This Monday in our Weekly Member Huddle, we got talking about professional development for tourism businesses, specifically about the mindset of committed investment in training, coaching or mentoring for oneself. The conversation evolved from there into an engaging discussion about goals.
Members shared some challenges they come across when setting goals, some frustrations at not having been committed to goals earlier in life or not being able to step back for long enough to focus on them. Others shared the tools and techniques that work well for them and the successes and progress they had made as a result of goal-setting.
When I think back on that Huddle and on similar conversations I’ve had over the last few years with private coaching clients, there’s a really noticeable difference in the language and outlook of people who are successful in goal-setting and execution and those who are not there just yet.
Feelings of focus, direction, resolve, freedom, motivation and confidence
People who set and follow through on goals speak about having focus and direction. They speak about having the resolve required to make decisions and to remain resolute in seeing those decisions through, even if they are hard and unpopular. They express feelings of freedom and motivation because they know all their actions and activities are leading them to where they want to go. In other words, their goals are feeding their vision for themselves and their business. Because they are clear on their vision, they set effective goals which in turn grows their confidence and momentum.
Feelings of frustration, exhaustion, busyness and annoyance
On the other hand, those that haven’t really mastered or perhaps haven’t prioritized goal-setting and goal-execution speak more often about having a sense of frustration, even exhaustion. They speak about being the hamster on the wheel, the person on the merry-go-round, the proverbial ‘busy fool’. They feel annoyed with themselves, knowing there’s another way to manage themselves and their business, but not taking the time to step back for long-enough to get clear on their vision and to build goals that help them achieve that vision.
Here are a few scenarios I’ve noticed, many of which I’ve been guilty of myself at times in my life:
It’s an area surrounded by pitfalls and an area that we are naturally inclined to shy away from.
So how do you give your goals the best chance of success?
Here are some proven guidelines and techniques that will help you give your goals every chance of success.
Are your goals linked to a greater vision for yourself or your business? In other words, are they bringing you to where you want to go? Vision is what empowers you to aggressively go after your goals. It’s what gives your goals meaning beyond themselves and it’s what puts your goals into the context of your life. It will help you know what to say yes to and what to say no to.
Ensure your goals are expressed as actions. This then makes them actionable and, to go a step further, transforms them into calls to action. In addition to that, ensure your goals are measurable and that it’s clear how you will know when you’ve achieve them. Importantly, give yourself a timeframe and deadline by which your goals must be achieved.
Goals need to be made concrete. By writing your goals down, you make them tangible. You move them from being an abstract thought to a living thing. Writing goals down is what gives your goals life. Once they are written, they can be shared, discussed, revisited and you can consistently remind yourselves of them.
Once your goal is written down, you need to nurture and feed them. The way you do this is to spend time visualizing your goals, what it will be like when you have achieve them, how life will be different for you, actually getting to feel, hear and see what success looks like. Affirming your goals by saying them out loud regularly and consistently will also enhance your chances of success. Viszualization and affirmation are the techniques by which to mobilize your all-powerful subconscious mind behind your goals.
It’s too easy to allow yourself believe that you can make your goals happen by yourself. Certainly some ‘low-hanging fruit’ type goals probably can be. However, for goals that stretch and inspire you, you will need to consciously resource yourself to achieve them. For example, how do I free up 1 hour a week to check in on my goals and ensure my activities are aligning with them? Do I need somebody to discuss my goals with and how can I secure their time?
Following on from point number 5, goals that stretch and inspire you may require you to invest in yourself to give yourself the best chance of success. Take time to become aware of your own Growth Gap. Usually, the gap is in one of two areas: either you need to build your skills and knowledge or you need to grow your belief and confidence. It may even be both. The key point is to become aware of the gap and then identify people, training or coaching supports that help bridge the gap.
What if you’re the owner of the business and the only person in the business? What if you have a team of people but you’re the only person in charge? You’re great at keeping others accountable but less good and keeping yourself accountable? Lack of accountability is one of the most common reasons for failure to execute on goals. Once your goals are written down, it’s possible to share them with your team. Let others know what you’re aiming for and by when and update them regularly on progress. If you’re on your own in your business, find an accountability partner whom you check in regularly and consistently with. Hold each other accountable. Alternatively, become part of a Mastermind or invest in an Accountability Coach.
This is a great technique! Goals are designed to move us forwards, to give direction to how we’d like to progress. If we don’t get to that future, presumably ‘better’, place, what happens? Is your life or business worse off? Would you be happy and content if you didn’t achieve the goal? How would you feel? How would it affect your business? Getting clear on the positive affect of achieving your goal is one thing. Just as important is getting clear on the negative affect of not achieving it.
No quick fix
It must be said that there is no quick fix when it comes to maximising your chances of goal success. Setting goals is an ongoing process and it takes time. It’s also a routine and something that is ideally built into your annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and even daily calendar.
If you want to enjoy those feelings of focus, direction, confidence, resolve, clarity, then investing time in getting clear your vision and locking that vision down through goal-setting is an essential habit to build.
If you’d like to be part of our weekly Member Huddle and access resources on goal-setting and visioning, then do check out www.thetourismspace.com/tourismnetwork.