Step 1: Set Specific Goals
The first step is to set specific goals. I once asked a seminar attendee how big he was planning on building his business, his reply was “As big as possible.” While I admire the optimism, if you don’t have a specific number and a specific date in mind, chances are you won’t meet the goal you really want. Setting specific goals spawns other important activities in the goal setting process. Because of a specific number and specific date, you would quickly realize that there are strategies you must implement to reach the goal. A vague goal such as “bigger” or “better” will not create a sense of urgency or spell out exactly what must be done to reach it.
Step 2: Have the end in sight
The only way to set a specific goal is to see the end. You need to see as many of the parts as possible. In other words, if I set a goal to take my business to a certain dollar amount, that means that I will have a certain number of people on staff. It means I will need to take specific action in my marketing plan to take my business there. It may mean that I need more equipment, and so on. The point here is that you can’t just list the specific goal without taking into consideration what else will be involved.
You will never know all of the dynamics of how it will be, and what you will experience once you get there, but you need to have an idea of what is absolutely required to be there. For example, when I took my business to over $2 million per year, I had the end in sight. I knew that I would need a certain number of trucks, a certain number of people, etc. I did not know what it would be like. I did not realize what I would learn in leading 33 people. I did not understand management dynamics as I do now that I have experienced it first hand. I knew how to manage a staff of 7, but a group of thirty three, and working with middle management was a totally new experience. So, you won’t always know what kind of experiences you will have along the way. That’s why we say that success is a journey – not a destination. It is the life lessons we learn along the way that create the real success, not just reaching the goal. However, the only way to get on the journey is to set our sights on a destination.
Step 3: Write Down Your Goals
I know, I know, you have heard this from every motivational speaker you have ever heard! I wonder why? Could it be because it works?! Maybe they are paid speakers because they have reached a few goals in their lives. Writing down your goals increases your retention rate. Writing it causes you to physically absorb it. Your hand takes specific action in creating something. You also must think about it longer by writing it down. The written word also has more legitimacy than a fleeting thought. And by seeing it written down, you will remember it longer. If you tape it to your mirror, or put it in a place that you see every day, you will cause yourself to think about it more, increasing your chances of taking action on it.
Step 4: Break it Down
Once you have set a specific goal in time and number, now break it down by the year, month, week, and day. For example, let’s say your goal is to save $50,000.00 in the next five years. That’s $10k per year, $833.00 per month, approximately $192.00 per week, and $32.00 per day on a 6 day workweek. While $50,000.00 can seem daunting, increasing your income by $32.00 a day doesn’t sound too difficult.
Step 5: Review and Adjust Regularly
Your goals will change over time. That’s okay. Your life changes, your worldview changes, and as you mature, your goals change. Constantly review your goals and determine how your strategies are performing.