What do New Years Resolutions & Goals Have in Common?
Quite a lot really!
For most of us here in South Africa work pretty much grinds to a halt over the Christmas & New Year period. Through tradition New Year is the time when we evaluate our lives and set resolutions. However, 70% of people don’t even bother to do this anymore because by the 10th of January, most resolutions made have already fallen by the wayside. After a few years of unsuccessful attempts, most people just give up on even making them.
Because of the slowdown in business, January is also the natural point for us to re-evaluate our businesses and set some goals to achieve them that year.
Why do most goal setting attempts fail? There are ( ) main reasons.
- 1. Goals set are actually Wish Lists.
What do I mean by that? Well let’s say you are all fired up at the beginning of the year – this year it is going to be different! So, you set a goal “I am going to double my turnover this year” or “I am going to earn R50,000 a month this year”.
The problem is that this goal is an emotional one. It is not really based in facts or figures and really, you don’t even know if it is possible, because you have never turned over even close to that before. Perhaps you have hit R50,000 but I guarantee that it was just in that one, fabulous, freak month when everything went right. So what both those statements represent is your “dream goal” your wish list – imagine how fabulous life would be if you could do that.
- 2. Goals are made and then forgotten.
Just like New Years Resolutions, you make your goals, you may even type them up on a list ……. And then? This even happens to large corporate companies. They come up with their fabulous 20 page strategic plan covering all areas of their business and then shove it in the nearest cupboard until the next year when they do it all over again. Why is it so easy to simply “forget” about goals? Well – life gets busy. Clients have problems, we need to look for new business, deal with staff issues etc., etc., and we simply fall into our old routines and carry on business as usual.
- 3. Our Activity Levels stay the Same.
We are all creatures of habit, we tend to do the same things every day, or every week. This is our default behaviour, our comfort zone, and doesn’t require a lot of thought. The problem is that most goals require a “stretch” which means we have to do things differently – we need to put in extra effort, not just now and again but every day. Once again, we tend to try a little harder for a time and then slowly slip back to our default behavior and our comfort zone.
- 4. We have Goals but no Accountability.
Why do people join a Diet Club, hire a Personal Trainer or hire a Business Coach? Mostly to keep them on track, so they have someone who is constantly measuring their performance, holding them accountable and re-adjusting the plan if necessary to make sure the goal is reached. When we set goals for ourselves, unless we build in some sort of regular measurement and hold ourselves accountable against those measurements – we are doomed for failure. Accountability is probably the best way to get different results. Sales Rep’s perform because the Sales Manager holds them accountable for their monthly targets. How can you hold yourself accountable? If you know this is a weak point for you – hire someone to do it for you.
If you recognize any of the above as things you have done in the past – great – you now have a golden opportunity to change things. Work out what you need to do.
- Set better goals.
- Break them down into measurable chunks.
- Build in accountability.
- Hire someone to keep you on track.
Whatever it is, you could be about to have your Best Year Ever – if you just do something different. So what is it going to be?