Why Can’t I Achieve My Goals?
A client asked this in a recent session. She felt setting annual goals was a waste of time. She said, “Each year I set these amazing goals for myself and my business, but by as early as March, they are out the window. Something more important always seems to come up.”
I reassured her this can be normal. If you set goals without being realistic, you often find they get pushed to the side for more important things. Unfortunately this is when you can start to focus on what you don’t want rather than what you do what. And, you might do that unconsciously.
When they are set realistically, however, goals help you communicate more effectively, motivate staff, and ultimately achieve your definition of success.
No Goals…No Future?
Setting goals aren’t the only thing helping you reach your potential, but without them, you stumble along reacting to only what is in front of you. Yes, this can lead to success. More often it leads to frustration like my client. Or, it takes longer than planned to get where you are going.
Thinking about your future is exciting. Anything is possible. The question becomes is anything achievable.
Take for example another client. H wanted to double his business in the upcoming year. Sales were up. The product was well received. These indicators seemed to validate his goal.
However, when we dug deeper, the client admitted he did most of the work. He didn’t have clear systems in place and rarely delegated any part of the process.
I asked him, “If you doubled your sales next year, what would that look like for you? Describe your hypothetical day or week to me.”
At first it was all roses. As I asked more clarifying questions, it became clear if the business were really to double in size, he could not handle the increase in customers. He also had not explored additional resources he would need to grow his business to this level.
By the end of our conversation, he reduced his sales projections and added tactics to build a foundation for the business to grow in the upcoming years.
Don’t Hold Yourself Back
I’m not suggesting you hold yourself back. What I am suggesting is you look at all aspects of your dream, definition of success, and goals.
If your dream is to write a book, what will it take? Is it a year process or longer? Do you have relationships with publishers, etc.? Do you know other writers who have gone through the process that can help?
If your definition of success is work/life balance, what does that mean? How many hours do you need to work on a weekly basis to support yourself and your family? Is what you are making now enough to meet those needs? If not, do you need to increase your prices, find another job, ask for a raise?
When we choose to move in a new direction, to stretch ourselves, it is important to ask questions like these to help us build milestones to get there. With these checkpoints you are better able to define, communicate and even motivate others to help you achieve those goals.
Things to Think About
Here are some things to think about to help you focus on what you truly want to achieve in the coming year.
- Ask questions – Can you answer who, what, where, why, when and how?
- Specifically define what success looks like.
- Break the objective down into milestones. If it is a twelve month goal, where should you be in six months, then three months. Is this realistic, especially the three month milestone? If not, what do you need to readjust?
- How will you celebrate your successes? It is important to recognize when you have achieved a milestone not only for your team, but also for yourself.
Save the quote from this post on your Pinterest page to remind you to focus on what you want, not what you don’t want in the coming year.