Let’s face it. Goal setting is the easy part. Goal achieving is the tough part. But maybe our inability to achieve the goals we set lies in the way we envision these goals. We’ve all experienced the frustration of setting a goal and not reaching it. New Year’s resolutions stand at the top of the list. Projected sales growth for an upcoming quarter comes to mind.
Look at it this way. The last time you wrote down a goal or two – and writing them down is critical – did you write down what you wanted to accomplish? That’s what most people do.
They first write down the what, or content, of a goal, like “boost next quarter sales by 15 percent.”
Then, they list the how, or strategy, they’ll follow like expecting to boost sales quotas, making more cold calls, or more telephone calls to arrange meetings with prospects, and the like.
Very few start with the why of goal setting. An effective why is critical, because it tells you your motivation will move you to reach your goal(s). If on closer inspection, your why doesn’t really move you positively and energetically to commit to your goal, you likely won’t reach your goal.
Once you’ve nailed down your effective why, then, define your what and your how.
Consider asking yourself these four questions as you introspect and examine your why:
- Is your current why your true one? Be totally honest with yourself on this. If your motivation doesn’t fit you and your situation, your what and your how won’t meet your expectations.
- Is your why finite and practical? Better to be highly focused, not general. Wanting to become a better salesperson” is general. Wanting to boost sales by 15 percent next quarter is specific.
- Can you meaningfully quantify results that stem from your why? If you can’t quantify the results that stem from your why, you can’t measure your success at reaching your goal.
- Is your why for the short term or long term? A deeper, longer-lasting why will motivate you more strongly and for longer periods of time
Once you’ve answered these questions, test your new goal-setting process by setting a goal for yourself within a preset time. Choose one goal you’ll commit to and measure your results in the next 30 days.