Have you ever tried setting goals? New Year’s Resolutions? Action items of what you want to get done?
Are you always successful in hitting them? Holding yourself accountable?
Or, do you end up taking an escape hatch from your goals?
To be successful, you need to set “specific” goals.
The challenge? Most people don’t know how to be SPECIFIC.
I’m always a big proponent of “Isolation is a Good Thing” in the sense that the more specific, targeted and focused you are, the higher your chances for success.
Last year, I was reminded of how being specific, especially when it comes to setting goals, is so vitally important.
This aspect of Isolation is not only about the goal itself, but also on holding yourself accountable.
See, when we try to set goals, our mind can play tricks on us.
As the New Year approaches, and many of us look to goals and resolutions, please keep the following in mind.
We can think we are being specific, when in reality, we’ve built escape hatches into our goal, that our minds are all too happy to utilize.
The story about I’m to share with you came at my own expense as the escape hatch was quickly taken.
For me, the issue came last year when I tried to set a New Year’s resolution around exercising.
To ride a stationary bike at least three times a week.
Sounds easy enough, right?
Sounds specific, doesn’t it?
Well, here’s what happened the first day I sat down and starting peddling. I should note here that while I am super active and competitive with Soccer, I really detest working out in the traditional sense. So any opportunity to shortcut a workout, I end up taking it.
With that little fact shared, and shortly after I started toward my goal of riding the bike, my mind began to immediately play tricks on me.
I was no more than two minutes into my regimen, and my mind said, “well, you rode the bike for today, mission accomplished!”
Yep, two minutes and I was done.
Why? How could I be done in just TWO minutes?
Because my goal was to “ride” the bike three times a week.
I did it. I “rode” the bike.
What was missing? What was not “specific”?
That’s right, the “amount” of time.
Riding the bike three times a week, is NOT the same as riding it for a minimum of 30 minutes each time.
And 30 minutes is still not specific enough if the entire time consists of sloooowwww pedaling.
What should the new goal be?
How about; I will ride the bike for at least 30 minutes or more, and will cover a minimum of five miles.
Now THAT goal is more specific. It’s harder to take the escape hatch from my mind and bail out when there are three points of accountability.
Further, did you notice the subtleties there? Yes, I said “at least”, which means it could be more, but certainly not less. And, a “minimum” of five miles- again, could be more.
Yes, this type of specific goal setting is what is needed for better results in anything you want to accomplish.
The same goes for anyone who wants to work out, lose weight, make phone calls, increase sales, and so on.
The ability to set specific goals is paramount to empowering you toward success.
Let’s say Monday is your day for prospecting. This could be phone calls or email.
Setting Monday as your day, is not the same as setting Monday as the day you will make at least 75 new calls, or get out at least 50 new email and 25 follow up email
So, to increase your chances of hitting your goal, you have to set a specific amount for your activity.
Otherwise, your mind will play tricks on you and you’ll take the escape hatch.
Isolation is a Good thing when it comes to goal setting. You have to be specific, targeted and focused.
To be successful, you have to Isolate.