Monday, January 11, 2010

Set a goal, turn it into a plan, then implement it

Let’s focus on goals. The theme of this and succeeding blogs will focus on goals, goal setting, and goal achieving.

We have just begun a new calendar year. If you have not set one or more goals for this year, do it now. Several clichés come to mind: if you don’t have a target, you can’t hit it; you can’t take a journey without a map. They go on and on. Suffice it to say that goals are mandatory, both professionally and personally, for growth and for survival. Goal setting gives meaning to everything else. A goal has to be time specific and measurable.

Can you think of anyone who has achieved anything by just showing up for work and doing what is expected? People who achieve always plan to achieve. Achievers are very specific about where they want to go and when they will get there. Virginia Wade, the last British woman to win a singles title at Wimbledon, said she had dreams, but not well planned-out goals. Once she planned her goals, she won Wimbledon. She set her sights on a goal, planned how to get it, worked to get it and got it.

Find something you want. That will be the reward for reaching your goal. Set the goal. Once a goal is set, turn the goal into a plan. Once a plan is determined, turn the plan into action by taking whatever steps are required. Keep in mind that consistency builds momentum. I have set a personal goal to run 56 miles on my 56th birthday later this year. I have determined, with the help of others, a training program to build endurance and strength. This includes cross-training, running, adequate sleep, proper nutrition, encouragement from others, and more. I have a plan to reach my goal. I have begun turning the plan into action by running, cross-training, eating well, etc. Each little action builds confidence, which in turn builds momentum and makes it easier to take the next step toward the goal.

Our company has also set goals. One in five businesses grows during challenging economic times. We have set some growth goals and have made specific plans to achieve the goals. We are beginning to penetrate markets we have not traditionally entered. We are making new contacts with potential customers that need specialty glass items. We are breaking down revenue and profit numbers so that each of us understands how we impact them. We are working to create a “we can” attitude in lieu of a “but” attitude. We can measure our progress.

Set a goal! Set several goals. Set personal goals; set corporate goals. As we enter the new year, let’s have a specific destination. Don’t wait for all the traffic lights to turn green before beginning the trip.

A quote to remember and apply: “The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare,” said Juma Ikangaa, a world-class marathon runner from Tanzania.

—Bill Evans, president, Evans Glass Co., Nashville

3 comments: said...

Bill- thanks for your very practical advice. You talk like Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan in their book "Execution: The Discipline of Getting things done". A must read about the process of execution... one I found very relevant and useful, even in my small business. I'll be rooting for you on that 56 miler!

Anonymous said...

I also wish you the best of luck in your 56 mile run. Personal and Professional growth is impossible without a plan! As John Maxwell has quoted "your employee's can not grow if you have a "lid on them" Its very important to have the proper backing as well in order to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Interesting story you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about that theme. Thanx for giving that material.
Joan Stepsen
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