At this time of the year, when the old year is finishing and the New Year beckons, many people find themselves considering objectives for the New Year. Some will achieve these, but many don’t and the same applies to businesses. What can you do to improve the rate of success?
Firstly, it’s key to define clearly the goals and objectives. They should be both realistic and challenging. Being realistic will help you to remain motivated to achieve them whilst ensuring that they are challenging is key to helping maintain a sustained effort as you strive towards them.
Secondly, it’s important to identify what you actually need to achieve your goals. Establish where you need to be in 6 months or a year and what you need to be doing now to get there. This will help create the milestones and a timescale against which you can monitor your progress towards achieving your objectives as you progress.
Thirdly, write it down. Getting all the above recorded sets it in stone so that you can easily return and remind yourself of what has to be done and check your progress. It is an established fact that success reaching your objectives is more likely if it’s been written down. Referring back to the original plan when things get difficult or problems occur helps you keep on track and makes it easier to see how far you’ve progressed.
Fourthly, make public your statement of intent. To who and how many you make this statement will depend on your objectives – family, friends, or business associates. By declaring it in “public” to others you generate an expectation of your proposed achievement and create a support network if things are getting difficult, because people will want to help you achieve your objectives. The other reason for a making a public statement is the fear of “loss of face” which may deter you from abandoning your objectives without persevering.
Lastly just take one step forward and then another and by taking those regular paces forward you will keep moving towards your target because “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”.
Businesses that have clearly identified and stated their objectives; determined what they need to do to achieve these; committed their plan to paper (one side of A4 is enough), and then made “public” these objectives are far more likely to achieve them than those that don’t.
Finally in life there seem to be two groups of people. Those who don’t tend to succeed in what they set out do but always have excellent reasons why they haven’t and the second group who achieve their goals because they never allow anything to stop them.
In 1985, after 5 years of teaching Physical Education and following the early diagnosis of a physically debilitating medical condition Andy left education to retrain and qualify as Chartered Accountant. In early 2012 he set himself a challenge to cycle a 100km for charity and went on in 2013 to participate in a 480 km four day ride from London to Paris, raising over £5,000 for charity.