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How Are You Doing On Your 2016 Goals?

Goals – Resolutions – Business Strategies and Tactics. Whatever you call them, have you already given up? Have you already been distracted or lost focus? Has something unexpected happened?

Last year, I set out to meet my personal and professional goals and took a course called “Best Year Ever” by Michael Hyatt.  This was a great course as it focused on writing down goals and making them specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-bound, exciting, and relevant. It emphasized reviewing the goals regularly and documenting why we set them in the first place.

When I look back at my goals, I met some of them and others I didn’t. I had one surprise last year that affected my goals significantly. I was laid off. What do we do when something outside our control affects our goals? In the middle of the year, I had another goal, which was to make a significant career change from corporate accounting to personal financial advising. Late in the year, I resigned from that position because I realized I was not utilizing my strengths by spending almost all my time on high volume selling.  What do we do then? Should we stick to goals no matter what?  What happens when our goals become outdated or no longer applicable? What happens when we miss a time line or we want to do something different?  Life is not as simple as setting a goal, meeting it and living the life of our dreams. We have challenges, discouragement, distractions, and unforeseen events that make hitting our goals tough.

I have come up with what I believe are the top 5 reasons why companies and people do not hit their goals. By understanding these reasons, I hope we can improve our odds of succeeding and making adjustments to help us be successful.

1. Fear

I think we should all have at least one stretch goal that pushes us out of our comfort zone. I had a goal that was quite out of my comfort zone last year, and I didn’t meet it mainly due to fear. This year, one of my goals is to start my own business providing fractional CFO services to small businesses. Although I am very excited and see quite a bit of potential for this in the marketplace, I still experience some fear and worry because it is outside my comfort zone. Whenever we do something outside our comfort zone, we go from being the expert to the student – Bill Ramsey, Executive Pastor at The Met Church.

2. Distraction

Most goals require a level of discipline and routine. For businesses, we have company goals but an emergency or “fire” comes up and distracts us from doing the most important thing. As Stephen Covey mentions in his book, First Things First, we operate in 4 quadrants: Urgent/Important, Not Urgent/Important, Not Important/Urgent, and Not Important/Not Urgent.  The area where goals are met with focus is in the quadrant of Important/Not Urgent. How do we do this? You might say this in unrealistic. I agree that we can’t stop distractions and repetitive crisis over night. When we are in a crisis, we need to reflect on what caused it and figure out how to fix the underlying problem.

3. Not SMART

All goals should be specific, measureable, actionable, realistic, and time bound. As mentioned above, Michael Hyatt adds exciting and relevant.  This is not at all a new concept, and most of you have heard this before. One of the main problems is with the time-bound component. Today, I heard on the EO Fire podcast about setting goals in smaller 10 day sprints.  Try to focus on 10 different sprints over 100 days to hit your number one goal in 100 days.  This year, I am have purchased the Freedom Journal to help me with my main goal. You can find this on the EO Fire website. I will let you know how this goes when I get it.

4. Lack of accountability or discipline

Accountability can come in many forms. Companies have executive teams, board members, and stockholders. Individuals have accountability groups, fitness trainers, friends and spouses. I think one of the most effective forms of accountability is discipline and routine. By setting up a daily routine, we form a new habit. This year, I have decided to exercise everyday. I want this to become a daily routine and form a habit. Why not? Why skip a day and break my routine?

5. Unforeseen events or challenges

What happens if there is a lay off, sickness, injury, or financial challenge that prevents us from hitting our goal?  We have to adjust. Goals are not set in stone. We should revise them and update them so they are reasonable and based on the latest situation. We should be careful not to say something is an unforeseen challenge when it is simply a recurring fire, issue or distraction. If something is truly unforeseen, we have to adjust and rewrite our goals.

We should not let fear, distraction, not being SMART, lack of discipline, or unforeseen challenges get in the way of meeting our goals. I have 10 challenging goals this year, and three are outside my comfort zone. One goal is to post weekly on LinkedIn or a blog and I already have found this to be challenging.  So let’s fight the fear, be SMART, focus, set routines, and adjust when necessary and make this a great year.