Making Goals a Reality

The call today is called “Get real get goals”.

You have heard time and time again how important it is to have business goals. Every business guide book, all the coaches and someone at your networking group will be going on about the importance of goals for your business.

Today on this call, you will get to spend some time working ON your business!

This call is full of information and time for you to think about how it applies to your business.

By the end of the call I want you to come away knowing:

  • Understand why goals are critical if you want change
  • Learn how to make goals a reality
  • Why we resist making changes and then ‘forgetting’ our goals
  • Techniques to hep you keep the goals alive and achievable!

As always, these calls will be one part inspiration, one part practical and the last part action! So you leave the call with easy steps you can apply to your business immediately.

  • Understand why goals are critical if you want change
  • Learn how to make goals a reality
  • Why we resist making changes and then ‘forgetting’ our goals
  • Techniques to hep you keep the goals alive and achievable!

But do you know why they are important?

In my ten years of working with business owners and in my own experience, I have found the following four reasons goals are essential for business success.

1. Goals harness your most precious resources of time, energy and money effectively.

Goals make sure that you are spending your time, energy and money on those things that will really count to move the business forward. They also help you make critical business decisions; e.g will I exhibit at the conference or not? Will it help me reach my goal or are there other things I could do to help me reach it more effectively?

2. Goals LIFT you thinking from working IN your business to working ON it

As business owners it is SO easy to get stuck in the day to day of running our businesses and feel like we are busy and a achieving a lot.

But in reality we may be just standing still – as we create a lot of activity but it isn’t the big stuff that we need to undertake to help us shift our business to the next level.

3. Goals imprinted into your brain help you realise OPPORTUNITES

When you have a goal that becomes mantra-like, your brain has created a deep neural pathway around it. It becomes imprinted on your brain and your mind will subconsciously start to look for connections and opportunities that will connect with that goal.

Wouldn’t you like your mind to be on alert all the time to help you find opportunities and ideas to help you be more successful?

4. Goals give you PURPOSE and MOTIVATION!

Goals help you answer the ‘so what’ question…. If some of you have wondered what the point of it all is… Why you work these hours, have the stress – particularly in these times.

When you create goals, you can go the next step and list out what will be the benefits to you in achieving these goals. This will give you inspiration, motivation and the energy to turn up and fire up everyday!

As I always say, if you don’t have goals for your business, you are running an expensive hobby.

So let’s think about what you could Achieve in 2013 – lets create a goal for your business

Now bring your thinking to December 2013. What do you want your business to achieve by then? What do you need to have done to start to really make your dream a reality?

Imagine it is December 2013, and you are on another call with me…and imagine I asked you how your year has been ….what would you like to tell me?

Could your business goals be to do with…

i)               How many clients

ii)              What has your turnover been

iii)            What Markets I operate in

iv)             How many staff you have

v)              How many hours per week you work

vi)             What new products and services you bring

So now you have your goal, how do you bring it to life?

You’ve probably heard hundreds of times that it is crucial to write your goal down. But do you know why this step is so important?

When you put pen to paper you turn your thoughts into something tangible. You can actually see it, touch it, and even smell it if you want to. Your goal is no longer just a thought! It becomes something, what motivates us and creates a gut feeling inside.

Even the act of using the eye in coordination with the hand holding the pen makes a much stronger impression on our mind as we write out the phrase or expression. Now when we read and re-read that phrase or sentence the impression on the mind becomes deeper and deeper. We start to create a neural pathway in our brain. Each time we re-read the goal we bring it to life even more.

So why don’t you go back to the goal you were thinking of before and write it down….

Now, to make it even more potent, consider these four steps in creating goals….

When you write your goals, consider these guidelines…

Rule #1: Write your goal in the positive.

Work for what you want, not what you don’t want. For example, I want to make a profit of 50,000 this year, not I want to avoid bankruptcy. An extreme example I know but part of the reason why we write down and examine our goals is to create a set of instructions for our subconscious mind to carry out. Your subconscious mind is a very efficient tool, it can not determine right from wrong and it does not judge. It’s only function is to carry out its instructions. The more positive instructions you give it, the more positive results you will get.

Rule #2: Write your goals out in complete detail.

Instead of writing “to have a successful business’ write “I want a successful business that has 100,000 in revenue, makes 30,000 gross profit”.

Once again we are giving the subconscious mind a detailed set of instructions to work on. The more precise you are, the easier it will be for you to create a plan to achieve the goal, and measures by which to review it. It will also help you to make decisions faster about whether or not a course of action will help you to achieve your goal.

Rule #3: Write in present tense.

Write your goals down in the present tense. This is because the unconscious mind chooses a path of least resistance. If you write, “I will be successful” the unconscious mind does nothing thinking that the will be may be postponed until later.

Write them in present tense, first person, as if they are currently true. For example I am making 1000,000 this year in my business.

