The Reality Of The Situation Is…

November 26, 2019

Did you set resolutions and goals last year, or did you make wishes?

The reality of the situation is… only a small fraction of New Year’s resolutions are ever met. The reason for this is usually one of the following:

  • Too vague
  • Unrealistic
  • Based on willpower, not systems

Last week I sent an exercise to help you reflect on your past year. Do any of the three reasons for failure ring true for you? Every year there is a promise of a new start, but the excitement, and thrill of “what could be,” dies, and withers on the vine if the right steps have not been put in place.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

So much emphasis has been put on setting goals, and although goals are important, the likelihood of achieving them drops significantly without a plan. Goals are merely wishes without actions and behaviors to make them happen. But how do you create a plan of action?

It starts with a SMART goal.

  • S-pecific
  • M-easurable
  • A-ttainable
  • R-elevant
  • T-ime-oriented

Specific: The more granular you can get, the better. This requires precise laser focus, makes sense right? It’s not enough to say, “I’m going to buckle down and get my career on track.” What does this mean anyway?

Who? What? Why? When? How?

Measurable: Without measurement how is there reward or the possibility for reconciliation? Determine goal posts, assign parameters, and define success. By adding measurement you can self assess whether you are in your lane, or if you’ve jumped off track.

  • How will you know when you’ve reached your objective?
  • Can you assign a number to track your goal?
  • Schedule check-in dates to evaluate your progress.

Attainable: Is your goal realistic, or wishful thinking? Setting your sights on unrealistic goals is a recipe for disaster and failure. Beyond failure, it creates loopholes for procrastination and a sneaky way out of the commitment.

  • Are you being realistic with yourself? Do you have the support and resources necessary to achieve this goal?
  • Realistic goals empower, create a sense of urgency, and excitement to win.

Relevant: Does this goal align with your “Why” in life? Another reason many resolutions, and goals, go unmet is because people make goals they feel they “should” make instead of setting goals with more strength and power in their lives.

  • Is this goal significant and aligned with your greater goals?
  • What is won by reaching this goal?
  • Write it out, imagine success, and envision how this will affect your life. For an extra push of commitment, imagine the ramifications of quitting.

Time-oriented: Like all things, timing is everything. A goal set too far in the future invites procrastination, and one set in the short term may be unrealistic and discouraging. Ground your goals within a time frame with a target date.

  • Specify time periods for reaching goals, and set timely check-ins (with reminders) to evaluate, and make necessary adjustments.

Additional prompts to help you create an action-oriented plan for achieving your goals:

  • What resources are needed?
  • Define potential hurdles.
  • Describe the outcome of achieved goal.
  • After writing out your plan keep it someplace easily accessible. Your actual goal should be someplace prominent that you see often.

Still need an extra dose of motivation?

Check out this blog post I wrote for Hoopla:

Tips on Motivating your Sales Team and Staying Motivated Yourself

And check out AA-ISP Monday Morning Sales Minute where I talk with Bob Perkins about Goal Setting.