Setting goals is the easy part. You know where you want to be! Your goals may be personal or professional, but you’ve got goals! You want to be 10 pounds lighter, finish writing that book, add half-dozen clients, successfully communicate with your spouse or co-workers, or perhaps you’d like to complete a blog a month. Whatever goals you have, are you getting the results you’re after?
Working harder or endlessly repeating the same actions over and over won’t get you the results you want. And continually chasing a goal without getting the results you desire leads to burnout, discouragement, and frustration. Have you been there?
The hard question: Are you putting your effort into the actions that will make it possible for you to arrive where you want to be? Or are you working hard and putting a ton of effort into activities that will never get you the results you desire? After all, it’s a rare bird that enthusiastically works hard just for the fun of it!
Have you gotten sucked into some of these snags along the way?
- Endless analysis
- Lost – not sure what to do next
- Derailed by fear
- Rigid routine
- Lack of boundaries (distractions)
- Limited self-discipline
- Limiting mindsets (negative, scarcity, & fixed)
- Disorganization – no clear process or system
- Multitasking or doing too much
- Busy work – activities that make you feel productive, but don’t get you any closer to your goals
No matter how much I wish I had 48 hours in a day, I don’t. Neither do you! The fact is that you don’t even have 24 hours to devote to your goals. Nope! By the time you’ve engaged in your “necessary activities” there are only a few hours in a day. My “necessary activities” are coaching, writing, following up, etc. I typically have only about 2-3 hours a day max to invest in achieving my goals. If you’re honest, you may have a little more or a little less than I do.
It’s a sure thing; working more and harder works against you, NOT for you. With that in mind, how can you minimize your effort and get maximum results?
There will always be distractions, habits, or fears to get you off track. They may even seem like valid excuses. That’s why reaching your goals requires that you successfully lead YOU in a radically new way.
What’s the secret to getting the results you want?
1. Bond with your WHY
IF you want to get results, you must believe you have what it takes to get the job done! Often the biggest hurdle is overcoming your fear of success. Deep down you don’t believe that you’re capable or worthy of achieving your goals. And you worry that if by some off chance you did reach your goals, you wouldn’t have what it takes to maintain that level of success.
Until you believe that you can reach your goal, it’s unlikely that you will hit your target. And that’s assuming that you are leaning on the One who loves you most, not that you‘re attempting to reach your goals in your own strength. You’ll need His help because reaching your goals will require you to step outside of your comfort zone!
If you’re pursuing multiple goals, how are they competing with each other? Attempting to reach 10 goals simultaneously dilutes your energy and divides your time in counterproductive ways. I will admit that I have a number of goals I am working towards this year. However, I’ve found that investing the bulk of my “free” time into one of those goals at a time increases my effort, creates momentum, and speeds up my progress. That fuels me to keep going!
When I focus on one goal at a time, it allows me to remain more connected to my why; my motivation behind my goal in the first place. The reality is that you will not reach goals you aren’t excited about; goals that aren’t compelling to you.
What’s the “WHY” behind your goal? Why does it matter to you?
Now that you’ve settled the motivation behind your goals, it’s time to break that goal down into manageable actions with realistic milestones. Most importantly, put those “mile markers” on the calendar. For example, if my goal is to complete a book by the end of the year, I will need to:
Set dates for my milestones to be completed and put them on the calendar. My milestones might be…
- Create an outline
- Complete chapters 1-6 (each chapter would have its own completion date)
- Review the draft
- Have the draft edited.
I will establish actions that will enable me to reach those milestones. My action might be writing…
- 30 minutes a day
- 2 hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday
- 8 hours on Friday
Whatever my actions are, they will allow me to focus on my efforts rather than the end goal; the baby steps!
Finally, I must designate consistent times to reflect and evaluate my progress.
I might set aside time to do this weekly on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. Or it might be something I do on a daily or monthly basis. Whatever rhythm of reflecting and evaluating works best for you. The objective is to evaluate what’s working, what’s not working, and what needs to change. Perhaps your schedule has changed and you need to rearrange the time you set aside to write. This is a way for you to proactively respond and adjust so that you can successfully stay on track to getting the results you’re after. Your ability to respond and adjust is critical.
Now that you’ve determined your baby steps and scheduled them I am going to let you in on another secret: what you measure is what you will improve! Keeping track is more appealing to some personalities than others, but the simple act of keeping track can be incentive to stay on track and help you be consistent in the way you need to be in order to get the results you are after. Here are just a few examples:
- In an effort to keep my life more balanced I keep track of the activities I engage in that make my heart happy; activities like connecting with a friend, working on a craft project, reading in the tub, or coloring in my adult coloring books. When these numbers are low, it’s a sign that I’m working too much.
- Tracking number of hours you spend writing your book, working out, organizing, or ______________.
- Tracking how many servings of vegetables you eat each day, or prospects you contacted, or ___________.
Just be sure you’re tracking what’s really going to get you the results you’re after. If you find that your results are still illusive, in your scheduled reflection time consider whether or not you are measuring the most appropriate activity.
Remember, measuring or keeping track is a way to help you be more consistent at the efforts that will convert to results so you can work smarter, not harder.
4. Get Help!
Your goals are important to you. You know your WHY and it matters! You don’t want to endlessly spin your wheels, you want results! So if you find yourself still unable to reach your goals, you’re getting some results, but you want to speed up the pace, or maybe you know you that you have the potential for more and want to be more intentional, why not work with a coach? They can help you identify blind spots, limiting beliefs, establish boundaries, and assist you in creating a strategy to move forward that will allow you to work efficiently and get the results you want!
Where in your life personally or professionally would you like to get results or improve your results? How can you help your team get the results that matter?