By Paul Casey
One of the greatest predictors of success for entrepreneurs is goal orientation. Goals are dreams with a deadline.
’Tis the season to set your annual business goals and ensure they fit into your long-term vision for success.
Prepare for the goal-setting process. In advance, self-evaluate against key priorities before setting goals. This is your dose of reality. You have to know where you are before you can determine where you are going.
Then, make sure you are clear regarding the major priorities where you must focus your energy, resources and skills to carry out your mission. Be crystal-clear in what you want and what you think is most important.
What are the 20 percent of targets that will net you 80 percent of results if you focus a disproportionate amount of time there? John Lee Dumas defines FOCUS as: Follow One Course Until Success.
Consider three categories of major priorities:
There must be a clear “why” as the motivator behind every goal. Simon Sinek said that you “lose your way when you lose your why.” Goals are the fuel that make the vision go somewhere.
It’s better to set vital-few goals than the trivial-many goals. Remember, too many priorities means no priorities.
Make goals SMART and HARD. SMART stands for: Specific (never vague), Measurable (trackable for effectiveness), Attainable (achievable/realistic), Relevant-to-Vision (aligned and results-oriented), Time-dated (can be calendared for a sense of urgency)
HARD stands for: Heartfelt (What’s in it for me?), Animated (visualization: You have to be able to see yourself doing it and accomplishing it), Required (for success), Difficult (challenging, a stretch, to be better tomorrow than I was today, cannot be achieved in just one step).
Goals should be north of your comfort zone, but south of the delusional zone.
State goals positively, bigger and in the present tense. You act consistently with the dominant picture in your mind. Your brain doesn’t register a negative goal (e.g. “Don’t get distracted” just tells the brain “get distracted”).
Instead, try, “I tackle my top three priorities every morning before checking email.” What you focus upon, increases.
Often a humongous goal (BHAG: Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) will trigger a cascade of other productive habits. Remember a rubber band is only effective when it is stretched.
Put goals in writing and speak them aloud. It gives them more power when they pass “across the lips and pencil tips” (Jim Rohn). The biggest difference between moderately successful people and highly successful people is the writing down of goals. If they are few in number, you may want to memorize them to set them in stone.
Confirm the goals with others. This hits the go-button on implementation once you get some feedback from those on your team, a mentor or your mastermind group. Isolated people do not make great decisions. Solomon said, “In a multitude of counselors, there is safety.”
Ask questions that get at the root of making goal-attainment more likely.
Lock in the system for accountability and review of goal-attainment.
Post your goals somewhere you will see them daily. Out of sight, out of mind. On the other hand, you will land where you look.
Get going and persist. Just start. Take your first actions. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
If you want a guide to help develop goals for 2019 for your business, certified SCORE mentors stand ready to assist, celebrate with you and point you in the right direction so you have the resources to rock your year. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Paul Casey is the chairman of SCORE Mid-Columbia, as well as the owner of Growing Forward Services.
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