The following is a guest post by John Lee Dumas, host of Entrepreneur on Fire and author of The Freedom Journal, your guide to accomplishing your #1 goal in 100 days.
About one year ago, I realized something powerful as a result of hundreds of in-depth conversations with some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs: successful individuals know how to set and accomplish goals.
The more I formulated my discovery, the bigger my vision got, until finally, I uncovered a huge pain point: there are a lot of individuals who aren’t living up to their full potential because they don’t know how to accomplish the goals they set.
How do you feel at the end of the day?
Have you ever gone home at the end of a long day wishing you had performed better, or maybe feeling like you’re not truly living the life you want?
We all have incredibly high potential as individuals, and it’s freeing to know that we get to choose how we use that potential.
So whether you’re feeling like you don’t have:
- enough time to make all the calls you need to make;
- the right knowledge to take your sales skills to the next level; or
- enough energy to go all-in in order to improve your communication skills every single day…
…you’re in luck, because setting and accomplishing goals can help you in any – or all – of these areas, and it just takes following five steps.
Step 1: Set a SMART Goal
- Specific: you know the who, what, when, why and where of it.
- Measurable: you have some type of metric you can use so you’ll know for sure when your goal has been reached.
- Attainable: you’re reaching far, but also making sure your goal is realistic given your resources.
- Relevant: your goal makes sense given your overall direction and the path you’re on.
- Time-bound: you have a deadline in place to accomplish your goal by.
As an example, let’s say you’ve taken time to reflect on your sales performance, and you found that on the days you were able to make more sales calls, you were also able to close more clients.
Currently, you’re only making 20 sales calls per day; therefore, your goal is to start making 50 sales call per day to increase the number of clients you close.
In order to make this goal SMART, you’ll check it against each of the criteria, and perhaps come out with something like this:
To be making 50 sales calls per day, Monday – Friday, between the hours of 10am – 3pm while I’m at the office. This will allow me to generate around 10 new clients per month as a result. I will work my way up to 50 sales calls per day by [insert your deadline here].
Once you have a SMART goal, it’s time to start creating your plan.
Step 2: Set micro-goals
When creating your plan, the individual steps you need to take in order to accomplish your goal will represent your micro-goals.
Given the example above, your micro-goals might include:
- Building my call list to 300 contacts per week;
- Working my way up to 50 sales calls per day by increasing my daily calls by 10% each week;
- Practice my pitch and start to close five new clients per month in the months leading up to my deadline;
- Invest time in learning how I could be explaining our products and services better during a call in order to increase conversions.
The list of micro-goals will expand depending on how big your goal is and how many steps it’s going to take you to get there, but the purpose of setting micro-goals is that you’re focusing on a single action you can take every day that is in some way helping you get closer to your big goal.
Your micro-goals should have their own due date – anywhere from 5 to 10 days apart – to ensure you’re continuously checking in with yourself to gauge your progress towards your bigger goal.
Step 3: Set review periods
Review periods are specific times you’ll set aside to review the work you’ve done, and these might happen every 25 days or so (depending on how far away your deadline is).
During your review periods, you’ll want to reflect back on the work you’ve done thus far and ask yourself questions like:
- What actions are working well for me?
- What actions are not working well for me?
- Am I on pace to accomplish my goal?
- If not, how can I adjust my timeline so I do accomplish my goal on time?
Review periods are important because they give you space to recognize and double down on what’s working well, while avoiding or pivoting from what’s not working well in relation to getting one step closer towards your overall goal.
Step 4: Find accountability
Accountability is integral on your goal setting journey, and yes, you can, of course, hold yourself accountable. But chances are there will be a morning, afternoon or night that comes along when you don’t feel like doing a particular task.
Perhaps you’re not feeling like you’re making enough progress, or you think it can wait until tomorrow…
Pushing deadlines and not surrounding yourself with people who can support you is a slippery slope. By having an accountability partner or group, you’re declaring your goals to someone other than just yourself. This is not only powerful when it comes to feedback and input, but it’s necessary when it comes to staying focused and on track towards accomplishing your goal.
Step 5: Never give up
The reason so many individuals are able to set goals, but have an incredibly hard time accomplishing them, is because the first four steps I’ve shared here are not easy steps.
What is easy?
To give up when we don’t feel like we’re achieving what we’ve set out to do.
Accomplishing goals takes discipline, focus and determination, and the reward is that you’re creating freedom in your life every time you accomplish one of your goals.
Always remember, YOU get to choose freedom. All it takes is following these 5 steps to set and accomplish your goals.
For more ways to accomplish your goals, check out The Freedom Journal!