Napoleon Hill made an apt analogy when he said ‘A goal is a dream with a deadline.’
Quite true, isn’t it? After all, yearend 2014 is almost a year away and it’s easy for the day to day to take precedence, and override the bigger picture off in the distance. After all, we have plenty of time to get there. So, we take care of ‘now’, and delude ourselves by thinking that since our goal is so far off, we’ll have plenty of time to catch up. Pretty soon, the routine and security of the day to day kicks in, and the goal is further removed. By yearend we’re blindsided when we don’t accomplish what we’ve set out to do. What now?
First, do a reality check. Have you planned strategically based on last year’s outcomes? When you think back to 2013, ask yourself a couple of questions, and apply them to both your successes, and where you could have done better:
- What were our big surprises and where did they come from? Were there external or internal factors that could have changed the outcome?
- Were there instances where we dropped the ball because we weren’t insightful enough to plan for contingencies?
Once you’re sure you have procedures in place to build on your strengths and overcome your pitfalls, set your sights on the here and now.
So what is your goal for 2014, and how do you intend to get there? By itself, writing it down don’t help you get there; but Ziglar nailed it when he said “If you want to reach a goal, you must ‘see the reaching’ in your own mind, before you actually arrive at your goal.” In other words, you need to focus on it, imagine what it feels like as you approach it. What does it look like? What does it smell like? Can you touch it?’ Think about your goal daily, but when you go through your business day, let the procedures you’ve put in place take precedence. Be practical. Set mini-goals along the way. With the big picture in mind, what small goals can you achieve monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly that can serve as milestones and checkpoints throughout the year so you can assess your progress? Be as specific as you can possibly be.
Always remember, the goal is the desired result of your effort. Procedures are what gets you there and makes your dream a reality. Assess your progress in bite-sized increments. So tell me, where would you like to be a year from today?