Did you achieve all your goals last year?
“To accomplish great things we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe.”(Anatole France)
While these three items define success, without all of them, success would be unattainable. Without a dream, you will be without desire and without desire, you will be without action. If you can unlock the dream, then you can unlock success and make your dream reality.
Take a look back across your life and at the difficult things that you have already accomplished. Many of your accomplishments were at one time or another, a goal. Goals and dreams give hope and the ability to achieve things otherwise not realized.
If you can institute the following keys into your daily routine this 2020, you can realize more goals and reach new heights of success. What are the keys and how do they work?
1. Identify the Goal
To achieve, you must set and accomplish goals. Goals give purpose and make us feel good about ourselves.
Think about the horse pulling a cart with the carrot dangling out in front. What purpose does the carrot serve? It’s a dream and a desire. When the horse wakes up each morning, I doubt that he is very excited about pulling a cart all around town. But add the carrot and we have created purpose and motivation. All-day long the carrot hangs out in front and all day long the horse chases it. People laugh at the horse because of its simplicity. But during the first five minutes of the day, the horse has identified the goal to get the carrot. At the end of the day, the horse is rewarded for its perseverance. While we all might laugh at this little analogy, what would happen if we inserted this horse mentality into our daily lives?
We agree that it isn’t that simple; however, do not make it harder than it has to be. There is a simple system for creating and accomplishing goals. You cannot just wish your goals; you need to install the structure in your life for establishing goals and achieving your desired success.
First, goal statements need to be specific. Set a goal to better define the goal and create a stronger plan for success. “I would like to my team to be more cohesive in the 1st quarter” is a much stronger goal. This gives the goal more credibility and creates the need for a specific plan.
Next, your goals need to be achievable. Achievable does not mean easy. Goals should require you to move outside of your comfort zone. Goals are meant to help us accomplish things, but do not make them impossible. Sometimes the accomplishments might be small and other times they might be great. But, each one should require you to elevate yourself to see through to the accomplishment. This stretching will make you stronger and build your confidence to achieve greater goals.
When you think of this process, visualize athletes pushing themselves and their bodies beyond where they have ever been. Why? To build larger and stronger muscles, the weight must be gradually increased. This weight increase, in turn, develops the muscles and new, higher levels of strength. Without the increase in weight, the muscles will not get stronger. The same principle holds in the setting and accomplishment of goals. Goals need to require more effort than the last, thus making you stronger.
Third, establish a deadline or date for the accomplishment of your goal. The date can be just around the corner or somewhere in the distant future; setting any date is the important part. A date will allow you to keep your eyes looking forward and not looking back. The goal lies in the future; now let’s get after it!
Finally, make a list of your goals. Create a “Goal Contract” with yourself. Write down your goals, include all of the specifics and sign it. This further solidifies your commitment to the goal(s). Now, find a moment each day to review your goals. Make them part of your daily routine.
2. Create a Battle Plan for Success
We like to use the words “battle plan” because accomplishing goals is not easy. Around every turn, there will be obstacles. You will quickly recognize some obstacles and others will appear without warning, like an ambush. You may have control over the outcome or you may be reliant upon another for help. Either way, it is going to be a constant challenge for you to keep moving forward, even though the setbacks. The key to overcoming setbacks is to learn from what has happened and then alter or strengthen your battle plan. Mel Gibson said regarding his making of the Academy Award-winning epic, Braveheart, "You have to go in with a plan. You can deviate from it, though -- it's just a jumping-off point."
As you are formulating your plan, ask yourself these questions:
What tools do I need to accomplish my goal(s)?
What resources do I have at my disposal?
How long do I have to accomplish my goal?
Whose help might I need to realize success in my goal?
Answering these questions will help you think through what is needed to ensure success.
Another critical factor in your plan is other people. George Washington said it this way, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.” If you need support from others, be certain that they support and are in alliance with your goals.
