Clarifying Goals- A Few Guidelines for the First Step
July 8, 2011 Leave a comment
You’d think it would go without saying that having clear goals is the foundational step to building both the business and the life that you want to have. However, can you name a quantifiable goal right now? Right this moment? Can you articulate a dream that you have for your life or career without stopping to think for a few minutes?
Most of us, if asked the question, could think for a moment and come up with what we would loosely call ‘goals.’ We say that we want happy, healthy families, financial stability, a nice car, etc. But stop right there. Out of everything just listed, only the nice car is a quantifiable, solid goal. You know when you’ve got what you want. You’ve pictured it, you’ve clarified it in your mind, and you know exactly the steps you need to take to have that (insert year, make and model here) sitting in your driveway, shiny and ready to be driven. You have a clear goal.
For many people, a material goal is one of the few actionable goals that they have dedicated any serious brainpower to getting. They have not visualized how to better their sales approach to close the sale to earn the money (and keep the job) that will enable them to buy the (insert year, make and model here) that they want sitting in their driveway. So they have a reduced chance of getting their dream car or building the career and life they want. All because they think they’ve clarified their goals when they haven’t.
A vague idea is not a goal. An impression of how to succeed is not a tool. A hope that your health will improve is not an appropriate reaction to high cholesterol. None of these things will ultimately help you succeed in achieving anything unless they are paired with concrete action.
We know this, yet we seldom do it. And that, that disconnect from where the rubber meets the road, is the thing that holds so many serious, smart people back. People with have the drive to succeed but don’t reach for the most efficient training or coaching to help guide them as they work to achieve career goals.
Working to clarify your goals goes a long way towards making those goals a reality.
Sit down and list five things you want to do- in business- within the next 12 month. They have to be actionable things that you can do. Don’t be vague. In fact, be as specific as possible. You need to create goals that are concrete, that you can tell when you’ve reached them. Make the list, then put it aside for a week. No less. After one week, take the list back out and write down three steps for each goal. These should be three very precise things you have to do in order to reach these goals. Put the list somewhere where you can see it every day.
It sounds incredibly simplistic, like something you might do in high school to get better grades. But there were several structures in high school that do not get enough credit for their efficacy. Having a mentor or guide to bounce ideas off of is one, and clearly defined goals in another. When done correctly, it works. Proven. Don’t spend time trying to reinvent the wheel when you’ve got better things to do.
Get started today and deliberately build the career you want.