How serious are you about achieving your goals? Earlier this month, we posted about having resolve with goals, a tribute to setting New Year’s Resolutions in 2017. Specifically, the post came from a conversation with Jim, who decided to reach his goals with a focus on something clear, the right strategies for reaching success, and the need to stop doing things that are getting in the way of his goals. Jim wants an MBA, and he knows that he needs 12 credits this year to move toward that goal; he knows that he needs to block time in his day to dedicate to his studies; and, he know that he needs to give up his bowling league, which he wasn’t committed to anyway.
So many of our goals don’t become reality because we either can’t articulate them in terms of the specifics, we don’t recognize that some strategies are more important than others, and we put other needs before our real priority.
Later in the month, for our #onethingseries, we interviewed Dr. Justin Comegys from @twoguysde, a master teacher, an avid reader, and a supporter of the theschoolhouse302. He read the post and had one thing to add: leaders who want to achieve their goals must write them down. His strategy for this was to keep his goals front-and-center on his daily planner, at his desk, every single day. He even Tweeted about it after our conversation.
That brings us to four very simple strategies for reaching your goals:
#1. Stay focused and specific. Even “earning an MBA” isn’t specific enough. Earning 12 credits in 2017 is much better and much easier to measure. The word priority was never meant to be plural. The more granular you can get with the accomplishments you want, the more likely it will be that you’ll achieve them.
#2: It’s time to make time. Going to the gym twice a day won’t help you to get fit if you’re eating nachos and pizza in between gym visits. That means that preparing meals that make sense has to be where the time is spent if fitness is your goal. As is the case with Jim, time is a critical asset that he needs maximize. This means scheduling your goals into your daily life. Thinking about something that’s important is different than having the time to make it a reality.
#3. Stop it. Don’t continue to do the same routine and expect something new. If your goal is to read more, then you might need to give up one of your favorite TV programs to do so. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing something over-and-over again and expecting a different result. Remember, this is about reaching your goals, whether growing as a leader, living a healthy lifestyle, or being a better parent, you have to look at your actions and ask tough questions like, is the TV program helping me reach my goals? Or, is there something else I could be doing, such as spending my same time reading? We already know the answer.
#4. Write your goals down, now. Don’t waste time telling everyone about your goals if you don’t have them written down. About 87% of people don’t have clear goals, another 10% can articulate them, and only 3% of people actually write them down. We advocate for a sticky-note in multiple places, like the mirror where you brush your teeth, the horn of your car, your coffee mug in the AM, or your daily planner as discussed by Dr. Comegys. Write your goals in places that you will see them often, which is an accountability strategy. If you can’t hold yourself accountable to your own written word, no one can.
These are four simple strategies that can help you reach your goals and grow as a leader. We hope you’ll re-Tweet, comment on the blog, or comment on our YouTube channel.
TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.
Joe and T.J.