If you’re a list-maker, you know there’s nothing like checking items off when complete. In fact, a rush of endorphins floods your brain! The neurotransmitter dopamine produces satisfaction and happiness, making you feel accomplished and propelling you to get more done.
But first, you have to actually create that to-do list, which, for some people, can feel like a massive undertaking. After all, making a list (which is really a form of setting goals) requires thinking through many elements, including the following:
- Deciding what needs to be done
- Determining how to prioritize
- Forcing ourselves to be specific
- Breaking jobs down into smaller steps
- Scheduling times to check our progress
- Holding ourselves accountable
- Knowing when to say no
If you’re feeling overwhelmed after reading that, you’re not alone! In actuality, science tells us that only 8% of people meet their goals. That means 92% of people don’t. Those are some pretty dismal statistics, but I have hope to offer you. My objective is to help you understand the power of goal setting and why it’s a critical habit for you and your career.
What’s the Secret?
You might be wondering if you really need to set goals. You might say, Anne, some people work better spontaneously, approaching life by the seat of their pants. Yes, sometimes that’s true. But I’m here to remind you that, in most cases, a goal without a roadmap is just a pipe dream.
The elite 8% of successful goal-setters have discovered a secret: you must start with the end in mind. The 8% know where they want to go, and they create a path for how to reach that destination. Even though it can be challenging to get started, remaining passive in any goal will prevent you from thriving.
Intentions and Ambitions
Let’s look at your personal life for a couple of examples. Imagine you want to improve your golf game, but to achieve this goal, you’ll need to do more than hope! To enhance your chip shots, drives, or putts, you must take action. So, you hire a golf coach to learn about proper stance, grip, and posture. Sure—this takes time, effort, and commitment, but the 8% have refined the follow-through necessary to achieve their goals, no matter how difficult.
Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit Greece. Looking through gorgeous internet scenes of Santorini might inspire you, but action steps are required to make this dream a reality. For example, will you need a visa? What’s your budget? What options do you have for flights? What about planning your itinerary? Will you need any vaccinations? Should you purchase travel insurance? Do you know how to say please (parakaló) or thank you (efkharistó) in Greek? The 8% would thoroughly answer these questions, so they can ensure the trip of a lifetime.
Remember, starting with the end in mind means you’re creating a clear roadmap with the goals and resources needed to get there. You’re taking your ambitions and intentions and putting them into action with goals along the way.
Now that we’ve established the importance of goal setting, let’s look at how that applies to your career. As a business owner, proper goal setting ranks as one of the most vital tasks to provide instruction and a sense of direction to your team. Let’s look at five reasons why:
- Increases Focus: Goal setting takes your ideas from disjointed and disorganized to precise and productive. Having a roadmap helps you achieve the flow state, where your goals are challenging yet still within your skill ability. This zone is where progress happens.
- Measures Progress: Keeping track of your progress is advantageous and can prevent burnout. Even if you’re just taking baby steps—maybe you’re waiting on others or need more information—you’re still moving forward.
- Provides Motivation: Setting goals increases motivation—and vice versa. Higher motivation leads to getting more done.
- Avoids Procrastination: Wasted time helps no one. Procrastination happens to everyone, but it still prevents you from moving forward. Goal setting can remedy this paralyzing state and lead to improved performance.
- Exceeds Goals: Once you meet a goal, you will savor the sweet taste of victory. Success is a powerful motivator that challenges you to achieve even more. Setting, what I call, stretch goals, can be a big motivator to achieve more than you might have thought possible.
The bottom line is that if you want results, you have to take action. Action creates results. In your next steps, I challenge you to remember the power of goal setting and integrate it into your professional life as a regular practice, so you can enjoy having your ideal business and ideal life.
C.G. Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist, famously said, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do” (Lim, 2016). Be the person who does more than talk about targets—be the person who meets and exceeds targets through regular goal setting.
Do you feel like your business has plateaued or you are sick and tired of being sick and tired? Could it use a shot in the arm to make even more progress on your goals? Consider working with The Accountability Coach. I’m here to help you accelerate your results, so you can enjoy your ideal business and ideal life! Reach out today for your complimentary consultation.
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