Successful entrepreneurs start with a vision of what their business is going to look like. Vision provides clarity; they have a clear picture in their mind as to what the end result looks like. The path to reaching their objectives is built on a strategy.
What are goals?
Jack Canfield, author of the Success Principles, advises people who are serious about goal setting to begin by committing their goals to paper. Then every morning upon awakening and every evening before retiring for the night, Canfield recommends they read their goals out loud. This encourages people to stay focused on their goals, especially throughout the day when people can be easily distracted by work or loved ones.
Goals and Objectives
With advancements in technology, we live in a 24/7 world where people expect to be connected instantly and they are no longer satisfied with having to wait for a call back. These expectations along with the boundaries of our personal and professional time become blurred against our need to meet our own objectives.
Learning to create SMART objectives
Objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely are easier to achieve than those that don’t fit the criteria. Every New Year’s Eve, millions of people make resolutions to lose weight, stop smoking, get out of debt or to live happier, healthier lives. These are just a few examples of objectives people set out to achieve. For example, a person with $10,000 in credit card debt would create a SMART objective to pay an extra $50 a month along with their minimum payment. The extra amount of $50 per month is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely. Each month when he makes the extra $50 payment he has reached another milestone. His vision is to be debt free. His objective is to pay off the $10,000 in credit card debt. His strategy is to make extra payments of $50 every month until the full amount is paid off in full.
Someone else may choose different strategy to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt by paying off higher interest balances first or apply the extra $50 monthly payment to two or more credit card balances. In both instances, the vision and goal is the same only the strategy is different.
Brian Tracy, author of Goals, tells a story of group of graduate students who, upon graduation, created a set of goals. One-third of the group made goals but didn’t commit them to paper, a second third of the group wrote down the goals but didn’t develop a plan for achieving milestones and the last third of the group wrote down their goals but they also took action once they developed a plan for success. Several years later, the group who took action had the highest success rate of all the groups followed by the group who wrote them down but did not follow through. The last group of people, who did not commit to or take any action on their goals, had the least level of success.