I want you to imagine a scenario for just a minute, what if you picked up a load, and as you are scanning the bill of lading, you realize, that it tells you exactly what’s in the trailer, the number of pieces, description, total weight, but, there is no destination. Think about that, the consignee line is completely blank, no name, no address, no phone number. Now tell me this, how long will it take you to deliver this load? Think about that, can you deliver a load without a destination? Of course not. Now, would you climb up into your truck and start driving and hope you get there? Of course not. Yet, so many people try to run their business and their life exactly that way. They have no clear destination, and they get up every day and work and work and work, and hope they get to a destination they’ve never identified. Then, they wonder why they never get there.
Goal setting gives you a destination to shoot for, a target to aim at. You may not always hit it, but when you miss, you’ll know why, and you’ll know how to adjust. Running your business or your life, without goals, is like driving your truck at high speed in the fog, we don’t know what’s coming next, but I can promise you it won’t be pretty.
Here is a quick lesson on goal setting. First, don’t make it too complicated, just get started. I’m going to give you some ideas on setting SMART goals. SMART, is an acronym, and it’s been around for a while, that’s because it works. Here’s what it stands for.
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer some questions:
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, "Get better fuel mileage." But a specific goal would say, "Increase my fuel mileage from 6.8 to 7.5 in the next 90 days"
Establish a way to measure progress toward achieving each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal.
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as: How much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
When you identify goals that are really important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them happen. You develop the attitudes, abilities, and skills to reach them. Your goals, should be attainable, but they should make you stretch, they should make you work a little harder each day.
To be realistic, a goal must be something which you are both willing and able to work toward. It has to excite you, it has to be big enough to motivate you. Only you can determine how realistic your goals are. Once you start to set goals, and achieve them, you will find that the process works, and you will start to set bigger and bigger goals, and achieve them.
Your goals have to have a clear timeframe. They have to have a deadline, a deadline gives you a sense of urgency, and motivates you to start working now. It also gives you a way to measure your progress toward your goal. Your mission becomes much more clear when you know you have to improve your fuel mileage in 90 days.
People with goals, achieve more than people without goals, it’s as simple as that. It’s been proven time and time again. The trick is to just get started, don’t put this off. In fact, sit down right now and write down your first goal.
Follow the SMART guidelines, and write down one goal, make it a short-term goal, something you can achieve in the next 30 days and something that is important to you. I can promise you this, it will change your life for the better. I know it will, it worked for me and it will work for you. It’s just like learning how to drive a truck, I can tell you all the steps, and all the things you need to do, but you can’t get good at it until you practice. Goal setting is just like that, I’ve given you the steps and now you need to practice.
Get started, get excited, get moving. Your life will never be the same, I promise.