Turning Goals into Action

More often than not, the obstacle between you and your dreams or goals is not time constraints, brainpower, or a lack of resources: it’s confusion with the ‘how-to-do-it’. Oftentimes we don’t really know what the goal actually means. For example, when goals remain as wants – “I want to grow my business” or “I want to lose weight”, we don’t always clarify them to the point where we know what we should be doing on a day-to-day to basis to move closer toward them. So, what can you do to turn your goals into reality? Let’s find out!

What’s in a question?

Whatever the goal is, here’s the secret. We must define the goal so we know how to get there! For example, we might say we want more business; but, what type of business? How much business? Unprofitable business isn’t worth your while.

Happiness - Time to re-thinc now

Let’s say you want a better work/life balance. Then the question might be: By what time would you like to leave the office on three days of the week – say, Monday, Wednesday and Friday? That schedule becomes your sub-goal (as an incentive to be more productive) that will allow you to reach your main goal: Using your time more wisely.

Get my point?

Famed author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins illustrated the power of defining our goals by handing a person a penny whenever they said “I want to have more money”. Comical, yes; however, his point was that earning one cent is “having more money” – just perhaps not on the scale the person had in mind! Yet, being vague about our goals is exactly what can cause us to miss the mark!

Case in point

A small business owner of an amazing dental practice with four employees whom I recently spoke with was having trouble with communications. So, she said to me, “Mary, we want to improve our communications”. “What does this mean?” I asked. By asking her and her team to define their goal with a few verb (action) statements, we began to make progress. Yes, we certainly wanted to make it a S.M.A.R.T. goal by being realistic and attainable; but more importantly, we wanted to define what improved communications “looks like” on a day to day basis. Here’s what I mean and the key steps we came up with:

How to Improve Communications:

1. Make eye contact when speaking to each other

2. Use active listening skills

3. Re-state other’s requests, concerns, etc.

4. Hold weekly team meetings to review goals, issues and needs

5. Invite/offer feedback

With the goal now clearly defined, how successful do you think the business has become? You’re right if you said “Very successful” because they now know what the goal really means and were able to choose successful actions in their daily interactions with each other. Very cool, yes?

Think 1 word: Choice

Getting clear on your goals pays off exponentially. By knowing what achieving a goal would “look like”, we are able to choose whether or not we want to take the steps to get there. If we don’t know where we’re going, any road will get us there. I say: “Know your destination and know which road to take! Detours are optional!”

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    • marystager says:

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  3. Very good article. I will be facing many of these issues as well.

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