Goal-setting, in both business and personal life, is extremely important. As Zig Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.” Just having goals in mind isn’t the key to achieving your goals though. Various studies, one referenced below, have shown us the one thing you need to do to increase your chances of actually achieving your goals.
As we roll into the fourth quarter of the year, you may be starting to consider your goals for next year.
Given how 2020 has gone, maybe your primary ambition is to survive in 2021.
As a business owner, perhaps you’re going to create a recurring revenue stream or finally hire that general manager. Or maybe you’ve decided to start preparing for an exit.
Personally, you may have specific goals you’d like to achieve. Maybe your goals include a comfortable retirement, a dream vacation, becoming debt-free, eating better, or spending more time with your family.
Whatever your goals are, the most important thing you can do now is write down your plan to achieve them.
A Revealing Study
This point was driven home recently by a study published in theBritish Journal of Health Psychology. The project was designed to see what impact stimuli would have on participants’ level of exercise. Researchers divided a random sample of participants into three groups.
Group One: Baseline
For the first group, the researchers asked the participants to track how frequently they exercised. They were told to read a passage of an unrelated book before beginning.
Group Two: Motivated
For the second group, researchers wanted to measure the impact that motivation would have on their exercise levels. The second group was also asked to track their activity levels and were then told to read a book’s motivational passage that outlined the benefits of exercise for maintaining a healthy weight.
Group Three: Motivated & Documented
The third group was asked to read the same motivational excerpt as the second group but had the additional task of writing down their exercise goals for the coming week.
When the researchers sat down to analyze the results, they were surprised to find that among the motivated group (group 2), just 35% exercised once per week. That was slightlylessexercise than group 1 (36%) even though they were motivated to work out.
Wow! In this case, the motivation worked slightly against them rather than helping the participants achieve their goal.
When the researchers analyzed the third group’s exercise log, they were stunned to find that 91% of them had worked out. The only difference between groups 2 and 3 was that the third group was asked to write down their goals. That simple task seems to have almost tripled their likelihood to succeed.
The researchers concluded that motivation alone has virtually no impact on our actions. Instead, it is motivationcoupled with a written action planof how you’re going to achieve your goalsthat has the most significant impact on your results.
Food for thought as you start thinking about making 2021 your best year yet.
How We Help Clients With Goals
Methods for achieving your goals are important discussions for both our Business Coaching and Financial Planning engagements.
In fact, the second link down in the menu for our business coaching platform is Goals. That way your goals are always easily accessible.
We work with owners and encourage them to set both monthly and annual goals. Those goals are written into the portal – and tracked (very important) over time to measure progress toward longer-term goals.
On the personal financial planning side, goals are just as important! Proper planning requires that future goals are understood and worked into the cash flow analysis of your financial plan. A plan based on “today” without any future goals defined is NOT a solid plan.
We vision-cast to estimate when you want the goal to be achieved, and how much that goal will cost in today’s dollars. And this is all handled in our online planning portal for client review whenever desired.
Do you write down your goals?
If not, what’s holding you back putting your goals in writing?
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