Michael Walsh, Kaizen Consulting Inc (www.kaizenconsulting.com) describes a business as a tool that assists us to achieve something, just like a car or a stapler. Although more complex, this analagy really resonnated with me. Michael states “…businesses serve many types of goals — both for the destination as well as the process for getting there.”
Each year, I set goals for myself personally and for my business. These goals are reviewed frequently – usually every quarter. I am always amazed by how many people do not set goals and for those who claim to set them do not write them down. If you do not set goals, how do you know where you are going and how will you know if you get there?
When I set my goals, I write them down in the form of a mind map — a pictoral and word format that helps me keep these goals in mind. As a visual person, this format works best for me. You may prefer a list — there is no wrong way to record your aspirations!
Once you write your goals down, share them — with your employees, your friends, family, mentors and supporters. I have learned that people are interested in my goals and more often than not are willing to help me along my path to attaining them. In turn, I help them too.
What happens when others don’t share your vision or goals? Sometimes they worry you may not be successful. Don’t be deterred if they don’t share your goals…keep an open mind, hear their concerns, ask questions to help you understand their perspective. If necessary, you can make some modifications, or maintain your course.
Sometimes, along the way, a goal not longer fits, or requires some tweeking. Was the original goal too short-sighted, too lofty, or has your direction changed? Sometimes external factors have an impact or you learn something new about yourself that warrants the shift. It’s ok to change goals but make sure the changes are not just “the easy way out”. Achieving goals takes time and effort, patience, perspective and perserverence.
Goals help you make the changes you want to make. They are a vital part of strategic planning and business development. They are not without risk but unless you are willing to stretch outside your own comfort zone you will be limited in what you can achieve. When you hit a hurdle, review, ask for help, refocus and keep on moving one foot in front of the other. Fear of failure will only hold you back. Make the decision to set your own goals for yourself or consider reviewing your business’s strategic plan and ensure it is relevant and allowing you to move forward to the future you desire.
“Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant.” – Anthony Robbins