How to Set and Achieve Your Goals
Approximately half of the U.S. population makes resolutions every New Year. – and less than eight percent of those that do, actually achieve them. It’s therefore arguable: resolutions don’t work.
Goals, however, do work.
But we’re not talking about the type of goals where you tell yourself “I’m going to lose 10 pounds in two months.” While it’s definitely doable to lose 10 pounds in 60 days, just stating the goal isn’t enough and in fact could set you up for failure before you even begin.
Let us explain.
The Art of Setting Goals
Many people – experts and “just folks” alike – sing the praises of SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound). We do think SMART goals work, but we like goals that are process-focused rather than results-focused.
A results-focused goal is “lose 10 pounds in two months” while a process-focused goal is “I will eat five servings of fruit and vegetables each day.” Yes there’s a deadline factor in the process goal (“each day”) but notice that the goal is focused on something you can control: eating the five fruits and veggies. You can’t control if your body will lose 10 pounds in two months but you definitely can control how many fruits and vegetables you eat each day.
Let’s look at another example of results-focused vs. process-focused goals:
Let’s say you’re in sales and you want to increase your sales by 50 percent in six months. Probably doable. So you focus on increasing sales, working diligently at it and having some success. But what happens if, after four months, your sales are up by only 20 percent? You have two months to grow it to that 50 percent. Panic may set in.
Instead, a better goal to increase your sales percentage is to take a look at your past sales history and figure out how many people you had to approach, how many meetings you had to get and how many proposals you had to submit to land one sale. Then figure out how many of each you’d need to perform to reach a 50 percent sales increase.
Then you’d focus on the process. You make X calls per week. You ask for X meetings a month and submit X proposals a month.
A process-oriented goal may not be the best way to reach a certain point in a set timeframe (10 pounds in two months/50 percent increase in sales in six months). But you have a much better chance of success overall!
- A goal can weigh you down; stress you out. But a process can help you feel successful every time you complete it.
- You can’t control if people will take your call or agree to a meeting, but you can control how many cold calls you make a day and how many meetings you ask for. You can’t control how fast you lose weight, but you can control what you eat.
Miss that deadline goal, you berate yourself. Eat those five fresh fruits and vegetables each day or make 10 calls a day, you can celebrate: I made my goal today!
In a nutshell: process-focused goals are easy to meet; results-oriented goals are not.
Make accomplishing your goals easy by following a process and you will reach your goal in time.
Do you wish to become healthier and exercise more this year? Why not set a process-oriented goal of attending one yoga class a week? Naturally, we hope you’ll do so wearing Beckons Yoga Clothing. Grab some of our most popular yoga pants to help keep you motivated toward meeting your goals.