Three Little Known Keys to Goal Achievement
As I write this it’s February 13, 2017, and if you’re like most people the goals you set for the New Year were either never written down or are now buried under a pile of bills, meeting notes and your kids’ homework. I wanted to bring our focus back onto goals this week, as they’re really something that should be top of mind every single day if we’re going to hit them.
Studying goal achievement over the years has been fascinating – why we set them, why we don’t hit them, etc. Last year I had a goal of building a six figure coaching business my first full year in business as a sales coach, and I’m happy to say I did.
In the pursuit of achieving this goal I learned several things about goal achievement that I want to share with you today. You can apply these to your own goals of earning six figures in your sales business, or to whatever goal you are currently striving for:
Achieving a goal isn’t about the achievement of a goal at all. It’s about who you become in the process (paraphrased from Jim Rohn).
Have you ever set a goal to run a race or hit a certain income mark? What happens when you actually accomplish the goal? You feel great for a few days, and then become listless and wonder “What’s next?”
Humans are meant to constantly strive for new levels of achievement. We think that hitting a certain goal will make our lives perfect and that we’ll never desire more, but it’s simply not how we’re wired. Once you hit a goal, your brain will start to stir and reach for the next goal.
One of the best pieces of goal setting wisdom I’ve ever heard came from the late Jim Rohn, who taught me that achieving the goal is much more about the person you become in the process rather than the achievement of the goal itself.
Think about it – if you want to tack on an extra $10k, $50k, $100k to your income this year, how will YOU have to change as a person? What new habits will you have to develop? What old habits or limited thinking will you have to let go of? The achievement of that goal is much more about who you evolve into in the process rather than the attainment of the goal itself.
Knowing that makes goal setting more exciting, because you realize it’s about long term growth rather than short term gain.
Before you express lack, express gratitude
Goal setting is often about MORE – I want more money, more love, more health, etc.
When we start goal setting from a mindset of “I don’t have enough”, receiving more will be a great struggle. Focusing on what you lack sets you up for limited goal achievement, as your brain will only be thinking about what’s wrong, not on how to build off of what’s already working.
One of my colleagues, Kitty Barrow, said something that stuck with me once. She asked on a company training call “What if you woke up tomorrow with only what you expressed gratitude for today?” We need to make sure that when we are setting goals we aren’t starting from a place of “not enough”. We need to first express appreciation for everything we have accomplished and everything that we have, and THEN start thinking creatively about how to increase that. Try it the next time you go to set a goal – it will feel radically different!
What you focus on expands
I’ve found this to be true over the years. If you focus on the fact that you don’t have enough money, health, love, etc, that situation will expand. However, if you focus on how blessed you are for what you do have, and that you’re grateful for it, it will be easier to bring more of it into your life (sounds out there, I know, but it’s always been my experience).
This point is similar to my second point, but moves your focus to your personal strengths and what you’re going to bring to the table to make your new goals possible. Before you set a new goal, I want you to think back to your past wins. These wins can be from last year, last month, or yesterday. What character traits did you employ to make those happen? Did you persevere in a situation? Were you brave? Were you patient? Those are the foundations upon which you’ll build your new goals.
Building on our strengths is naturally easier than trying to fix our flaws, and so when we come at goal setting from a place of strength and gratitude, we are in a mental position to be unstoppable. Some of you may use affirmations, which I personally am a fan of. Building your character strengths into your affirmations is an excellent way to program your brain to focus on what’s working for you, not your flaws.
Another one of my colleagues, Nick Connor, had the wife of one of his coaching clients read his affirmations for him and record them. He listened to them every day on the way into work, and it was a moving and motivating experience for him every day. Hearing from someone else how great you are is sometimes more believable than hearing it from yourself.
Whether you’re right on track for your 2017 goals, or perhaps you still need to set them, I hope these tips help you set them powerfully and effectively. Comment below with what goals you’re working on achieving this year, and any other tips or strategies you swear by to make sure you hit them!