9 February 2014

Zimbabwe: Take Appropriate Action to Achieve Goals


I recently resumed jogging. Not that I love it but because I had started feeling a bit uncomfortable in my formal clothes just as we began the New Year. Besides, my wife hinted that I was becoming a "little overweight." I knew a couple of friends who were regular joggers and I decided to join them.

The first few weeks for me were really painful. I had neglected physical exercise a few months before and my body was resisting the new routine. I struggled on with the boys the whole of January but one day last week I was disappointed. I tried my suit on in the morning and it still struggled to fit. I had gained even more weight!

I met up with one of my jogging partners later that day and told him, "You know what? This exercise routine is not working. I seem to be gaining more weight since I started it."

"I wouldn't worry too much if I were you", he replied. "It is the same as goal setting in business. Results do not come instantly. You only get your desired outcome after being committed, planning a roadmap and taking specific actions over a period of time."

You have probably heard that all before. But just like in other areas of life, it is so easy to lose focus and get off the critical path to your goal. The following hints will help you refocus and start getting the results you desire.

Know where you want to go

A clear destination is the first thing you must have. I knew I wanted to fit in my suits again. In business, you must have clear and tangible goals. You don't just want to make a certain amount of money. You want to do something when you make the money.

Define that something. It could be buying a new car, going on holiday to Mauritius, creating 10 new jobs for young people or donating money to your church or charity.

You don't have to set your entire life purpose now but just a goal for one or two years. When you achieve that, set an even higher goal for the next period. That is how you keep growing.

Follow a goals routine

With constant distractions and pressures of life, you can easily lose sight of your goal. To stay focused, review your goal first thing every morning. Shouting out your goal loud is a powerful way of getting focused.

If you remind yourself of your goal, you will know what you have to do this month, this week and today. Every action you take must be judged by whether or not it is contributing to the achievement of your goal. Do not waste time on things that will distract you or slow you down on the path to great achievements.

I like this quote by James W Frick: "Don't tell me where your priorities are. Show me where you spend your money and I will tell you what they are." Since time is money, I would say the same applies to what you spend your time on.

Set action plans

To regain my physical fitness, I decided to do the jogging routine every Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I don't have to think about it, I just get up in the morning knowing what I have to do. In your goal planning, think of all the important actions that need to be taken in order for your goal to happen.

There are things like marketing actions, staff training, new product or service development, recruiting new people and developing alliances and partnerships. You need to plan how and when these actions will be taken and by whom in your organisation. Set monthly and weekly routines. Following an action calendar will help you and your people stay focused because everyone will know exactly what they need to do.

Review action plan regularly

Some things on your action plan will produce good results while others will give not so good results. Review your action plan and start doing more of what is working.

Tweak those actions that are not working well and see if results change. For example, you might find that sending out sales people on cold calls is not working.

You might need to think of other ways of finding new prospects. In this fast changing world of technology, always seek new and better ways of doing things.

Achieving your goals is not easy. In my case I see lots of overweight people daily and I understand. However, if you commit to your goal and take the necessary actions to achieve it, you will win.

Please feel free to send me your feedback. To join my mailing list and receive my free weekly newsletter, please send me an email at the address shown below. Until next week, best wishes in accelerating your growth.

Phillip Chichoni is a business development consultant who works with SMEs and entrepreneurs. You may contact him by email, chichonip@smebusinesslink.com. You can also visit http://smebusinesslink.com.

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