possibly can.
It’s also simple in that you need to know where you’re going and keep in mind that bigger outcome you’re shooting for. Paint that picture of where you want to get to in your mind’s eye: even if it’s something like finishing the paperwork clogging up your desk, or getting the kitchen cleared up. Visualize the end result – the task finished.
Right, now here’s where it gets sophisticated.
You need to keep your eye on both of these things at the same time: the end goal, and the simple, direct baby steps.
Take your eye off the baby steps, and you get mentally absorbed into a candy-land dream that will never materialist. Take your eye off the big picture, and you get trapped in the long grass of minutia.
With that in mind, here is the step-by-step process to making effective progress quickly:
- Get clear on where you want to end up. See the end goal – and sure, plan this end result in lots of detail.
- Now chunk back and decide what is the most obvious first thing you need to do.
- Take the first obvious step, holding in mind the big picture, i.e. where you want to end up.
- When you’ve done that, take the next step.
- Only ever plan the next two or three steps down the way.
Between Minutia and Candy Land
The road to real, tangible, jaw-dropping, tummy-turning progress lies slap-bang between those two worlds. You need to walk with one foot in each, and divide your attention between each on a daily basis, to really take the straightest path to where you need to go.
It works beautifully if you have an idea of what you want to create and where you want to end up. Sure, you can imagine and visualize all the detail in that end result… but trying to map in the same detail *how* you’re going to get there is flat out going to mess you up.
Name Your Candy Land
I’m curious to see what you’re shooting for. Leave me a comment, and describe your big vision – that ultimate goal you’re going to work towards.
Movers and shakers make things happen by getting clear on where they’re going, and then using the process described above.
By Lt. Col. Dan Oosterhous
I’ve lost count of the opportunities the Air Force regularly gives me to set personal and professional goals. As Airmen, we routinely attend briefings, team building sessions and leadership seminars encouraging and helping us achieve our individual and institutional short- and- long term goals.
These events are great, but I’ve experienced no greater lesson on the value of setting goals than that which came in the wake of the two strokes I suffered in February.
During the initial stage of my recovery, my goals were simple: move my fingers, move my toes, get out of bed, take a step. Setting these short term goals was imperative for my independence. Without these small-target goals, I would have lacked motivation to recover from the near-paralysis affecting my left side.
Throughout my rehabilitation, I learned that goals are essential to our personal development.
Last May, I took my children to a park filled with activities I was in no condition to attempt: bungee-trampoline, zip line, go-carts and rock climbing. It’s my nature to compete, so it was tough watching my kids go from activity to activity, but they encouraged me to be a participant after I watched them climb a 30-foot rock wall. I set a goal and decided to give it a try.
I slowly made it into my climbing gear with the help of an instructor and faced the wall. My goal was to climb as high as I could, which meant I had to focus only on what was directly in front of me. It took every bit of strength in my right side to raise my body inch-by-inch, straining with each step and grasp. I was on the wall until the muscle spasms told me it was time to stop, so I made a new goal: to get down safely. At the height of my climb, I was 3-feet off the ground but I felt like I had conquered that wall. My son captured the moment in a photograph now hanging in the men’s tennis team’s locker room. It’s a reminder that without small steps, we’ll never reach the top.
I remember looking up at that wall before I began to climb and thinking “How will I ever get there?” Well, I haven’t gotten there yet, but just like you, I’ll reach my long term goals bit by bit.
The truth is, we can’t get there without starting. No one hits a target without first notching an arrow. Long-term goals, like reaching the top of that 30-foot rock wall, should be exactly what we want to accomplish; winning a tennis conference title, scoring 100 percent on a PT test, earning a promotion on our first attempt or even learning to walk again. The key to our success is keeping our goal in sight while we move in the right direction, achieving our long term goals bit by sometimes painful bit.
Through steady progress, I’ve met several goals since leaving the hospital: returning to work, coaching our conference tournament, commissioning cadets and returning to work. My next long term goal is to play tennis with my team in 2 years. To do this, I must be committed and positive despite of any setback. Regardless of the final outcome, I will give it my best effort and make meaningful gains.
We all have the potential to reach the top of our own rock walls. All of us have the ability to determine how high we want to go. Once we set a goal, we need to get to work and have faith that our attitude and effort will get us there. No matter how far we go, we should be proud of how far we’ve come. As a friend said after my rock climbing attempt. “You were higher than when you started.”
To me, that’s success.
By Ali Davies
How to stay motivated and improve personal effectiveness is an important question to ask yourself as both of these things have a big impact on your results.
There are many factors that impact both of these things. So let’s explore some of them.
Below are some examples of things that have a powerful and positive impact on motivation and personal effectiveness.
19 Ways to boost your motivation and personal effectiveness
1. Get an accountability buddy. Not only does having an accountability buddy help you stay on track to achieve the results you want, they are also a great source of motivation and keeping you effective too. To find out more about having an accountability buddy read 1o reasons to have an accountability buddy and How To Find An Accountability Buddy
2. Protect yourself from energy draining and toxic people. They will suck the life out of you and have a negative impact on your motivation and effectiveness.
3. Surround yourself with positive, constructive, solution focussed people who fuel your fire. It will give a tremendous boost to your energy levels which has a fairly hefty knock on effect to your motivation and effectiveness.
4. Create a powerful vision for your life, work and relationships. Keep focussed on it and visualise achieving it each and every day. It will help you keep motivation going when you experience setbacks, obstacles or when the brown stuff hits the fan.
5. Get fresh air – every day. Amazing the difference this makes. Try it.
6. Spend time in nature and the great outdoors. Fabulous stress buster and as stress is a motivation and effectiveness drainer this is worth doing.
