I recently watched a special on NATGEO on the life of Arnold Schwarzenegger. In case you didn’t know, he went from an immigrant who could barely speak English to a bodybuilding champion, actor, and governor, all in the span of about three decades. People who know him well note that each year, he sets 5 goals for himself, then goes about achieving them.
Arnold’s story is impressive and inspiring. It also shows that the one-two punch of goal setting and persistence can work for all of us. As we go into the home stretch of this year, maybe it’s time we start setting up this pattern for ourselves.
I think we all know the importance of setting goals. A goal gives us a target and the motivation to hit it. There are several ways to do this, but one of the most common is the SMART format:
- I’m going to grow my business this year
- I will sign 5 new clients per month
- I will speak at 4 conferences this year
- I will deliver 2 lunch and learns per month
- Yes (part of my strategic plan)
- Yes (if I get off my lazy ass)
- Yes. Progress will be tracked each month
By using a methodology like SMART, you take a nebulas idea and develop a path for action.
Here is where it becomes difficult. Persistence is your ability to follow through on these goals. It’s not as easy as it sounds. In the case of growing a business, it means dealing with cold calls, speaking in public, rejection, marketing expenses, and general discomfort. The good news is, if you’re persistent, your inability to accept “no” for an answer will get you the breakthroughs that others won’t be willing to work for.
Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded not because he had a great physique and a whole lot of luck but because he refused to quit. He didn’t allow the opinions of others and naysayers influence his choices. Because he did it, so can we. All of us have equal opportunity for success next year because we can set goals and be persistent.
What will you achieve next year?