Setting goals and holding yourself accountable

By Brett Anderson

St. Croix Advisors


Who better to feature in a discussion of goals than the great Zig Ziglar?

As dated as this video may appear, one can’t deny the magnetism of Zig Ziglar. One of America’s favorite motivational speakers, Ziglar discusses the importance of setting goals. He indicates that the process of setting goals is formulaic in nature. As long as you follow the formula, you will succeed, no matter what your goal may be.

His seven-step formula is as follows:
    1. Write it down. What is your objective? What is the end result you seek?

    2. Put a date on it. Real goals have a time frame and date for completion.

    3. Identify obstacles. What stumbling blocks do you foresee interfering with your ability to achieve your goal?

    4. Identify the people and groups you need to work with. Who can you come alongside to help you meet your goal? What can they bring to the table?

    5. Find out what you need to know. What knowledge and information will you need?

    6. Develop a plan of action. Break your goal down into smaller chunks or action steps. That way, each task feels approachable and the momentum from completing the previous step will propel you forward to the remaining steps.

    7. Write down what’s in it for you. Without clearly articulating the personal motivations and rewards that you will receive by accomplishing your goal, you will be less likely to stick with it. It’s OK and actually important to recognize the personal benefits of achieving your goals.
I’m pretty convinced that Ziglar’s formula is foolproof. By not using a formulaic approach people don’t reach their goals. (That is, if they even bother to set them in the first place.)

It’s quite easy to accomplish step one, but when you actually get down to establishing the time frame through articulating your plan of action and rewards, most people drop off the wagon. That’s too bad, though, because I think that step seven may actually be the most important. Without identifying the personal benefit to you, your business or even your life, where is the incentive to follow through on the rest of the items?

How about for you? What keeps you on track and motivated when it comes to setting goals? What is your biggest stumbling block, and how do you overcome it?