If you care about your health, most likely you see your physician for a check-up at least once a year. As your coach (well, at least through my writings), I’d like to complete a goal check-up with you today. If you are like most business owners, you set some sort of 2013 goals for your business, either in late 2012 or in January of 2013. Unfortunately, if you are like most, you also haven’t paid attention to those goals much. I don’t write this to insult you or to make you feel bad. I write this because I care about you and the health of your business. I also know that sometimes “stuff” gets in the way of progress. So here we are in the fourth quarter of 2013. There is still time to pull those goals out of the fire if you act now.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Did you set too many and too lofty of goals?
Yes, it’s possible to set too many and too lofty goals for yourself! Some goals can take months and even years to achieve. If you have too many of these, you will probably stretch yourself too thin. Ideally, you should only have a few big lofty goals at one time. You need to ensure you have the time and energy to work on them, so don’t overdo it. A good suggestion is to have a few killer goals and half-dozen small goals.
2. Did you write the goals down?
I am amazed at the number of people I ask to show me their goals, and they can’t produce anything. Usually, they tell me the goals are in their head and they don’t need to write them down. I usually answer with some statistics that show it’s much more effective to write your goals down. Folks, write them down…on paper, in your journal, on a white board, or on your bathroom mirror…just get them down somewhere other than in your head.
3. Did you personalize your goals?
Why do you want to accomplish the goal? How will you feel when you achieve the goal? What will it mean for you to achieve your goal? If you don’t have clear answers to these questions, chances are you don’t want to achieve the goal badly enough. You won’t be able to sustain the drive to achieve the goal. You need to be clear about the significance of your goals…crystal clear!
4. Are you looking at your goals every day?
We humans can be forgetful. If you don’t physically write down and keep your goals in a place you can see them every day, chances are you’ll forget about them. “Out of sight, out of mind.” I give my clients a neat little planner they can carry in their pocket or purse wherever they go.
5. Are you adjusting your goals when necessary?
Things change, people get off track, and sometimes people set goals way above their abilities. If you are checking on your goals often enough, you can adjust and change them where necessary. It also gives you a chance to review your effort and plan. Are you really attacking the goals like you planned?
6. Are you keeping the goals to yourself?
If so, why? Are you scared to share your goals out of fear, failure and humiliation? How many times did Thomas Edison fail before he got the light bulb working? Once you have written down your goals, I highly recommend you publicize them. Yes, announce them to everyone you know – family, friends, enemies, co-workers, etc. It may make you feel a bit uncomfortable, but you know what I say about that: “To change, you have to get uncomfortable”.
7. Are you using a support network?
While they are your goals, you don’t have to be out there on an island. This is where a good coach can really assist you. Accountability and follow-up is imperative in the goal process.
If you have gotten off-track or fallen into any of the pitfalls I mentioned, it’s up to you to put yourself in the position to make sure you still achieve your goals in 2013. Don’t fall victim to these seven common mistakes. If you’re reading this column, chances are, you aren’t common.
Make 2013 an uncommonly good year! You still have time.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome to achieve a goal? Share your story or comment below. Thank you!