An interesting study was done about a year ago by the University of Scranton where it was discovered that only 8% of the population that sets goals for themselves achieves them. Astounding, isn’t it?
So what did that 8% do differently that the other 92% are missing out on?
Success looks different depending upon career choices and station in life. Whatever stage you are in, though, you have likely spent time reading the success stories of some of the greatest leaders of our time. Most people want to glean little nuggets of wisdom and knowledge from those who have paved the way, in order to propel their careers to the next level…or to simply increase self-awareness.
But what if there was a simple formula for success? Would more people follow it? Success is something most people say they have a deep desire to obtain, but many will choose to not put in the work, time, and effort to achieve it. Let’s look at a series of habit-forming steps that could equal your formula for success.
Work the Goal Backwards
You need to know where you’re going in order to get there, right? Would you say, “Hey, I think I’ll take a road trip to the beach,” without knowing the step-by-step directions on how to get there? Of course not! So why should reaching for a goal be any different? Just like taking a road trip, you will need a clear road map to get to the goal, because without it, your goal is simply just a dream.
Get your goal on paper and then brainstorm what you will need to get there. Identify resources and sub-goals that you can come back to on a regular basis during your journey.
The best goal achievers surround themselves with an dependable support team. They realize that goals, whether large or small, can’t be reached alone. A support system will look different for everyone, but, at a minimum, it should include a mentor, advisor or coach -- someone who will listen on your bad days, commend you on an outstanding idea or give you feedback on your not-so-great ideas. We all need someone who will give honesty when it’s needed.
Specific and Challenging
Research performed by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham found that when goal-setters followed these two principles, there was higher performance 90% of the time. To say, “My goal is to sell 108 new plans this year,” may be challenging, but it's not specific. Give the goal specificity by breaking it down to selling nine new plans per month. When clarity surrounds the goal, the chances of reaching it skyrocket.
Everyone has experienced procrastination on some level and it’s vital to know when it’s happening so you can fix it. Here are a few ways to help:
- Have prioritized to-do lists with deadlines and time frames for completing the tasks.
- Take a close look at how long you need for each task and then work back to determine when to start it so the deadline will be reached.
- Focus on one task at a time
It’s never too late to set a goal. What is a goal that comes to mind to start setting a road map to achieve?