I’m not setting a new year’s resolution this year. I’ve been there before many times and still have the extra 10kgs (and a few more extra ones too) and have never managed more than a few weeks without a wine.
Instead I’ve set myself some goals for the year.
There’s stacks of research to prove that goal setting increases motivation and achievement. But merely setting the goal isn’t enough – we need to determine the skills you need or the process to help achieve it. And that’s often the hard part.
In November last year I successfully ran the Queenstown half marathon. It was the 6th Half I have done – one when I ‘sharted’ (true story), another the day before I was due to have hip surgery so it was particularly painful (and particularly stupid), a couple with NO training at all, and one where I ran out of gas at 12kms and walked the rest of the way.
This one was the best of all. I loved (almost) every minute of it – the scenery was spectacular, the volunteers on the course super encouraging and the cold beer at the end the best I have ever tasted. Unlike previous attempts I was happy, I wasn’t too sore and I almost thought I could do the other half! Almost 😉
So what made this run different to all those others? Simple. I set a goal. I set a plan to achieve that goal. And I executed on it.
So, as we start a new year, what can we learn from my run for success in business in 2017?
Sometimes you need to bring in the experts to help you achieve your goal. People whose job it is to help you get over the line. I used Gaz Brown from Get Running (www.getrunning.co.nz). For your people development goals, you might like to talk to us – send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking you can’t do something. Running is a series of arguments within my head most of the time I’m out there; I’m continually arguing with myself about whether I can do it or not. And I’ve proved that I can do it. It’s the same in business – continually tell yourself you can present in front of that group, that you can deliver the order on time, or that you can maintain margin regardless of the pressure your client is putting on you and you’ll be surprised at how much believing in yourself will do…
Accountability is a powerful tool. Everyone important to me in my life knew about my goal so I felt a sense of accountability to them, as I did to Gaz. Previously if I didn’t go out on that run, no one would know I was ever meant to.
Regular feedback is important. I needed feedback on my progression towards my goal and it’s the same for all of us. In one study researchers undertook, it showed that fortnightly feedback against goals raised performance, and when the feedback stopped, the performance dropped again. Be particularly mindful of this if you’re a leader – are you giving your team feedback frequently enough?
Sometimes you must slow down to go forward. When I started running with Gaz I was going too fast and it wasn’t sustainable. He’s trained me to go slower so I can run for longer periods, more frequently. It might be like that with your sales prospecting – maybe getting a foot in the door and securing a small piece of business from a new client might be a smarter approach than going for the whole shebang up front when you have no track record and are building a relationship from scratch. Doing this with a few prospects might have the same net short-term effect and significantly increase your hit rate and build a much more sustainable long-term business.
Happy new year – have a good one!