18 June 2018

Goal setting, success - the greatest advice i can give - leaderHow do you stay motivated? How do you achieve more?

One of the greatest foundations of success is incredibly simple: goal setting. Of course, if you’re a regular reader of my posts, you’ll know just how much weight I put on the value of setting goals. It’s absolutely essential.

It’s also scientifically proven that there’s value in writing your goals down. Everyone in the UKFast team has a notebook with a section for their goals. We also give these out at every event at the UKFast Campus, to give people a space to write, keep and check back on their targets.

Every year Gail and I head off to the same beach in the Maldives to spend a few days away from the office and the hustle and bustle of Manchester, whilst the grandparents look after our daughters. Here, with no distractions, we take out these notebooks to review our current and past goals, and set our new ones.

It’s especially important to track the long-term goals. Where are we on those journeys? When we look through these, we draw a line in the sand. We create milestones, something that we’ll never dip below again. We can only move forward, further towards the goal from this point on.

Setting the right goals

Listening to a TED Talk from April over the weekend – taking a break from our youngest daughter’s relentless demands for Peppa Pig! – I felt like another piece of the goal-setting puzzle settled into place.

For many years now, I’ve known that the secret ingredient to the most successful goals is the purpose. Why are you doing it? It doesn’t matter what that goal is, it’s the reason behind it that will keep you motivated and ensure that you will hit it. There is no doubt that you will hit a goal with the right reason behind it. It is physically impossible.

Sitting in the Moroccan desert a few months ago for the STRIVE challenge, I had the opportunity to chat with Simon Sinek. His book Start With Why is a staple read at UKFast. It sets out this philosophy that the reason behind any action is the firepower. It sounds obvious doesn’t it? We’ve had a mission and purpose at UKFast for years – in short, our aim is to help improve the lives of everyone we touch and help their businesses to grow.

Why is that so powerful? Perhaps because we were there. We’ve been in the shoes of people trying to kickstart their businesses, without the support. We have felt the pain of poor technical support or of failures in technology. We’ve worked in uninspiring environments. That’s why we built UKFast to be different. To take the pain out of these situations. To make people’s lives easier.

The ‘why’ powers your goal.

How to make a million

The TED Talk I listened to was by engineer and venture capitalist, John Doerr. He talks of legendary manager Andy Grove and why some people are setting goals wrong. He talks of the OKR theory – Objectives and Key Results. The objectives provide the direction, the what. The key results provide the measurable – have you hit the goal, yes or no? Beyond this it all comes down to the reason why that objective is important. It’s a format used by Bono and Google. It’s another piece of the puzzle to cement why goal setting is so important and the extraordinary value of having a ‘reason’.

Yet, all too often, we still hear budding entrepreneurs saying that their goal is to make a million.

When you set a goal to make a million pounds, what motivates you when the money runs out? When the inevitable struggles come and you have to eat noodles and cereal all day, what will keep you motivated? Money can only drive you so far. I know, my first goal was exactly that. And I can tell you first-hand that in the tough times, money isn’t anywhere near enough of a motivator! It all comes down to why. Why do you want to make that money? Why do you do what you do? What’s the bigger reason?

Inevitably, if you find your reason why, that thing that motivates you beyond your comfort zone, that million pounds, will be a result of you striving towards that bigger goal!

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