Warning: Written Goals May Cause You Success!
Many business owners I speak with tell me they have goals — to sell more, make more money, and have more personal time. Yet, I am always amazed at how many fail to quantify them or put them down on paper. Think it’s no big deal?
According to a Harvard Business School study, written goals can translate into earnings of 10 times more than those who fail to establish goals or put their goals in writing. In the study, Harvard graduates were asked if they had goals and, if so, were they written down? Three percent (3%) had written their goals down, eleven percent (11%) had goals but had not written them down and eighty-six (86%) had not yet established goals.
Twenty years later, they polled the same group. The 11% who had goals (but not written down) were making twice as much as the 86% who had no goals. However, the 3% who had written down their goals were making 10 times more than the average of all the other graduates…and 98% of all the wealth resided with that same 3%!
Why the Big Difference?
Getting your goals down on paper crystallizes your thinking and sets the direction for your brain to accomplish them. Think about it. If your goals are important enough to put down on paper, then you tend to focus harder on the steps you need to take to make them happen. The result - you achieve them!
There’s another benefit to writing down your goals — the sense of pride that comes from accomplishing them. Achieving smaller goals also gives you the motivation to tackle more complex goals.
Tips For Setting Goals and Getting Results
Not achieving goals can be disappointing and de- motivating. Increase your probability of success by using the SMART method. Your goals should be:
S – SPECIFIC
M - MEASURABLE
A - ACHIEVABLE (but challenging)
R - RESULTS ORIENTED
T - TIME FRAMED
“I want to make more money (sell more, have more time)” does not cut it. Consider instead:
I will increase my salary / draw by $XX by June, 200X
I will grow my customer base from X to Y by year end
I will systemize 3 processes per month so I can delegate work to others
I will generate $XX in revenue and $XX in profit in 200X
I will hold a team meeting each month throughout 200X
I will work out for 30 minutes, 4 days per week so I can improve my overall health
Once you’ve established your goals, develop 2 or 3 strategies or actions you will take over the next 60- 90 days to move you closer to your goal. Don’t start with too many strategies - start with a few and add more or modify them as you complete the tasks! In other words, chunk them into smaller pieces.
Finally, celebrate your wins along the way! Take the time to reward yourself for the little accomplishments since these will lead to bigger successes down the road.
Now Go Do It!
As you plan for your success, give some thought to the goals you WILL achieve and write them down. For some this may seem difficult, but go ahead and take a stab at it. It gets easier every time you do it. Then review your goals daily, keep them ‘visible’ (in your office, at home) and focus on the tasks that directly affect your ability to achieve your goals!
Writing your goals down will boost your confidence — and watching yourself achieve them will boost it further! It will give you a sense of control and a belief in your ability to make things happen.
According to author, Brian Tracy, Success is 10% Competence, 10% Confidence and 80% Clarity. Clarity starts with written goals! So now ask yourself this, ‘Are you important enough to yourself to take the time to plan (and write down) how you will reach your life and business objectives’?
Learn what an ActionCOACH Business Coach can do for your business this coming year. My name is Steve Pitcairn and as an ActionCOACH Business Coach. If you would like to learn more about how I can maximize the performance of your business, call me at (731) 426-2952.