Here are some great goal setting tips that my wife and I have learned, and repeatedly used over the years, not only to build our home-based Scentsy business into an international business that provides a great full time income, but also for all aspects of our lives:
Ownership: Taking 100% ownership and personal responsibility for our goals and whether we achieve them is the first most empowering step. We all know that there are factors that are outside of our control in life; however, when we live each day with a sense of complete ownership – that is, we live with the mantra “if it will be, it is up to me!” then we are unleashing a powerful motivating force within. Give up the “complain” and “blame” games. They do us no good. There are no winners in these games, only losers. Accept responsibility for whatever comes our way, and give our best to shape our world in a way that we want it.
Clarity: Clarity and precision is power. Know exactly what we want, and have a specific way of determining our outcome. Goals like “I want to be happier” or “I want to make more money” are well intentioned but hard to determine when they have been completed. What does it mean to make more money? Is $1 “more money”? Precision has real power. So make our goals specific – for example “I will complete by date”. The more specific we are the better chance we have to complete our goals.
Why Power: What is driving our desire? Why do we want to accomplish this goal? Our “why” is our motor that will power us through the trials and difficulties that we will surely encounter along the path to achieving our goal. If we don’t know our “why” then we will not have the persistence and determination to “stick to it” and “dig in” when the going gets tough (which if our goal is challenging, it is certain to happen). Common “whys” include the pursuit of something we want, or the elimination of something in our life that we don’t want (or is undesirable). In our experience the elimination of pain can be a much more powerful motivator than the pursuit of pleasure. So think about what it will mean to accomplish our goal this year. Will it mean that we can quit the job we hate because we are making enough money in our business? Will it mean that we can provide our family with certain comforts that we used to not be able to (and because of this we always felt sad in the past). Use this pain to drive us. Make it our “why”. A person who has enough reasons (“whys”) to accomplish a goal can deal with any “how”.
Planning: A strong desire is critical but it is only half of the battle. Once we have set a goal, determined our “why” (our reasons that we want this goal), the next step is to then create a plan. Write it down or type it up. That way we will begin to take efficient action each day. The more organized we are the better chance we have to make the most of our time. At the end of the day we all have the same amount of time, and those who accomplish things are those who can maximize this finite resource.
Flexibility: Make plans but don’t get stuck in them if we find a couple months down the road that they are not helping us to accomplish our goal. Be flexible and try new things. At least give our initial plans long enough to determine their effectiveness, but after a while if it is clear that they aren’t getting us closer to our goals then don’t be afraid to change them. Remember we are looking to achieve a certain “outcome” so it doesn’t really matter what our “output” is as long as it gets us closer to our “outcome”. Don’t get hung up on the “output” so much that you forget the “outcome”. Outcome is what is more important.
Resiliency and Effort: Expect that the path to achieve our goal will be hard. So don’t complain or whine if it is hard, or if we encounter difficulties along the way. If we encounter no difficulties then we haven’t set a goal that is challenging enough. If this is the case then we need to revisit our goal and set a new goal that causes us to stretch more. So “when” we encounter difficulties (notice that I didn’t say “if”) then instead of getting discouraged, or complaining (which will get us nowhere), simply dig in, re-focus, adjust our plans if necessary and get to work. Work is the key to action. We have to work. Work isn’t easy. Work is challenging. We have to give a serious effort to accomplish a serious goal. There are no shortcuts.
Model: Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Find a mentor. Find someone who has already accomplished what we want to accomplish. Talk to them. Pick their brain. Find out how they accomplished the goal and then model their strategies. Usually people who are successful want to give back and they will be more than happy to give us some tips and strategies that we can put into play in our business or life to achieve our goal.
There Is No Such Thing As Failure, There Are Only Results: This one speaks for itself, but it is critical. We set a goal, we give our absolute best, we use the best strategies, and then perhaps we fall a little short. It happens to everyone. Don’t give up and don’t get discouraged, just reset, learn from what we did and then set a new goal, make a new plan, and get at it. It is never one and done. We don’t need to be scared of failure. If we don’t get our goal, we at least got something; we got a “result”. If it isn’t the result we want then we simply take new action. And we keep taking new action until we get what we want.
Make Our Plans Into Habits: Habits are the secret power. Habits allows difficult activities to become easier, even automatic, over time. Habit is the great force that controls our life, whether we achieve our goals, or whether we fail to achieve our goals is largely a function of our habits.