How much luck is involved in reaching your goals?

How do you set goals -or do you avoid them?

I’m involved in keeping a group of people accountable for progressing their goals.

Before we started I asked everyone to decide on their reward for achieving their goals. Small buisness owners are remarkably poor at rewarding themselves for doing well, or even noting their achievements, so this was an important first step and a lot of fun.

The rewards ranged from a few days holiday to spa days, chocolate, beer, more than a few pairs of shoes and trainers and meals with friends and family. No yachts, jets, or mansions, so all very modest!

How do you reward yourself?

Go on, give it try. It might not make you work harder (rewards often don’t have that effect) but it can be a lot of fun and quite revealing. If you find yourself asking if you deserve a reward you need to contact me immediately and I’ll convince you that you do, and what’s more, I’ll make sure you enjoy it!

What kind of goals do you set?

Looking at all the different goals that people are sharing with me, it’s obvious that these range through three different types of goals:

RESULTS, PROCESS, and PERFORMANCE.

The type of goal you set will have a huge effect on your likelihood of achieving it.
For example, you set a goal of bringing in business worth £4,000 per month.

This a results goal but the results aren’t totally in your power to achieve – there will be an element of luck involved. If you know that contacting 10 prospects a day is likely to bring in £4,000 a month then there’s a strong chance you’ll reach your result – but it’s not guaranteed.

However, the process goal of contacting 10 new prospects a day is totally down to you, so you have a much higher chance of achieving it.

The performance goal is when have as many conversations as you need to get 10 sales. This relies on your performance so is partly in your control.

This may seem like subtle differences but if you are the kind of person who gets disheartened by not achieving goals, then look at how much of it is in your power to achieve before you set it. If there’s an element of luck involved then make the process your goal, especially if you don’t have the evidence that certain actions will give you precise results.

Are SMART goals outdated?

There have been a few suggestions that the long running SMART GOALS framework is a bit outdated or too corporate and that we should add a bit of fun or risk into our goal setting to make them more exciting or scary but all the conversations I’ve had show that there really isn’t a better framework for setting goals than this one. It’s been around a long time because it works.

This doesn’t mean that goals can’t be fun, scary or exciting but they also need to be:

  • Specific – a detailed statement on what you want to accomplish
  • Measurable – how will you know your goal has been achieved?
  • Attainable – it can be achieved, you can reach it, its not a dream or a wish
  • Relevant – this give you a clear fenceline and protects you from distractions
  • Time based – set a deadline with shorter milestone dates to measure progress and keep on track.

Why bother to set goals?

When you work for yourself and you’re answerable to no-one there’s a tendency to just take each day as it comes. After all, who’ll know the difference whether you do or you don’t?

The best answer to this of course is to work with a mentor (ahem …) or a group of people who will keep you accountable but there are other advantages too.

Having a definite goal gives you focus. When you’re tempted by distractions or procrastination, you can bring your energy back to what you want to achieve. You’ll waste less time on insignificant or unproductive tasks, especially if you have a deadline. You’re also more likely to prioritise your time to achieve your goals and not just react to other people’s demands. It’s the old IMPORTANT v URGENT thing that I talk about a lot but can’t be said too often!

I know so many business owners who struggle to recall what they’ve achieved in a day or a week because no-one else is there to say well done but achieving a goal and giving yourself a reward is a real marker of success, and its even sweeter when you can celebrate with people who are proud of you and pleased for you.

Dont leave it to luck!

“Let’s see what tomorrow brings” isn’t a good strategy for running a business yet so many people give up on setting goals because they feel its a useless activity.  Yes, sometimes life gets in the way and not everything goes to plan but without a definite goal you’re just drifting.

Setting goals that suit you, that give you a good chance of succeeding and having fun while you do it give you a great sense of achievement and there’s nothing quite like that for setting you up to enjoy what comes next!

If you’d like help setting goals that are within your control to achieve, contact me and I’ll help you do a reality check.

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