7. De- clutter your mental and physical space.
8. Do more things that give you mental and physical energy. Do less of the things that drain your mental and physical energy. For a practical tip on how to do this read this.
9. Have a strong action plan and work that baby consistently!
10. Create a structure to work within each day, week and month. It will keep you focussed, on track and effective.
11. Have a strong self care programme that you work consistently. Include things like getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, exercise, yoga, meditation. Self care has a massive impact on how you feel and operate, mentally and physically. And how you feel and operate has a massive impact on your motivation and effectiveness.
12. Hire a coach – working with a coach is a great way to boost motivation, personal effectiveness and achieve your goals. (If this is something you think you might benefit from and would like to discuss further you can contact me here).
13. Break your goals down into small manageable chunks. Much more motivating than focusing on the mountain you have to climb!
14. Do the most important things first in the day. That way you will always know that you have the priorities nailed no matter what the rest of the day throws at you. There is great satisfaction in that!
15. Don’t be a Lone Ranger. Get support. Create your own “dream team” of people around you that will give you unconditional, non judgemental support.
16. Join a Mastermind Group –a mastermind group is a great way to get support with achieving your goals and to keep yourself motivated and effective. (I am hosting a Virtual Achieve Your Goals Mastermind Group starting in January 2014. You can find all the details here.)
17. Have a Hero – think of someone you look up to or is a role model for you, or has done someting you would like to do. Learn from them, follow them on social media, read their stuff, attend their events etc. Learning from others you admire is inspiring and boosts motivation.
18. Commit to learning about and improving your mindset and personal development. I can’t stress enough how important this is. The reason being is because what and how you think drives your feelings, your feelings drive your motivation and effectiveness and this drives your results.
19. Celebrate your successes – regularly – no matter how big or small. It will remind you that you are making progress and that will boost your motivation.
By David Moore
Do a Google search and you’ll find 89,100,000 results. You’ll find S.M.A.R.T. goals, workbooks, workshops, tips, techniques, and tricks. All of these CAN work if you DO the work. Even with 89 million results, I’m about to share something different because it comes directly from my personal experience.
I think I enjoy the goal setting process, the writing, planning and scheduling, nearly as much as the achievement. Have I achieved every goal I’ve set? Of course not. If anyone has ever done that the goals weren’t big enough.
Regardless of the goal setting methods you use, the following thoughts can help you refine and strengthen your process. Combined, you improve the chances of achieving your goals.
Not that you don’t already know what you want to achieve, but do some research about others who have done the same thing. You will see a trend in how long, on average, it takes to achieve this goal or something similar. If the research indicates that most achieve this in 6 months, it doesn’t make much sense to set your goal for 6 weeks.
For example, I recently set a goal to complete a half marathon. I have run several 5K’s over the last few years and just completed an 8K. So I started entertaining thoughts of completing a half marathon. As I did my research, I found several training programs that lasted 12 weeks. So now I know what kind of time frame I needed to be properly prepared.
This is my favorite part. I go to the calendar. I prefer using the Google monthly calendar and print out each month on a separate page. I’m able to make notes on it and number the weeks. I like to use different colored markers. You can write in vacations or special events that might delay the goals progress.
Now that I knew the average time needed for my half marathon training, I was able to make detailed plans on my calendar. I found an event that I wanted to run. It happened to be 32 weeks out. I took the 12 week training program and modified it for 24 weeks. This gives me plenty of time to train and has plenty of “margin” for any emergency or injury that might occur. This level of detail and the “extra” time for contingencies also helps with the positive mindset. So if a setback occurs, you already know you have that built into your plan.
As you progress towards your goal, it’s nice to have some checkpoints along the way just to figure out where you are. Look at it like a ‘mid-term’ exam. But you need something as close to the ‘real world’ or ‘real-time’ as possible. You find out where you stand, how far you have come and what it’s gonna take to finish.
For me, this is smaller races like the 5K, 8K, or 10K’s. I don’t plan on “peaking” for these races. They will substitute for one of the weekly training runs under “game conditions”. When I used to play competitive golf, this would be weekend invitationals or even practicing under certain conditions. You then use this ‘real-time’ feedback to make any needed adjustments in your planning.
Support of a “team” could mean the difference between success or failure. You’ve got to have a support system. It makes the process so much more enjoyable. You don’t feel like you are climbing this mountain of achievement by yourself.
Hopefully, this support will come from your spouse/girlfriend, family and close friends. Training partners (business partners) understand in an intimate way the struggles you face everyday as you press on. Supporters can encourage, cheer for you and hold you accountable. They can be that someone who gets in your face if you get lazy or just need a kick in the ass.
You may not be the smartest. You may not be the richest. You may not be the most talented. But you can bet your sweet ass, that nobody can work harder than you.
Pete Rose was my childhood hero when I played baseball. So much, in fact, my nickname was “Pete”. I wasn’t the biggest, fastest or strongest. But nobody could out hustle me. And I knew, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that on THAT day and during THAT workout…nobody was working their ass off harder than I was. No one was going to out hustle me. Hustle doesn’t take talent. And you can’t teach hustle.
There is a price to pay. Expect it. Prepare for it. There will be sacrifice. Hopefully it won’t be something as important as a marriage or other vital relationships. But many times, you’ve heard the stories, relationships don’t get the necessary attention because that quality time has been diverted toward the pursuit of a goal.
The bigger the goal and the bigger the stretch, the more laser-like focus and tunnel vision required. For me personally, during the pursuit of a major goal in the mid-80’s my marriage suffered. It didn’t fail, but it was seriously tested.
Consider all the above…and answer this:
Will you enjoy the journey and the attainment?
What lessons have you learned from success and failure during goal pursuit?
Tim Ferriss talks about the benefits of “transfer”? How can you use this goal to transfer the benefits to other areas?
Lastly, Was it worth it?