It’s that time of year, time for setting your goals for 2018.
I have a little different take on goal setting. I think it’s very important to have a carefully chosen target that challenges you. However, I know that simply setting a goal won’t get you anywhere new. What you need is not just something inspiring to go after, but a clear process to get you there and to help you sustain your enthusiasm as the weeks and months roll by. Also, in order to improve your odds of success, you need to ask yourself a key question: “What will I do differently?”
Setting a goal implies that you are going to make a change, or a multitude of changes. When you do that, you have to figure out what you will do differently to move toward your new target. Are you changing the way you do business? Are you changing the way you live? Are you changing the way you interact with others?
All of these questions are big questions and each requires you to face the harsh reality of needing to make changes. Most people tend to dig in and resist change. Why? Because change means entering the realm of the unknown. And that can be scary.
Let’s say your goal is to offer a workshop in the summer. You know that you have great information to deliver that would benefit lots of people. You also know that it takes a lot of work and energy to put together a new workshop. Then you start thinking about some important considerations: How to best design the workshop? How to get the graphics done? How to market it? How to price it? And you enter the realm of the unknown.
Rather than let yourself stall because it becomes “hard” and you do not have all the answers, stop and ask yourself, “What will I do differently?” Will you hire someone with the expertise in curriculum design, graphics or marketing? Will you engage an assistant to handle all the logistics? Or will you simply decide to knock it out yourself?
Whatever method you choose, you will still need to follow the process of breaking the project down in to smaller tasks and breaking those tasks down into manageable action steps.
When you break the project down into bite sized pieces, give those pieces an appropriate place on your calendar (yes, I mean a deadline). Then, assign those pieces to the appropriate people. Once you do that, you will have a map that shows you how you can get to your goal.
But your work is not complete when your beautiful map is complete. The next thing to do is to take the first step… then the second, then the third, and so on. As a business coach, I know many of you are great planners. I also know that many of you have no problem starting down the path, but you get hung up before you’ve gotten very far down the path.
When that urge to quit or to jump ship hits you, stop and ask yourself, “What will I do differently?” Of course you have to assess your progress along the way and make adjustments, but, ultimately, you need to stay focused on your target and keep moving toward it. Will you exercise some self-discipline and keep moving? Will you get some help to get you through to the next step? Will you just put on some blinders and plow ahead with your eyes intently focused on the goal?
The bottom line here, whether this is a brand new goal or a goal you may have had before, but you’ve never followed through on, you’re going to need to make a change. So, to improve your odds of success, ask yourself, “What will I do differently?”
Cass Mullane is an artist with an MBA. Cass Mullane’s calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, a contemporary abstract artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ Retreats.You can also visit Cass on Facebook!