Step 7: Include a workable plan.
Time management expert and author Harold Taylor says, “Don’t expect to achieve your goals without adequate planning. Planning moves things from where they are now to where we want them to be in the future. It translates intention into action.”
Sit down with your daily planner and schedule when you will work on your goals. Make a plan that is realistic given your situation but develop an action plan. List the steps involved and when you will work on them.
One problem that some salespeople run into at this step is that they don’t know how to achieve the goal. They honestly have no idea what to do to begin. They have never done the thing they are presently shooting for and sincerely are at a loss when it comes to this step. Fear not, this is usually a good thing.
If you know exactly how to achieve the goal you are working on, you most likely would have already achieved it. So, if you are having difficulty coming up with a plan of action, simply write as much as you can and more will come later. I call this my “Stars Not R’s”
Principle. You must keep your eyes on the Stars, the goal you are shooting for and not on the “R’s,” the present results.
Some people have formed a habit of abandoning good and valid goals because they do not know how to get there. A mentor of mine once told me “to forget even trying to figure out what to do next, that’s God’s job, not yours.” Don’t become frustrated if you do not know what to do next when it comes to achieving your goal. Simply continue to visualize it as if you already have it. The road will be shown to you, if you hold the image of what you desire strongly enough. Keep your eyes on the “Stars.”
Step 8: Build in accountability factors.
Have you tried to achieve a certain goal only to fail time and time again? You feel the goal is worthwhile and you would really like to see it through but you just can’t breakthrough. Then perhaps you should consider making yourself accountable to someone you respect. I have an advisory board who hold me accountable for certain professional goals. I call them my “ATTILA THE HUN COMMITTEE”. If I say I will have two chapters of my next book written by the 15th of the month, they ensure I do. I have been massacred at some ATTILA COMMITTEE meetings for not meeting deadlines. They don’t let me get away with anything.
This step may seem extreme and it might well be for some goals. But other goals that are essential, can be achieved by using this key, particularly if you have had difficulty with certain parts of the goal. If a goal is important to you and you need help, find someone whom you respect, who is not afraid to confront you and who will honestly hold you to what you agree. You might get together weekly or monthly to review your progress.
One thing we do to help people in our seminars is to have them write out their goals and put them in envelopes we supply. They write their name and address on the envelope. We collect all the sealed envelopes and mail them back to the participants one or two months later. Getting this reminder in the mail is a fantastic way to stay on track with the goals you set out to accomplish.
Accountability is a key which is vital to goal setting success. It may be one of the toughest keys to practice but does it ever produce results.
Step 9: List what specific actions you will take in the next 24 hours, week, month. We call them Action Commitments.
This is the most crucial aspect of goal setting. This will either bring you joy or frustration. If you set a goal for something and take not concrete action to acquire it, you will be raising your dissatisfaction levels. You will frustrate yourself to no end. You have written a goal, considered a deadline, thought about the obstacles you will have to face in obtaining the goal. You would have written the skills you will need to develop, and people who will help you achieve the goal. You would have thought about all the benefits to achieving the goal and developed a plan and even considered becoming accountable to someone about the goal and YOU DO NOT ACT??? Never!
Never let yourself be counted among the heaps of dead dreams because of inactivity.
Step 9 may very well be the most important of all the steps. It literally moves you beyond goal setting into goal achieving. Sound much better doesn’t it? You want to record all Action Commitments in your calendar, planner or day-timer. Do the same for the following week and following month.
What you do in the crucial days and weeks following your goal setting sessions represent the most important block of time you have. Throughout the first few weeks, you have the opportunity to capitalize on the focus and momentum which has been created during the exercise. The successful commencement of these activities by the end of the first week or month provides us with another boost of energy that propels us towards the attainment of the goal. This positive comment from work begun motivates us to continue with the process until new and more powerful habits are developed.
No matter how grandiose your goal might be, something can and should be done on it within the next 24 hours. Deciding to simply spend 15 minutes in visualization can be an Action Commitment. Do something on the goal.