Why you might not be making the most of this coming next year…and how to change that!
2020. New Year and a new decade! How are you going to make the most of the year ahead? What are the key things that you are going to do differently? How are you going to put those into action?
Today in this article, we are going to be looking at that key aspect that everyone does at the beginning of the year, which is planning.
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Now some people come into it, and they have a new year’s resolution, they come up with these tremendous audacious things that they’re going to do which are full of good intention but last for about two weeks and then suddenly disappears. Sound familiar?
Some industries are built on this behaviour. If you look at the fitness industry, they take most of their money in the first few weeks of January, from people that utilise their services and never use them. They go in there with the most significant impact but have no idea of how to execute against it.
How many businesses do a very similar thing? When you think about what it is that you are trying to do, you may have a great mission in life, a high aspiration of what you want to do, and you may have a vision of how you’re going to get there. But if you just leave it at that, and you don’t break that vision down, into some of the critical steps required to achieve it you will find is you’ve got no way of being able to track how well you’re doing, and what are the next steps required to get there and how to take a giant leap from where you are now, to where you want to be in the future. Moreover, is it too big to do in one step?
So, breaking this vision down into smaller, more manageable chunks will also mean that you will continue throughout the process to receive a feeling of achievement as you go through the steps of that process. Moreover, you will start to learn more about your aspirations and your mission of how you are going to get your successful business. You may find various new and different things that come out of this process. That means you may also have to change tack along that journey.
So, how do we do this, you might be thinking? And this is where we come down to Goals, Drivers and Objectives.
So, what do I mean by a goal? So, for me, a goal is something in the future, something you are aiming towards and it is something that you want to gain by a specific time. These kinds of goals are what some people also call stretch goals, it might be something where it’s just slightly out your reach — something difficult to achieve quickly and easily. And in fact, in many cases you want it to be like that; difficult. Because if goals were straightforward to reach all the time, then the reality is, you’re not pushing things further forwards, your just kind of taking a small shuffle step.
Then we can think about drivers.
Now drivers are things that we’re trying to move away from, something that we know is causing us problems, causing us pain. Things that we see if we don’t change are going to cause us more significant issues in the future. So these kinds of drivers that we have along with our goals when we combine them start to give us some sort of view of what the future of our business could be. So Imagine what would the future of your business be if you achieve those stretch goals that you’ve got for yourself, or you moved away from those drivers that are currently causing you pain?
So how do we do that? And this is where I like to come in with the objectives. For me, the objectives are much more tangible. These are the small steps, the baby steps in between, the higher goals and the amazing mission that you’ve set yourself on. And as you start to build up these objectives step by step, these compound themselves to the point where eventually you do achieve your goals. Or you’ve moved away from your drivers. And you can use a variety of methods being able to set the goals, but there are some key things you should be thinking about.
Objectives need to be measurable items; how do you know when you’ve achieved that objective? How did you know you got to the end of it, what have you learned from that journey? It needs to be something where you do have a time bound. So, therefore, you deal with something for a set period and then take the learnings from it. It’s pointless having many objectives that role over, week in week out without you knowing whether they have been achieved or not. And you can use things like the smart measures to be able to give you those.
But for me, the smart measure is missing one key aspect that would make it an invaluable tool, being specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time bound. Because If you don’t understand the reason why you’re trying to achieve that objective, then you haven’t changed your state, you haven’t given yourself any kind of imperative to move along the route to that objective. And therefore objectives get left by the wayside. People just meander along thinking they will; or eventually, I’ll get around to doing it. Eventually, I’ll lose weight. Eventually, I’ll make that million pounds. Whatever the “eventually” is inside your life is because you haven’t given it enough emphasis behind the objectives to say why you want to achieve it.
Therefore, alongside setting those key measures such as specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound. Think about the reason why you need to achieve the objective. And this is where pining it to some of those great goals, and associated drivers come in place because having objectives will always remind you of what will kick you in the butt if you don’t do it, or what is driving you if you do.
So, I will leave you with the challenge, of how are you’re going to be planning your year. Are you going to be splitting up your mission and vision into goals and drivers? Are you going to be analysing those and coming up with some specific objectives, and then measuring those to make sure you’re achieving them?