As homework, take the original goal you wrote down and  rewrite it based on the guidelines we have just gone through. Goals are essential for business success, so take your time about crafting them

Making goals a reality

Now you have crafted a compelling goal which is precise, in the present tense and about what you want – it’s time to create the plan to make them a reality. Often when my clients have created their goals, they can become overwhelmed with the prospect of all the work that needs to happen to achieve them. This feeling of overwhelm then halts their activity and they then do nothing. And when they do nothing – they don’t achieve their goals –and in fact, life and their business carries on as normal.

There are three steps to making your goals a reality;

  1. break the goals into small tasks
  2. line all the tasks up into timing order
  3. put the tasks into your diary so you actually DO the work!

Lets look at the 3 steps in more detail:

1.     Break the goals into small tasks

Grab a pad of post it notes.

I love post it notes for planning!

Then, for each goal write down what small tasks you need to do to achieve each goal. Don’t worry about the order; just get your thinking down on the pages. Place one task on one post-it note, so you will have lots of post it notes, each with one task on them. Make the tasks as small and as easy as possible.

It is much easier to do an activity when we break it into the smallest piece possible.  For example, if I had a goal of ‘getting press coverage in 5 newspapers in 2013” and a task was ‘call 5 newspaper editors’, that would still be too big and  overwhelming. But when I break it down into smaller parts again – again, with one task on one post it note , choose the 5 papers, get editors’ details, write a telephone scripts for the editor call, then for each editor call, have a spate note – suddenly, that task seems much easier.

2. Line all the tasks up into timing order

Take all of your fantastic ideas from above (remember one idea on one post it note) and arrange them by the dates you will do them. The beauty of post-it note planning is that you can arrange, change and re-arrange if things don’t look right.

3. Put the tasks into your diary so you actually DO the work!

The biggest barrier to achieving your goals is actually making the time to DO THE WORK. Lots of my clients are brilliant at goal setting and planning but then they fall over when it comes to doing the tasks they have created on their plan.

It is essential you make the time to do the work. Otherwise it will be business as usual for you , and your business –sadly. The easiest way to make the time is to schedule a time for each post it note in your diary.

Think about how much time you will need to complete the task and when you will actually do it. Then be strict! Make this appointment with yourself as important as any other in your diary.

If you don’t do the work, you won’t get your goals.

So, why do we resist making changes and then ‘forgetting’ our goals, and never make the time to actually do the work.

Again, it’s the brain’s fault! As humans, we are programmed to dislike change. The primitive part of the brain would rather everything in our lives stayed the same and then we would stay safe….and not be eaten by the sabre tooth tiger…..yes, the brain is still programmed to protect us from those kind of threats. Our brain does a great job of controlling us through the subconscious wiring. We find it easier to do what we have always done, than to make the effort and do new things.

And often we think those tasks we need to do are threatening on some level – maybe they require us to do new things, to stretch us out of our comfort zone. Well frankly, if we feel that, we know we are always ‘too busy’ to do that task. Why is it that the most important things we need to do to move our business forward always end up on the bpttom of our to do list?

So lets explore some Techniques to help you keep the goals alive and achievable! And to conquer your brains resistance!

1.     Read your goals aloud each day and spend some time visualising what it will be like when they are achieved.

We know visualising is important in achieving your goals and it’s very easy to do! In a quiet moment, imagine in your mind’s eye, what it would be like to achieve your revenue target, get those key customers, earn that profit – and what difference that will make in your life day to day.

Imagine the conversations you may be having, the type of lifestyle you will be enjoying, or what your day-to-day working life will be like.

This will help you to get into the energy space you need to be to achieve your goals.

The reason we visualise our goals is to create a mental map of them in our brain. That way, we will more easily spot opportunities that arise, or connect things that we may otherwise not! This is called Reticular Activation, and a great example of this is when you are looking for a new car, and you decide to buy a red sports car – and then suddenly, all you start seeing on the roads is a red sports car! Now, the number hasn’t increased but your awareness of them has, because you have told your brain subconsciously, to look out for them!

Imagine what difference it would make to your business if you had your brain always on the look out for business opportunities!

2.     Spend at least 2 hours per week planning the future of your business

–        Review how you are doing against your goals

–        Check on your finances vs. plan

–        From your operational plan, created when you planned how you would you achieve your goals – do a review

–        Decide the top  3 to 5 things you MUST achieve this week to really drive the business forward. These must be done before the small day to day items on your to do list.

–        Consider when to do this – often Monday morning is best – when we are feeling fresh after the weekend.

1. Plan your day so you make the time to do those actions which will really make the biggest difference to your business first. Stop doing the urgent tasks, start doing the important tasks first.

2. Get an accountability buddy – the hardest thing when we run our own business to have that sense of accountability to ourselves to actually get the work done. Find someone who you trust and who will be firm and fair with you, make a time to speak each week so you can check in with how you are going with your tasks. This will make things much easier for you than doing it all by yourself.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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