You’ve heard it before: Set your SMART goals, focus on them and you’ll achieve them. I’ll bet you’ve even tried it. Somewhere you have a number that represents your ‘stretch’ goal for revenue, you’ve noted a number on your scale to achieve, and you know how many new clients you wish to sign this month.
You made your goals “SMART” goals:
- Action oriented
- Time based
Yet, there you are and those goals are still out there somewhere waiting your you to meet them. Then you berate yourself because, for some unknown reason, you are just not meeting those goals. Discouraging, isn’t it?
What if everything you’ve been told about making goals is, well, maybe not wrong, but certainly not the whole picture? You’ve been told to focus on your goals, but you really need to focus on the bridge that crosses the gap from where you are, to where you want to go. The steps and the system to get you there should hold your focus, with an occasional view of the big picture.
If you were to map out the steps necessary to take and then turned laser focused on taking them, obviously progress would be made. Making a big goal puts a lot of stress on you. It immediately puts your thoughts to: “Oh my! I’ve got so much to do and the learning curve is steep, how will I ever make it?” You get hung up on taking leaps. Then, when life happens, and it will, which interferes with this big strides, you get discouraged and think you’ve failed. Often, this is the point where people give up. Whereas, if you are focused on the process and steps to getting there, you can easily step back into the place where you got thrown off, and continue.
If you set the goal of losing 20-lbs, then you next steps would be to determine which foods to eat and how much, along with your plan of exercise. Let’s say that you follow your plan for four weeks, you’ve 4-lbs, and you feel better. Then, it happens. (we all knew this was coming!) You go to your sister’s house and she has the most luscious chocolate cake sitting there, screaming at you to have some. You fight, but you cave. In fact, you even take home a second piece and eat it later.
At this point, it would be easy to say: “I haven’t lost 20-lbs and now I blew it.” This is where most people end up going back to their old ways. However, instead of looking at the goal of 20-lbs, if you focused your attention on what you did over the past four weeks, the story would probably end differently. You’d realize you can now zip your pants without laying down, you can walk further without getting out of breath, you feel better, and even your skin looks better. All of those steps that you were using to bridge the gap have really added up!
Do you see the difference which will happen to your attitude and desire to continue because of where your focus was placed and the chocolate incident? The big goal discouraged you, yet the process and the systems you were using to get there encouraged you!
Yes, set your big, audacious, crazy, happy goals. THEN, spend a lot of time looking at the mini-steps and process you’ll use to get there. Focus on you system of action and it will keep you in the game!