Setting goals is a great way to create a system for improving your business and yourself. While the practice of setting goals can be useful, it is often misunderstood and misused. We have all heard of people making New Years Resolutions. Essentially a New Years Resolution is a goal that people set. “I want to lose weight.” “I want to start exercising.” “I want to find success in my business.” These are all very popular New Years Resolutions. Essentially they are goals that people are setting.
Now if there is one association we make with New Years Resolutions, it is that they are hardly even obtained. Each year people create new resolutions to change their lives. The vast majority of these resolutions are never obtained.
There are four things you will want to remember when creating goals. We’ll call the “The Four Be’s of Goal Setting.”
- Be specific
- Be obtainable
- Be time orientated
- Be measureable
In my work I have heard many people tell me “my goal is to be rich.” I will use this goal to illustrate each of the four Be’s.
Be Specific A goal must be specific. We are all liars (I will write about this in a future post). We lie to ourselves everyday and everyday. We are always telling our selves things and rationalizing why we do not do something or why we do what we do. In the case of goals it is the same.
To make the goal “I want to be rich” more specific, we need to set a number to it. I am sure the reason you are reading this blog is because you want to find financial freedom. Lets face it, we work for live, we don’t live to work. Unfortunately, we need money to live.
So let’s say “I want to have one million dollars.”
Now we have made the goal more specific. You have set a number to it and created a definite level of success. As we make goals we can often rationalize why or why we don’t reach it. By following these four Be’s we are taking the excuses out of your goals.
Be Obtainable Next, we want to make sure that your goal is obtainable. If I were to have said “I want to be a trillionaire.” This is obviously not very obtainable. Is it possible? Sure. But it does not make it obtainable. The key to this step is you want to put the goal far enough out of reach that you have to work hard for it, but not far enough that it is unreachable.
The reason you want to put it far enough so that you have to work hard to get there is so you don’t sell yourself short. If you said “I want to be a millionaire” and worked until you reached that point, you might reach it in far less time than you thought. This may make you lose momentum or interest. You could have made ten million potentially.
The reason you do not want to set it too high, is for the reason that if it is not obtainable than you might not take it seriously and never give it a chance. You knew you would fail to begin with, so what is the point of trying? It would have just been a waste of time.
So as you are setting your goals make sure you know it is something you will have to work hard for. There might even be a small chance of failure. This will give you enough of a challenge that it will get you excited to surpass expectations with this goal. But make sure it is not too far out of reach, or you may never start.
Be Time Orientated You will then need to time bind these goals. I can say “I want to be a millionaire,” but unless you set a deadline in which to become a millionaire, it will be difficult to ever reach that goal. You will be able to create excuses like “I can start tomorrow” or “that can wait.” By setting a time limit to reach a goal it forces you to get out there and start working on it.
An example of a time orientated goal would be “I want to be a millionaire within five years.” You know specifically what you want to do, and exactly how much time you have. Once again the main goal here is to cut out the chance for excuses. We want to limit your ability to reason why you cannot do something. This is your best chance.
Be Measureable Lastly, if we make the goal measureable, we are far more likely to achieve it. By stating that your goal is to be a millionaire within five years, you have now created a timeline for this goal. You can now break it down into smaller time frames and numbers to make the goals seem more achievable and not as big.
An example of this would be as follows:
I will make $50,000 in 6 months.
Within 1 year I will have $100,000.
In two years I will have made $250,000.
Within 3 years I will have made $500,000.
Then by 4 years I will have made $750,000.
And within 5 year I will have made my $1,000,000.
This is a basic goal and something everyone can understand. I am sure some of your goals will be far more complex than this, but you get the idea. You also need to remember that a goal without a plan is not going to have a chance for success. You must create a plan for achieving your goals.
Follow-up As with any goal, you do not want to create it, write it down, make sure it follows the four Be’s, and then just store it away never to look at again. You will want to make sure you are following up your goals. You will want to set a time each day, week, month to review your goals and measure your progress towards them.
This is a time that is up by you. You can do it however often you would like. My one suggestion would be to schedule this time in your calendar. Often you will make a verbal commitment to review each of your goals once a month. Then all of a sudden it is three months later and you are still saying “I will do it tomorrow.”
By scheduling a time in your calendar you are committing your time to this activity. This will increase your likelihood of following through and reaching your goals. Ultimately, you are the one who holds your fate in your hands. There is no magic pill or secret formula. You will have to make the commitment to your success. All I can do is give you helpful tips and advice. It is your job to follow through. I know you can.