Posts tagged ‘how to set goals’

Get a Coach

One of the many reasons that professional players are better than amateurs is that they have better coaches. Or perhaps I should say they have more coaches. Did you know that many of top players in sports team have their own coaches or coach-like consultants to help them improve a specific aspect of their game, such as posting-up or shooting free-throws? Similarly, most top executives in companies of all sizes use a business coach.

Why do business executives or athletes use coaches? An executive or an athlete may have more technical skills, natural talent or knowledge than the coach, so why hire someone else?  The simple reason is that it works.

For anyone reading this who thinks that they can’t afford a coach, let me point out that we all have coaches available to us. Your coach can be a co-worker, spouse or friend. In fact, you can return the favor to the person who is “coaching” you by being a coach for them in the same or a completely different area.

Here are a couple of advantages of coaching and why everyone needs a coach:

  • You can’t see your own mistakes: As humans, it’s very easy for us to see what’s wrong with people and much more difficult to see what’s wrong with us. Proof? Get a few of your co-workers together in one room, ask one of them to go out of the room and then ask the question to the remaining colleagues: “Guys what’s wrong with him or her?” I feel confident that more than likely, you will not hear, “This is the finest person in the world. There is nothing wrong with him or with her.” Just like a coach can see natural tendencies you have when you’re swinging a golf club, a coach selected from friends, family members or co-workers can help point out these natural tendencies that can hold you back.
  • A coach can hold you accountable: If you are an athlete and you expect to train at certain times, the coach will hold you to that. Having a coach can be very useful to hold you accountable to do the things that will help you reach your goal. Suppose you have a goal to lose weight and to reach that goal you plan to exercise three times a week. Having a friend to hold you accountable for going to the gym makes it more likely that you will indeed show up.  If you’re looking for work, you might have a “coach” hold you accountable to the number of resumes you’re sending each week or the number of job fairs that you are attending on a monthly basis.

The “coaching” arrangement doesn’t have to be formal.  For example, if you want to lose weight, it could be that you have a friend go to the gym to exercise with you. This means that if you don’t show up, you would have to cancel your appointment at the gym with your friend. It could also be that the arrangement would consist of showing a log to the person serving as your coach on what date and time you went to the gym, what activities you performed and for how long.

Having goals mean nothing if you’re not following the plan. If you don’t execute the strategies and tactics to reach these goals, you probably won’t achieve them. Having a “coach” holding you accountable to following the plan can go a long way in helping you reach your goals.

March 10, 2011 at 7:14 pm Leave a comment

Techniques for completing goals

In an earlier post, I discussed how to use smart goals. In this post, I’d like to discuss a few techniques that I have used personally with goal setting. Some of these techniques might seem “whacky” but they work! Remember many people don’t reach their goals because they fail to plan and some of those who plan are not necessarily doing it the right way.  So to have a different outcome, let’s not be afraid to use different methods.

Here are 5 techniques that will help you reach your goals:

Technique 1: Limit yourself to no more than four goals in a 12-month period (Three is ideal). 

When you focus on too many goals, then it becomes too difficult to give any one of them the attention that they deserve. If the goals that you set are important to you, you should be able to say what these goals are even if someone woke you up at 3 a.m.. Of course, it’s much easier to memorize three  goals than it is to memorize 10 goals.

Technique 2: Write goals in the present or past tense and describe the benefits of achieving these goals.

This technique works because it helps your brain focus on the benefits of achieving. For example, instead of writing “I will reach $10M in sales by December,” I would write “By December, I reach $10M in sales.” Better yet is to write these goals in the past tense. For example, “By December, I have reached $10M in sales.”

Technique 3: Take time to visualize your goals. What does it mean for you to reach them?

In his book “Over the Top,” Zig Ziglar tells the story of an executive who wasn’t performing very well. His sales manager had a counseling session with him and told him that if he reached his sales goals, he would get a corner office. Getting that corner office was important to the salesman and became a great motivator. He started to see himself in that corner office with the nice view from his windows. In the end, he did reach his goals.

Do you want to get a promotion? What will it mean to you? Will you get a company car? Will you get a higher salary that will allow you to take a vacation or buy nicer clothes? Paint the pictures of these benefits in your mind as you strive to reach your goals. When I look at my goals, I always paint a picture of the benefits of reaching them.  For example, for a goal about losing weight, I imagine myself fitting in clothes that no longer fit or having increased energy.

Technique 4: Write your goals everywhere you can see them

This is a famous technique that I learned from a sales manager. Write your goals everywhere you can see them such as your wallet or sticky notes that you can place on your mirror, your monitor or anywhere else you might get a chance to look at them.

Technique 5: Don’t just write SMART goals, write SMARTER goals!  That’s another post.

Have smart goals that you are Enthusiastic (or emotional) about and Review them often.

May 1, 2010 at 6:56 pm 2 comments

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