New Year, New You? Don’t Just “Set Some Goals”
As this year comes to a close, now begins the time-honored tradition of setting goals for the new year.
For most, the new year starts off with so much hope and promise. But, within the first month or two, the goals become nothing more than an afterthought.
Why does this happen? There are a number of reasons why, but the main culprit is the lackadaisical way that people go about “setting some goals.”
In order for your goals to work, they need to be exciting. There needs to be a concrete plan in place for how you are going to get there. And, you need to have system of support and accountability.
Goal setting has been instrumental to my success. From my first year in the business as an advisor, goals were integral to achieving MDRT and becoming a three-time Forum qualifier, representing the top 5% of advisors within the company.
Over the past five years, goals have been the driving force behind my own company, P2P Group, taking it from an idea in my head, to notes on a yellow scratch pad, to a running a company with three full-time employees, publishing an Amazon bestselling book, developing P2P Academy, our online sales training website, and so much more.
The point is, goal setting works… when it’s done right. Here’s how I approach goal setting and advice for you to use it to create transformational, sustainable change in the new year.
Look Out The Windshield, Not The Rearview Mirror
Imagine that I’m a world-renowned hypnotist. One day I sit you down and hypnotize you to make you believe that you did $1 million in premium over the past calendar year. When you awake after our session, you believe with every fiber of your being that it’s the truth.
I would almost guarantee that, with changing very little else in your business, you would hit $1 million in premium again in the coming year. Our minds are so powerful and your mind leads and your body follows.
When most people set goals, they base them off of what they’ve already achieved. They think, “I sold $200,000 of premium last year, so this year my goal is 20% growth to hit $240,000.” This is what I call looking through the rearview mirror.
This year, I challenge to look forward through the windshield, not the rearview mirror. Set goals based on what you want to achieve, not just based on what you’ve already done. These goals should get you excited every morning when you wake up over the coming year.
Spend Critical Think Time On It
As we all know, it’s not enough to only set a goal. If you don’t have a plan of action to achieve it, it’s highly unlikely that your goals will be achieved.
Consider the common goal of losing weight in the new year. If all you did was pick the number of pounds you want to lose, it’s highly unlikely you’ll get there. You need to be far more specific and outline things like: When do you want to lose the weight by? How often are you going to work out and for how long? What types of workouts will you do? What dietary changes will you make? How will you handle the temptation to skip the gym or eat unhealthy foods?
The same holds true for your business goals too. You need to build a plan that gets specific. Over the next few weeks, schedule a Critical Think Time session on your calendar – an hour that you can spend completely focused on mapping out the details of your goal and how you’ll achieve it. Think about the following questions and write down your answers:
- Why do I want to achieve this goal? What will it mean for me and my family to achieve this goal? Again, be specific – saving for your kid’s college education, upgrading your house, purchasing a country club membership are more meaningful than just achieving a specific revenue objective.
- What metrics need to be tracked and how will I track them?
- What do I need to do differently? What’s getting in the way currently? Is there anything I need to stop doing?
- How will I achieve my goal? What are my strategies? What are the tactics?
- Who else will be involved in the process? What will they do? How can I create alignment so that they’re motivated to help?
- What obstacles might get away in achieving my goal? How can I plan in advance for them?
Regularly Track It and Involve Your Staff
Notice one of the questions above is, “Who will be involved in the process and how can I create alignment?” If you have a staff member, it’s essential to involve them.
For instance, let’s say your goal was to double your life insurance premium in the coming year. One of the ways you think you can move the needle is through your prospecting efforts. You’re going to need to see more people and a higher caliber of individuals. The next step may be to figure out how many clients you’d need to meet with per year, per month and per week and what the ideal prospect would look like.
Once you have that information, communicate that with your staff. Tell them your goal and put a system in place, like a weekly stand up seven-minute meeting, where you are touching base on that goal on a regular, consistent basis to see if you’re on track. If you’re not on track, have honest conversations about what went wrong and what needs to be corrected.
Additionally, make them a partner in the process by incentivizing it. Let them know how they will benefit by helping you achieve your goal and what happens when they hit certain milestones that help you get there. An example of this may be a monthly bonus to your assistant for kept appointments on your calendar.
If You Always Do What You’ve Always Done…
Keep in mind that if you are looking to create transformational results in your practice, what you’ve done in the past is not going to get you there. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.
Real change is uncomfortable and you must learn to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. However, by setting big, audacious, scary goals, thinking through all the specifics of who, what, and why, and implementing systems for tracking and accountability, you are setting yourself up for transformational results.