Do You Have Clearly Defined Outcomes?
“You control your future, your destiny. What you think about comes about. By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands – your own.” – Mark Victor Hansen
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that highly successful people have clearly defined outcomes and targets. To be a conscious creator, you want to form a roadmap that is in alignment with your purpose. Of course, we are all creators, you are either intentionally creating or creating by default (reactive creation). I believe all things are created twice, first in the mind then in the physical world. When you are in creation or vision casting mode, always start with the end in mind and work your way back to the now.
When I’m focused on defining outcomes for my business or personal life for that matter, I’m really locked into aligning these core domains.
- Is the business target helping me achieve my overall purpose?
- What is my plan or strategy to hit this target?
- How am I going to access the power I need to accomplish this target?
- What is “the work” I need to do on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis to hit this target?
- What is the end result I’m striving for? How will I measure it?
When these five items are in alignment then my chances of success are increased exponentially. Think about it, why does almost every book on business success and self-improvement discuss goal setting in one form or another?
Because goal-setting works! If you don’t know where and – more importantly – WHY you’re moving in a particular direction, you’ll never achieve the desired result. And after all, aren’t we striving to produce a result? And more importantly consistent results in our lives and business?
You are probably aware of a long-term study conducted in 1953 of graduates of Yale University that helps demonstrate my point. The graduates were asked if they had written goals for their future and what they wanted to accomplish.
Only 3% had written goals. In 1973, the researchers interviewed the graduates again. They discovered that the 3% who had written specific goals were worth more financially, were happier, and were more fulfilled than the entire group of 97% that did not have written goals.
According to a study done by several well-known doctors, goals are more likely to improve performance when three conditions are met.
1. The goal must be SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE.
Defining a goal as doing the best you can is as bad as having no goal at all. You need to be specific about what you are going to do and by when you are going to do it. It needs to be measurable and time bound.
2. The goal must be CHALLENGING but ACHIEVABLE.
You will work harder for tough but realistic goals than for easy goals that pose no challenge or impossible goals that can never be attained.
3. The goal should be framed in terms of GETTING WHAT YOU WANT RATHER THAN AVOIDING WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT.
Approach Goals are positive experiences that you seek directly. Avoidance Goals are unpleasant experiences that you hope to avoid. People who frame their goals in Approach terms have much better results in accomplishing their goals.
I would recommend setting goals for periods of 1 year, 3 year, 5 year and a big vision at 10 or 20 years or further in the future. It really depends how far out you want to look. Once you have the 1 year goal established, then you want to break it down into 90 day segments. 90 day segments are short enough to allow you can stay engaged and motivated throughout the year. Every 90 days you are reviewing, adjusting and honing your targets.
Your goals and targets need to get your blood pumping, excite you and drive you in the direction of a compelling future. These goals and your “Might Why” they are the fire that drives you to leverage yourself each and every day to take action.
By creating clearly defined outcomes across your body, mind, spirit, relationships and business you will be well on the way to living an inspired life!