As we come to the end of 2015, it's a great time to take a few minutes and think about the passing year with all its blessings and challenges. What was your life and business like at this time last year? What have you accomplished? What surprises came along the way? I certainly have so much I am grateful for and so much I am looking forward to in 2016. Do you have hopes and dreams for 2016? Have you turned those into goals and plans yet? You might be surprised to find out just how important it is to really clarify and write down your goals in order to make those dreams come true.
"There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants and a burning desire to possess it"
In "What They Don't Teach You At Harvard Business School" Mark McCormack references a study done with a group of graduates. They were asked: 'Have you written goals for your future and have you made plans to reach them?'
3% had written goals and action plans
13% had goals, but not in writing
84% had no specific goals
Ten years later they went back to the same group of graduates and discovered how they had done.
The 13% with goals were earning twice as much as the 84%
The 3% with written goals and action plans were making 10xs as much as the other 97% all together!
This study and countless others there can be no doubt that having clear goals is essential to success. Then why do so few people set goals?
Many people think they have goals, but really they have wishes. They lack the clarity of defining exactly what they want to achieve and how there are going to go about it. Others are afraid to set goals because of a fear of failure and rejection. Thoughts like "what will people think of me if I don't make it" overwhelm and paralyze them.
Have you set your goals for 2016? Do you know what you want to achieve? Do you have a clear picture of what your business will look like at this time next year?
I encourage you to join me in following Brian Tracy's seven part plan for setting and accomplishing goals. Here is an outline of the seven steps. In the next newsletter, I will go into more detail on how to use these steps to make your goals a reality.
Step One: Decide Exactly What You Want
Clarity is critical! You need to know exactly what you want and also what you will have to do to achieve it. Then you must ask yourself "Am I willing to invest the time and energy necessary to achieve these goals?" Is there anyone else who should be involved in this decision who will be impacted by your goals?
Step Two: Write It Down
Write it down. This makes it concrete and real.
Step Three: Set A Deadline For Reaching Your Goal.
Have an exact date you are committed to. This will motivate you to reach it. You might need to set sub-deadlines as well.
Step Four: Make An Activity List
List all the things you can think of that you will need to do to achieve your goal.
Step Five: Organize The List Into A Plan
What are the key things that need to be done? In what order do you need to do them?
Step Six: Take Action On Your Plan Immediately!
The first step is always the hardest. The tendency is to procrastinate by thinking you need to plan more. It will be a work in progress... Just Get Going!
Step Seven: Decide To Do Something Every Day To Move You Towards Your Goal.
Get in a habit of building this into your daily schedule.
I challenge you to take some time over in this holiday season to at least do the first two steps. Make a list of all the things you'd like to accomplish in 2016 and decide which is the most important to you and will have the biggest impact on where you want to be in your life and business by the end of next year. Is there anyone who's buy-in is critical for success? Include them in determining your top goal. Then, together, commit to it. Write it down!! Get excited about it!! Tell friends, family and colleagues!! Next month we will look at the steps involved in making it happen: Creating a clear plan of action and sticking to it!
Enjoy the holiday season and all that is special to you. For me, I am so thankful for the blessing of family and friends and for the greatest gift of all... God's gift of His Son, the Babe in the manger.