If You Don't Measure It...It Won't Happen
January is over and many folks are finding that their goals, resolutions, and resolve that started in the New Year have melted with the snow. “I always begin the year with lots of ideas to improve my life at work and at home,” one retail executive laments, “But then I get busy with the day to day tasks and they seem to fall by the wayside.”
The problem may be measurement. If you don’t measure it…it won’t happen.
Too often, people set “trophy goals” for themselves, i.e.; increase sales 20%, streamline operations, lose ten pounds, or make more time for family. These trophy goals are great for visioning where you want to be in the future. But they are useless to actually achieve the goals.
For goals to be accomplished they have to be broken down into smaller increments that can be measured on a daily basis; they must be turned into “process goals.” Also referred to as “incremental goals,” they must be concrete, have a time frame, and be measurable to be successful.
Trophy goals can be converted to process goals by asking the question, “What do I need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to make this happen?” Then make a list of the answers in the left column of a paper. Include as many ideas as possible so that if some of the steps are difficult or don’t work, you don’t get stuck. Then create check boxes or lines that you can mark on a daily basis to track your progress.
For example, if you want to increase sales 20% this year, your process goals might include; ten phone calls to new customers per day, 25 phone calls/or contacts with key customers per week, a monthly article or newsletter to all previous customers, attendance at a monthly networking session, etc. The more ideas you have, the more likely your success.
Some other tips to help you achieve your goals this year:
Effort=results. Success is in direct proportion to the effort you expend to get there. Yes, I know, there are some who seem to get “lucky” breaks and don’t work hard to get what they want. They are the exception in my experience. The people I know who have reached a pinnacle of success have worked very, very, hard.
More effort is needed to produce momentum. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. That is why it is so hard to get started with a new direction; whether it is a sales goal or a new exercise program. There are simply times you have to force yourself to get moving, stay focused, and follow though. Sometimes the most valuable resource you have is butt glue that keeps you on task. Once momentum is established, it is much easier to keep things going.
Create daily rituals. Take your list of process goals and turn them into daily rituals and habits. It is often helpful to do the same tasks at the same time each day. For example, I usually spend the first 90 minutes of each day writing. This is when I am the freshest. I then schedule time for phone calls. Appointments are routinely scheduled for the afternoon. This gives me a system to get the process goals into a routine.
Redefine failure. Didn’t get all your check marks done this week? This isn’t the time to crumple up the paper in frustration and throw it at the wall. Instead, use it as a learning experience. What is getting in the way? Is the list too long or are you allowing too many interruptions? Often by measuring, we are pleasantly surprised how much is actually being completed.
Plan for rewards. It takes 30-60 days to create a new habit. Reward yourself when you have followed through on your plan for 60 days. You are well on your way to better habits. Go out for a special dinner, buy a new outfit, or schedule a weekend away. This is the time to applaud your efforts in reaching new goals.
Barbara Bartlein is the PeopleProTM. She helps businesses sell more goods and services by developing people. She can be reached at 888-747-9953, by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at http://www.ThePeoplePro.com
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