4 February 2018
Perhaps it’s the time of year, perhaps it’s because they’re simple not setting their goals in the right way. I am a firm believer in goal setting, as you well know, but setting goals is much more than what we often set as New Year’s resolutions.
Often at the start of the year, we reach for intangible goals like ‘to be fitter’ or ‘to make more money’. There’s no real way to track if you’re achieving these goals because there’s no figure attached to it. Plus it can take a long time to see real progress.
Tony Robbins taught me some time ago that the key to setting a great goal is to make it tangible. There is always a way of finding something to measure. There’s a great saying in management, “you can’t manage what we can’t measure” and couldn’t be more true.
Instead of aiming ‘to be fitter’, aim to run 10km in a set amount of time. Then break that down into how you can achieve it. Set the goal to run twice a week for the first months, then three times a week, then five times a week, if not every day! Set a goal for how quickly you can run a set distance and up both each time. If you are doing physical exercise you might want to schedule in regular physio too.
If running isn’t your passion, set targets based on what is. Aim to paint every day, to win at least one in 10 chess matches. Whatever it is, make it measurable.
Equally, passion is key. Alongside a goal, you have to have the reason why. I remember when we first set a business up, I wanted to make a £1 million. That was my goal. But money simply isn’t enough! When the bank account is looking empty because you’re investing all you have into the business, when you’re eating noodles and cereal for days on end, making money isn’t enough. You have to find something that you’re passionate about.
In hindsight I learned that I was more passionate about helping others than making money.
I often think of Walt Disney and the Disney purpose: ‘To make people happy’. It’s not a goal, it’s a reason why. There’s no way to achieve it; you can never make every single person in the world happy. It is impossible. But, it is a reason to keep ploughing on. To keep going and growing.
We set our purpose at UKFast a long time ago and it has never changed. It continues to motivate us all and helps to shape the business decisions that we make. It drives us towards meeting our goals.
It’s not difficult to set a goal. It is, however, more complicated than it seems on the surface and is a process that Gail and I continue to hone every single year. We’re heading to the Maldives for our annual trip soon, where we will once again set our goals.
We sit on the beach of Rangalli Island and look out to the sunset, surrounded by pieces of paper and notebooks! We go through our goals from the past year and see how we’ve done so far. We look at personal and professional goals. We look at goals we’ve set about people in the team and how we aim to help them grow. Then we set our new goals for the year ahead. Every year, without fail. The most important thing is to reflect on the journey, your progress and the culmination of many years of hard work and to be grateful for all the wonderful people and experiences your life brings.
Setting goals is a vital part of success. Hitting them gives you a sense of achievement. But ironically hitting them is less important than what it makes of you on the journey.
I’d rather miss some of my goals and learn to be a better family man; a better person than when I set out on the voyage of discovery.
This philosophy albeit incredibly simple works for us. No doubt I will be blogging about the goals we set and progress we’re making in posts to come. In the meantime I would love to hear about your goals and how you’re progressing as a person and with your resolutions so far.