Many years ago, I opened a volume of poetry and prayers and a colourful, folded, Post-It note fell out. On this paper I had written 5 things I wanted to accomplish. I’d written them, tucked them into the book and forgotten all about them. They incubated on the bookshelf for 2 years, then, voila, were rediscovered. DONE. COMPLETE. FINITO.
Has this ever happened to you? When it does, it feels like there’s some divine purpose behind it. I’ve experienced this phenomenon multiple times and when it happens, I’m always surprised at how my life has moved in the direction of the intent. The simple act, the intention, written on a piece of paper has a kind of power in itself. It works.
I’m a coach, who is also an artist, and have spent years in corporate leadership. I’ve learned a few things about goal setting and I’ve witnessed plenty of successes (and failures). While the note hiding method is often successful, in my daily business I’d hate to rely on it 100%. Goals without documentation are simply “wishes.” And wishes, my friends, get lost on the wind.
Solo-preneurs, artists, self-employed, hardworking peasants, we all have so much to do, so many hats to wear and so many excuses at our disposal for not getting things done. It’s easy to fudge. No one is watching. No one will tattle. Sometimes, something has to give, so we sacrifice our art, our business, our to do list…because we are the ones with the “flexibility.” Sooner or later the knowledge we do not fulfill self-made promises slowly erodes our sense of accomplishment, the health of our business and our self respect.
That’s true, too.
I like numbers. They’re definite. Here are some interesting ones:
- Simply thinking about your goals will give you an average 43% chance of achieving them.
- If you want something and write it down with a detailed commitment, you’ll be 64% more likely to succeed.
- If you write your goal down with a detailed commitment, share it with a trusted advisor and state a date to report back, your likelihood of accomplishing your goal jumps to 76%! BAM!!!
Source – Dominican College of California
I’ve read statistics that are even higher for the last option….like 94%! But, writing your goals isn’t enough. Goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time sensitive. You know, SMART. “I will work for 6 hours in my studio, 4 days a week on art producing activities and complete 1,500 works per month. “Is it SMART? Mostly it is, except if I only have 96 hours a month of production time, I’m probably NOT going to finish 1,500 pieces. So, I need to make some adjustments. 12 pieces? YES! 20 pieces? Maybe. Stretch yourself a bit. This is personal, it’s about you and it’s about you pushing yourself “just enough.” It has to hurt a little. It’s the rule. Especially for me…a recovering Catholic and recovering perfectionist.
Think of what you want to do with your talents, your ideas, your business. Create goals specific to support these dreams. Then, approach each day with a “To Do List” that supports the goals you’ve set to drive your business, develop your skill sets and address other relevant issues. Work on it. Everyday. Report the outcome to the person you told about the plan. Check it out! Now, you run the risk of actual SUCCESS.
So, focus on what you want to achieve. Create a SMART goal driven game plan, go to work and be persistent and at the end of the day, reward yourself for staying on track by sipping the sweet nectar of success.
You’re as good as goaled.