During a recent survey on successful people it was discovered that one of the main difference between the top achievers and the rest was that those in the top 10% had clearly defined goals. When the researchers probed deeper they found that the people who were in the very top ranks of the highest achievers were distinguished by the fact that they had their goals written down.
The tragic thing is that most people wish for far more than they will ever need, but because of an inability to set realistic goals they end up with far less than they could have attained.
Why do so few people set goals?
- They have never been told about it. Although they could have at some time experienced the pleasure of a short term goal setting and getting, they don’t realize the importance of consciously setting goals.
- Fear of failure. Many people never try anything for fear that it won’t work. They often do not realize that the superachievers are just human like them, and that they have put in very long hours of work to achieve their success.
- Procrastination. We intend to do things, and make goals and change our lives but somehow we never get around to doing it.
How to set goals for next year
What is your overall business aim for next year? Would you like to start a business, expand your business, expand your client base, create a new range of products or services, or simply to earn more? There are five measures to set your goals.
1. Is your goal clearly defined?
This is where most goal plans fail. It is useless to have a goal to earn more this year. You must know how much more you want to earn.
Take the example of a passenger ship. What would the results be if a ship were to chart its course in “some port in the ocean sometime in 2014? Compare this vague goal with “I wish to expand my business so that it can earn me $4 million this year.”
2. Is the goal believable?
Do you think you can achieve what you have set out to do? Your goal can be ambitious, but if you prepare a detailed plan you might see that it is quite possible to achieve.
3. Is the goal keenly desired?
Without a strong motivation you will stray off course. You must really want it more than anything else to be able to achieve it.
4. Do you have a detailed plan?
Do you know exactly how you are going to reach this goal? Have you broken it down into a step-by-step process? Have you prepared a budget? If you are unsure, you can learn from the experience of others who have attained something similar.
5. Are the benefits vividly imagined?
You need plenty continuing motivation to give you the strength to remain steadfast in the face of all the temptations that will surely come along. Picture yourself in 5 years’ time, having achieved your goals, living the benefits that achieving the goal will bring.
Once a detailed plan is drawn up, you realize that what until now was a vague dream, can be readily translated into reality. You become excited about your goal and have no trouble seeing yourself do the hard work to get the reward and then being able to enjoy an early retirement free from money worries.
So how do you get started?
Starting is always the hardest thing and in goal setting, it pays to start small and build up some confidence with little successes. One you start to do this the excitement of having accomplished the little things will lead you on to the harder tasks.
It has been proven that the completion of cycles (or tasks) provides us with energy and that a lot of uncompleted cycles in our life makes us fatigued. If you get out of bed late one morning, fall over your shoes, stagger out to a kitchen full of last night’s dirty dishes, climb into a filthy car full of rubbish and then face a desk covered in papers you will understand how tired a myriad of uncompleted cycles makes you feel.
Once you get into the habit of finishing a job before you start the next, you will discover a whole new energy source.
Try the following exercise next weekend. Get a sheet of paper and write out a list of those things you have been putting off that need to be done around the house. Now write against each item the time it will take to do, and write on the list when you intend to do it (today or tomorrow). Next get stuck into it and make sure you keep at it until it is all finished. You will be amazed at how good it makes you feel and how much energy it gives you.
If you are serious about running a successful business, you will need to master the art of setting goals. If you can do it, and it is not difficult, your success is guaranteed.