ED Note: This article was originally published and written for TempNet.
It’s check-in time! The year is moving quickly. It seems like only yesterday we made promises to our companies and ourselves that this year things would be the best they’ve ever been. Do you remember what those resolutions were? How are you doing?
If you have fallen off or didn’t have time to make goals at all, you aren’t alone. Most people are so “busy” with phone calls, emails, texts, cancellations, workers calling in sick, clients calling with emergencies, too much work, etc. Here is some advice on how to become more “productive” in such a “busy” atmosphere.
There are four keys to achieving extraordinary success.
The first is GOAL IDENTIFICATION. Pick a goal for the week. Sales and Service people could commit to contacting five past clients per day that haven’t utilized your services in the last 90 days. Sales people could commit to gathering 50 business cards from new prospects. Owners could meet with one staff person per day for twenty minutes to gain feedback on ways to improve the business. Receptionists (if they’re still called that!) could call ten existing clients per day to simply say “thank you”. The idea is to identify one high priority task that would make a positive impact to the company’s bottom line. If everyone did that, what would the result be in total?
The second key in goal setting is to GET COMMITTED.
Okay, so now you have a goal. How do you find time to achieve it? When I gave you sample goals above, notice I included the word “commit”. It is simply not enough to be “interested” in goals. For example, everyone is interested in living a long and healthy life and everyone even knows how to do it! Eat right, exercise, and eight hours of sleep per day. But what are the actual everyday habits of people? What are your habits? What did you eat yesterday? How many hours of sleep did you get? Did you exercise (not including remote control curls watching ‘The Biggest Loser’)?
So, how do you get committed? Schedule the specific time required for the actions necessary to achieve your goal. You cannot find, buy, or make time. You can only TAKE time. Schedule the exact date and time you will make those calls, visit those clients, meet with employees, etc. Scheduled times and appointments with other people rarely get pushed aside. Give your new commitments with yourself as much priority as commitments with others. After all, these commitments are the ones that will lead you and your company to predetermined, worthwhile goals. I had one client whose office was so “busy” that he would physically go outside to his car at 9am every day and call past clients for thirty minutes. When he returned to the office, the busy-ness was still going on, but he took the time necessary to proactively achieve important goals. He doubled his sales during the first month of doing this new activity!
The third critical key in goal setting is ACCOUNTABILITY. Post your goals and progress in the break room. Find a co-worker and set goals together. At every staff meeting share the results from last week’s goal and commit to a new 7-day goal. Create a Goal Setting Club at Work. Perhaps you set one business goal and one personal goal.
The fourth critical key is CELEBRATING the fact you are constantly reaching NEW LEVELS of personal and professional success!
“Progress is better than perfection.”
Don’t focus on what you didn’t achieve. Focus on how you are better than before. The idea is to be constantly thinking about your successes. This will allow you to celebrate victories and encourage you to continue towards your next level of success.
Exercising is a perfect example, but this concept works with any goal. If your goal is to have better nutrition and you try to cut out all sweets from day one, you will crave and become frustrated. And then when you do have a sweet, you will feel like a loser or a cheat. Instead, pick one meal on one day and make that your Healthy Meal of the Week. To start, maybe it’s only lunch on Tuesdays. When you succeed with this over a couple of weeks, add another meal, then another, and then yet another until you progressively reach your ultimate goal. By having small successes, you will always feel like you are making progress, and can build on your successes. This will allow you to always be positive about your goals and help you to gain the confidence that you can, in fact, get to the next level that is leading you to the goal you ultimately desire.
Use this same technique with client or prospect calls, organizing the file cabinet, or clearing out the database. Get committed to being better than last week and focus on next level goals.
Remember, you became you from years and years of attitudes, behaviors, conditioning, victories, and failures. Don’t expect perfection every year by January 2nd. IDENTIFY the person you want to become. COMMIT to these goals by progressing towards them one level at a time, and CELEBRATE your victories WITH OTHERS.
James P Desrosiers, M.M. is an Executive Coach and owner of GROWTHco, a full service training and development company. For a more complete program or personal coaching, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit GROWTHco’s web site at www.growthco.com.