Surround yourself with strong supporters and let them become your battle warriors. Rely upon them to help and encourage you. It is unimaginable that you could achieve any goal without a few obstacles. Because of this possibility, you need to surround yourself with positive thinkers. The introduction of negative ideas or feelings into a situation can sabotage your plan.
Cheer yourself on every day and surround yourself with others who do the same. Be your biggest fan. Support and motivate yourself with a positive attitude, even when you stumble.
3. Charge into Action
Welcome to the battlefield! You’ve assessed your goals and created the battle plan. Now it is time to charge and get going. Often, goals are set with the best of intentions only to fail because they never get started. Inaction is an enemy of success. It will even seek to destroy the work that has already occurred.
In the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Finding the great things in this world is not where we are standing, but is in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.”
First, in either your personal or professional life, be courageous. Do not limit yourself or settle for being average. You were not created for ordinary, but for extraordinary.
Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. To be above average, you must think and act above average. If you dream and accept mediocrity, you will always fall short of your true potential. Dream great things and move into action to accomplish them.
There are moments when you are offered opportunities to accomplish great things only to accomplish little because you fail to act upon the opportunity. Create your success, seek greatness.
Next, be committed. Earlier, you took the time to write down your goals and dreams. This was an exercise of commitment. Once you move into action, this exercise will need to expand. Keep your goals nearby, to never lose focus. Each day recite your dreams aloud. Move into action each day toward your dreams. Strive to keep your goals in the forefront of your mind.
Finally, you must also be critical. As you encounter opportunities, ask yourself how this will affect your goals. Will this lead you to success or move you farther from your goals? If they point towards success, accept their challenge. If they don’t, let them pass.
Even meeting new people is an active exercise. Ask yourself, “Will this person support, encourage or push me to new heights or will they pull me away or hinder me from achieving my goals?” Charging into action is probably the most difficult step in this process. Be courageous, stay committed and be critical. When you have mastered these skills, hold on tight and prepare yourself for a wonderful ride!
4. Celebrate Victories both Large & Small
The celebration is the final key. Rewarding yourself allows you to reflect upon your achievements and to celebrate the hard work required by the journey. The celebration is an important part of the goal process. It allows you to enjoy the fruits of your efforts and to express joy and fellowship with those who helped in your accomplishments. It provides a forum to share with others the self-satisfaction you have received from your success.
A common misconception is that celebration comes at the end of the journey. Says who? We challenge you to celebrate early and often. Recognize that some of your goals can be accomplished in a short time, while others might take years to accomplish.
Start by asking your team to think about what your company accomplished during the past year. While big achievements will be quite obvious — awards, rankings and milestones — hiding in plain sight are often uncelebrated and important accomplishments.
Try this great exercise:
Think back to what your team achieved over the past 12 months. Ask yourselves these questions as a team.
Which customer success stories reflect how our company has grown last year?
What is the one thing our organization did the best last year?
What didn’t go so well last year?
What has been the organization’s proudest moment?
What were some of our company’s unexpected wins?
What did we learn from our mistakes?
What lessons can our company leverage?
What did we make happen last year that was outside of the company’s goals?
Acknowledging what has worked can help your team build on its strengths and take any hard-fought wins into this new year.
Next, ask your team to imagine what the company will experience over the next 12 months in an ideal world:
How will our organization change over the next 12 months?
What challenges will our company face?
What can each of us do to be more helpful to the team?
What awards or recognition will our company earn this year?
What could our organization do differently over the next 12 months?
What do we want our business to achieve more of this year?
What key actions to you want to prioritize in 2020?
What’s the main reason why our employees will want to show up for work each day, besides getting a paycheck?
Stay committed and focused, develop a plan, move into action and celebrate your success. With this powerful structure in place, you will amaze yourself and those around you with all that you accomplish. You can do it!
Play by Tu educates, motivates & inspires teams and individuals to achieve their potential & develop their character growth.
Team development or effective team building is not a one-time event.
Cultivating a great team requires tons of hard work and patience.
There must be clear goals set for the team and everyone must be working towards those goals.
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