There’s no end of articles, books and blogs on goal setting. It’s certainly a worthy topic and any entrepreneur worth their salt has spent a lot of time and energy on setting both personal and business goals.
However, rarely do I see much written about “goal management” i.e. what to do after you have set your goals and how to keep managing and measuring these to ensure you achieve your desired outcome.
The biggest mistake I see in terms of goal setting is the failure to understand that a goal has to change something that you do on a daily basis.
Otherwise it’s not a goal at all but a daydream or something equally useless like a “New Years resolution” which in reality is just a vague hope that you will magically change something in your life without any plan on how to do it. By mid-January it’s long forgotten until the following year when you’re a year older and repeat the hoping process.
If I’ve set a goal to lose a certain amount of weight within a given timeframe then I need to change my daily routine to include exercise and changes to my diet. How much I exercise and what type of diet all depends on how much weight I need to lose and by when. However, the critical point is that the goal has to have a corresponding change in what I do on a daily basis.
Setting goals without setting a corresponding change in your daily routine is a waste of time and is destined to lead to disappointment. If you cannot (or will not) make the required change in your daily routine, then the goal is not important enough to you right now and probably should not be on your current list of goals.
The Perfect Day – The Big Secret To Achieving Big Goals
I strongly believe that one day is by far the best unit of time to concentrate on in order to achieve your big, audacious goals.
Too much happens in a week and a month for us to easily measure. But one day is an easily digestible unit of time.
One of the best ways of managing and measuring goals that I know of is through the concept of a “perfect day”.
For example let’s say my top three goals for the year are:
- Lose 10 kilos
- Write a book
- Learn to play the piano
In order to achieve these in the space of one year, I may have determined that each day (or on most days) I need to:
- Go for a 20 minute run
- Work on planning, researching or writing my book for 1 hour
- Practice the piano for 30 minutes
Any day that I can tick off all of the above is classed as a “perfect day”.
Bunch together a few “perfect days” and you have a perfect week. Have a few perfect weeks and suddenly you have a perfect month and you’ve now developed a routine and a discipline.
With your new daily routine and a string of mostly perfect weeks and months, you’ll soon realize that you have accomplished all of your most important goals.
The goal might have been achieved in the space of a year or longer but the unit of time which you managed and measured was one day.
Now perhaps not every one of your days can be a “perfect day”, but could the majority be? Once you get hooked on having perfect days it will be difficult to go back to having ordinary ones.
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away. So some things you have to do every day. Eating seven apples on Sunday night instead of one a day just isn’t going to get the job done.
I’ll leave you with a few words on the topic from the late great Jim Rohn:
Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day; while failure is simply a few errors in judgment, repeated every day. It is the accumulative weight of our disciplines and our judgments that leads us to either fortune or failure.