The Missing Ingredient to Achieving Goals?

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I’m guessing this is the umpteenth article you’ve seen this week on setting goals. After all, it’s the start of the new year. Just about everyone has something important they want to achieve in 2012. And we’re all hungry for tips on how to achieve it.

So what are your business goals this year? Is it to break into a new niche market? Land five better and higher-paying clients? Transform your website into a client-attracting machine?

I’m no expert on achieving goals. (I leave that to the Tony Robbins’ of the world.) But I have accomplished some big things over the years. And, yes, I’ve also failed – sometimes spectacularly – to achieve other goals I’ve set for my business.

So I guess you can say I have lots of experience with both success and failure!

What have I learnt?

Over the holidays I was thinking about just that. I was planning what I wanted to accomplish in 2012 and I found myself reviewing the big business goals I’ve set over the past few years.

For most of these goals, I did the usual things that the “gurus” recommend. I made sure each goal was ambitious yet realistic. I made sure I had a plan. And I got into “action mode” right way.

So why did I reach some goals but not others?

By the way, it’s not like I gave each goal everything I got and simply fell short of the finish line. I don’t consider that a failure.

But there were some goals where I simply petered out after the initial burst of motivation wore off. (Sound familiar? That’s why fitness clubs are packed in January and empty in March!)

When I took a closer look I noticed that almost all the big goals that I did achieve in the past few years had one thing in common.

Support.

Support in the form of a structured program or course. Support in the form of a friend or business coach who would offer advice and hold me accountable. Support in the form of a group on the same journey. And so forth.

I also noticed that, for the goals where I came to a sputtering stop without really accomplishing anything, I didn’t have any real support. I tried to go it alone. Big mistake.

Support gives you the “stick to it” motivation you need to get through the inevitable frustrations and fatigue you’re bound to face when going for a goal.

I don’t know if it’s really the “missing ingredient”. But I suspect it is.

One thing is for sure – I’m taking advantage of all the support I can get this year. Along with all the inherent advice, encouragement and accountability that goes with it.

You might want to consider doing the same for your 2012 goals, too.

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Comments

  1. Hi Steve,
    Great post, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. This is one of those pieces of wisdom I’ve known for a long time (since “Wishcraft,” by Barbara Sher), but always seem to abandon for the sake of some macho “I don’t need no stinking supporters” self-sufficiency creed.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Michael

  2. Hi Michael,

    I didn’t read Wishcraft, but I did read Barbara Sher’s “Refuse To Choose”, which is a great book for people like me who have multiple interests.

    I agree with you. Men have more difficulty admitting they need advice, support and accountability when striving to reach a goal. We see “support” as a weakness. But it’s not. It’s a competitive advantage.

  3. Hello Steve,

    I have been a subscriber to your newsletter for about a year now and I always find them on point, easy to read and comprehend, and I can read them without having to set aside loads of time. So, that to me is GREAT!

    Thank you!

  4. Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this reminder. I’m in the process of building a support team now. Goals are easier to achieve with encouragement and keeping me in line.

    Here’s to achieving more this year. Cheers!

    Jen

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