As a coach, I ask for and review a lot of business plans around this time of year, and all of them have common denominators: Goals. While I fully endorse goal setting, I try to challenge clients to see goals in a larger context that follows what author Sean Covey calls The 4 Disciplines of Execution.The objective of this larger context is simple: goals left to themselves do not tend to lead to results, and rarely do they lead to the specific results that the goal was aiming for. Yet, many of us do set goals for the year, usually with good intentions, with no accountability or structure in place to win big.
Today I’d like to see you take your 2017 goals and move them from intentions to actions to results following these very simple steps:
- Make sure the goals you choose are incredibly important to your success. Goals set out of obligation tend to be ignored quickly, so I tend to ask clients to avoid telling me what they should do and get serious about 1-2 goals they feel compelled to set because they matter. Make sure the goals you set are specific, measurable, and attainable by a target date in your calendar.
- Identify the non-negotiable disciplines required to drive the result you are aiming for. If your goal is to weigh X pounds by X date, then run the math based on calories in versus calories burned, and create daily disciplines around that calorie amount. Never leave your goals up to disciplines you can’t control, or at least heavily influence. This will reduce your excuses as you execute.
- Create a scoreboard and track your progress daily/weekly. Keep it simple – just like a scoreboard at a sporting event. Make it easy for you (and those on your team) to see if you are winning on any given day. Visibility helps you and those who also see the scoreboard know how to cheer you on, motivate you, and even provide that emotional boost when you need it most!
- Finally, set-up a scheduled accounting of the results you are tracking with a partner. This could be a coach, a friend, or a team member – choose the person that is most likely to inspire you as well as hold you accountable to adjust your actions as you start reviewing your results. Do this consistently so you can find the gaps more quickly and stay on track with your disciplines.
These four disciplines of execution have worked for individuals, teams, and even companies who set goals and benefited from the framework to move their intentions to actions and results that they care about. Try this process for the first quarter of 2017 and see if you experience the kind of outcomes that you were aiming for when you set your 2017 goals.
Lean into it!