• Cue… Action! It’s All About Goal Setting

    Research shows that goal setting is of vital importance en-route to success, but then goes on to show that only about 5% of people actually write down their goals. Does that mean 95% of people are unsuccessful? During a recent conversation, I found goal setting compared to being like a short “to-do” list. (I should mention that a “short” to-do list comprises of high level projects/objectives – not “I must get cat food from the grocery store”!). Anyway, that got me thinking. Are they really comparable? At what point do they merge, if at all?

    Getting back to these goalless 95% of people… are they perhaps just following their to-do lists? Let’s use a generic example of – Getting More Customers – as our SMART goal. It would need to be broken down from where you are now, to what number you want to achieve, target segments to focus on, budgets etc. etc. On the short to-do list it is “Get More Customers” – it may be less specific but if it prompts you to take action then it serves the purpose of reminding you what you are aiming for.

    This leads on to my direct point – action! All the goal setting, to-do lists and New Year resolutions in the world are useless without one magic ingredient…ACTION. In my mind taking action is the most important part of the equation. It is the process of consistently taking steps (whether large or small), every day, toward achieving your required outcome. Some days that step might simply be to look at your to-do list to ensure you are on track.

    My two take away points are (a) you need to either set yourself SMART goals or compile a short to-do list – it doesn’t matter which – as long as you write it down and keep your focus on achieving the required outcome and (b) take action every day and reflect on how well you are doing against your stated objectives.

    If you do both of these, then your feet will be firmly on the road to success.

    Ralph is a detail-oriented leader who gets things done. As a partner at Incrementa Consulting, he ensures there are no gaps in which execution can fail. You can connect with Ralph on Twitter or read more of his thoughts on the Incrementa website.

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