Personalize your process to achieve your goals
By Brett Anderson
St. Croix Advisors
In my last blog, we discussed the importance of setting goals by following Zig Ziglar’s seven-step formula. Now we’re going to talk about taking it one step further, by putting your own stamp on your success. Unless you personalize your own process, you will never be able to realize your goals.
Write it down
Do you keep a journal of goals, a small notebook to track progress, or do you prefer to use something more tech-savvy? Can you keep track of your goals online? With your smartphone?
Put a date on it
Know yourself and respect your own limits when you establish the timeframes for your goals. If you have a lot going on, respect that, but don’t use it as an excuse to not follow through, which brings us to our next point.
If you systematically think through and list potential stumbling blocks, there is nothing more to be afraid of. You are singlehandedly removing the fear of failure via unknown obstacles. When you establish your timeframes, make sure that you reasonably consider how potential obstacles might affect your timeline.
Identify the people and groups you need to work with
Make sure these folks are reasonably selected based on skills, knowledge and experience. While we would all love to have Mr. Zigler on hand to coach us through life, that’s not necessarily possible. If your goal stands to run a marathon in 2012, partner with other runners who have the same goal, or runners who have run marathons before for their motivation and first-hand expertise. Don’t just hang out with your buddy because he ran a 5K once and he’s fun to hang out with. Be strategic.
Find out what you need to know
Make sure the knowledge can be absorbed in a personal manner, and seek out information that can be digested however you learn best. If you learn best by reading, then find books that will help you. There are also webinars, seminars, white pages, pod-casts, etc.
Do you need graphical data? Then, look for studies that emphasize that. You have a better chance for success if you seek out information that you can absorb, because you will be more apt to actually follow through with the learning process.
Develop a plan of action
Whether this involves making a list or fully mapping out your course on a timeline, it’s up to you. Just make sure that you lay out the steps required to keep you on task. You know yourself. If you like to check off things, perhaps an itemized to-do list works. If you like to monitor progress, a timeline might be best.
Write down what’s in it for you
Finally, make this the most personal of all. Don’t think about what achieving your goal might mean for other people or how it will “look” from the outside, but focus on the real benefits for you. Sure, you may want to lose weight, because you feel you will be more attractive to the opposite sex, but what are you really getting at? Are you seeking a meaningful relationship? Do you want to be healthier? How will losing weight benefit you directly? Break it down.
Making your recipe for success your own ensures that you will be chasing your dreams and achieving your goals, all on your terms. Plus, in personalizing the process, you face the best chance for success in actually realizing that which you seek.
Enjoy the process and celebrate this journey. I wish you the best of luck in achieving your goals this year.