“If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail” is an old saying which has its near variants in almost every major language spoken on the planet Earth. This is not an advice from a witch doctor of medieval times, but in fact it has been proven statistically that an individual who writes down his or her goals is more likely to achieve his or her goals compared to a person who decides to only dream about them.
A research was carried out at the Harvard University in 1973 and it was recorded that out of all the students attending the university that year, only 3% of them had their goals in a written format. 25 years later in 1998, that same 3% had acquired over 98% of their goals. These were the goals which were written down in 1973.
A simple exercise of achieving goals is to write down your goal in a diary right after you get up in the morning.
Keep this diary with you all the times. Never miss to write down your goal every morning, day in day out. 95% chances are that you will attain your goal. I am not asking you to develop a detailed ‘business model’. I am asking you to just write down your goal of life. But make sure that your goal is a S.M.A.R.T goal. Meaning that it should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time Framed. Depending upon your goal you may want to review and correct daily, weekly or monthly.
In life we are often reminded of our past follies; the mistakes we made and the opportunities we lost. Just like a financial account, we take stock of what has happened in the past and fail to earmark time to plan our future. It’s no use crying over spilt milk, rather we should learn from our follies and mistakes. We should always remember the opportunities we lost so that the next time they come up knocking, we are ready to greet them. These small pitfalls are the learning experiences that only assist us in reaching our goals. They make us learn what all can go wrong and that is why it is vital that you as a business owner or an entrepreneur understand the ‘mechanics’ of business so you can be the ‘pit crew’ during the race. As a ‘pit crew’ for your business, you know what all is needed and, above all, you know the end result before anyone else does.
Tell someone about your Goal; your mentor, spouse or parents. Telling someone about your goals will create accountability, making sure you follow through.
After working with multiple organisations and companies of various sizes and nature, I have been able to conclude that the most successful have been those that have developed their goals and visions and have always maintained alignment and goal focus approach. These organisations have communicated their goals to the last man down the queue. Every step taken or an intervention introduced is to maintain course. The course that would lead them to their ultimate destiny: their GOAL.
Here planning also plays a crucial role. After all a plan, no matter how beautifully it is articulated will fail to deliver if it is poorly executed. Yet many people fail to plan. In some cases, it’s just plain laziness or lack of energy, but in majority of circumstances people don’t know where to start. So what is the best way to go about getting a plan together?
As for making this all happen, you will need to set aside some time to get clear on your goals and create a plan, once you have your goals worked out you need to ‘reverse engineer’ them starting with the end and working back to the start date.
You need to know where you’re going. If you’re not clear on your vision, then you’re never going to arrive, it doesn’t matter how good your plans are… imagine you’re driving to a restaurant, and you didn’t know the name of it, what street it was on, or even what suburb it is in… are you likely to get there?
You must have smaller and more easily achievable milestones in between your starting point and the ultimate GOAL. Celebrate accomplishing these milestones. Reaching goals create lots of excitement and motivation, lack of milestones or milestones being too far apart can create demotivation and you may tend to give up!
Check your progress and celebrate your wins. Review your goals on a regular basis and celebrate reaching your milestones. Tracking your progress will keep you motivated!
Once you do this you will end up with a daily or weekly set of tasks you need to complete to achieve your goal by the set date.