My personal view is that goals are important, and so is planning, BUT only up to a point.
You need a goal and a plan of how you are going to achieve it but that in itself will not make you successful.
You need to take action on the goal & plan and that’s the bit most people don’t do; or at least don’t do consistently enough to actually achieve their goal.
Do you set goals?
I do like a good statistic so here’s some fab ones about goal setting…
The simple act of writing down your goal (not typing it!) makes you 57% more likely to achieve it.
Only 3 % of adults write down their goals but they are more successful than the 97% that don’t.
Now I don’t know about you but I know which side of those statistics I want to be on!
So if goal setting (and the associated planning) is so important why am I saying it’s not such a big deal?
It’s a waste of time if….
It’s a waste of time if you don’t act on it and as that is what most people don’t find the time to do then why bother doing the actual planning bit?
This applies all year round and not just in January. As I write this it’s actually the end of November and I’ve already started to see the Facebook ads for all the fab, “must have” planners which will magically transform your business.
No they won’t!
I love stationary so if there’s a notebook or planner on offer I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame BUT I know a new planner won’t actually make any difference.
It’ll just sit on the shelf unless I decide to change my behaviour.
Now don’t get me wrong. I do set goals (and write them down!) and I do plan but I don’t spend significant time filling in planners.
I spend enough time doing it so I have direction and clear action to take and then I take the action.
I’m pretty sure if you did the research you would find the majority of successful entrepreneurs do some planning and then take a load of action. They don’t buy trendy planners and spend time filling them in.
So what’s the answer…
Get a pen and paper and write down what you want to achieve over the next 12 months and work it backwards so you can see where you need to be by the end of each quarter.
Take the 1st quarter and break down the jump you need to make into small, easy to complete tasks.
Then, implement like crazy.
The win is in the implementation, the goal setting and planning give you direction but don’t give you the outcome in themselves.
If you need to step things up in the next 12 months compared to the last 12 then focus massively on driving your behaviour to take the action.
One of my favourite tips
I know it can be very easy to get sucked in to daily “stuff” and lose sight of the bigger goal that will really move your business forward so here’s my best tip for staying on track, taken from the guru himself Brian Tracy.
Before you write down your things to do list write down what your goal is.
I go one step further than Brian, and I also write down how I’m going to achieve it.
The combination of these two elements means that when you write down your things to do you naturally think of, and prioritise, the important, strategic tasks and not the small tactical ones which usually seem more important.
That one tip has helped me consistently and significantly grow my business. It’ll do the same for you if you implement it.