Whether you are a business owner, an employee, a student, an athlete, or any other label you wish to use to describe yourself, you probably have dreams and goals for yourself that you are not yet achieving. Over the past 15 years of working with a wide variety of businesses and entrepreneurs in dozens of industries, from startups to 3rd generation family businesses, I have seen dreams come and go, some fulfilled but many not. Looking back at my own experiences and listening to and learning from others much wiser than I am, it is clear that the number one reason people do not achieve their goals and dreams is that they are unable to get out of their own way! We tend to blame pretty much everyone and everything else for our failures to achieve, but in the end it really comes down to each and every one of us and our own personal limitations.
Around this time every year, we all know that it’s time to start planning for the next year. We do New Year’s Resolutions that we never stick to, we make Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) that we never reach, and in general we do things like budget and set modest goals that we sometimes kinda use. And every year we forget 90% of this by the middle of February, and we end up wherever we end up. What if there was a simple 3.5 Step process for Goal Setting and Achieving that actually worked?
I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say I never thought I’d call myself a runner. Thirteen months ago my personal trainer asked a group of us if we wanted to participate in a local Thanksgiving Day race, and with a lot of trepidation in my mind I agreed to register. I had never run a race over 5 kilometers before and the race I’d just agreed to run was twice that distance. After giving me a few minutes to process the decision I’d made, my trainer laid out the training plan to make sure all of us would complete the goal of running the race. The process she outlined for us was simple and effective and consisted of the following steps:
The power of goal setting is well documented, and there are hundreds if not thousands of books and articles out there on the topic, so I’m not going to try to convince you here if you still need that. What I want to do now is share some of my Top Tips for creating a great plan that you can actually accomplish. First and foremost, make sure that your goal-setting and planning includes both business and personal items. As a business owner, you need to be planning for balance in your life, so I would suggest starting with your personal goals.