Last year I lost 50 pounds. That was not the Goal; it was a byproduct of working the plan that got me to my Goal. What was the Goal? Simple. Get off my high blood pressure medicine.
Having Goals is good, writing them down is GREAT. Did you know that only 3% of the population writes down their Goals? That means you are in the 3% Club without even knowing it (if you are writing them down). AND, a Harvard study followed a graduating group for ten years and found that the 3%’ers made TEN times more money that those graduates who did not write down their Goals!
Writing down your Goals is the first step. If you have studied business at all you know that Goals need to be constructed in a specific method be effective: SMART. That means Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound.
The TRAP is that they can still be tooooooo BIG or too small. Too big and you will feel defeated when you cannot get it done. Too small and you have a false sense of accomplishment that is not really achieving the Goal.
Creating Goals that are ‘Just Right’ (sounds like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, I know) is what can turn the next statistic in your favor. In the 3% Club, statistics say you will get 80% more of your Goals accomplished. Did you get that? By writing down your Goals you are 80% more likely to actually achieve the Goal.
I started thinking. . . WHY only 80%? I think it goes back to the writing of the Goal. Is it ‘Just Right’ in the framework of the SMART model? I have an entire class on constructing Goals so I am not going to go into it all here BUT once you have the Goal ‘Just Right’ you can move on to DECONSTRUCTING that Goal into its moving parts. Yay! Then the FUN begins.
Goal > Actions
My health Goal was to get off the high blood pressure meds so I realized I needed help. I went to a nutritionist to learn and unlearn eating habits.
One of the first things I did was become gluten-free. This is a necessary first step but I have even continued to be gluten and grain free since that time. BUT, I love hamburgers! Really, I love loaded hamburgers: onion, pickle, tomato, avocado, bacon, cheese, etc. (I am not totally dairy-free).
The first time I ordered a hamburger without the bun (and without fries) it was a little disappointing. The plate was sad, the hamburger was there all stacked up with its inside ingredients one on top of another.
So I could feel like I had a lot more on my plate I took all the ingredients and pulled them all out individually. The plate looked FULL and my eyes were happier. I began to enjoy my hamburger by creating different combinations of flavors. Some bites included all in one! It is a fantastic way to eat a hamburger.
What does this have to do with Goals into Actions? Everything.
Many times we decide on a Goal and then we make a list of all the Actions that need to be done so the Goal can be achieved. We stack all the Actions up like a hamburger with all the ingredients inside. Have you ever bitten into a hamburger and had something fall out the others side? Have you taken a bite and gotten bun and pickle, nothing more? That’s what happens when you are trying to work through your Actions but can’t see all its parts.
DECONSTRUCTING the Actions and laying them out so you can see them helps to make ‘flavor’ combinations that make sense depending on what part of the plan you are executing. Taking the Actions apart allows you to see what needs to be completed before another Action takes place. This guarantees you are not missing any ingredients to make your Goal a reality.
Because I was on the nutritionist’s plan, I had a very specific plan to follow. However, I had to create my best method to do that. By taking apart each ingredient, I was able to create Habits around each Action that made the process even easier. (That’s another post though.)
My experience has been that by DECONSTRUCTING the Goal into its separate ingredients has given me an almost 100% completion rate. J I know, incredible! In my life, I have what I call the 8-8-8 Strategy Plan. I have eight areas in my life that each have a Goal. I work those Goals with Actions for eight weeks. I complete eight Actions per day that become Habits.
Actions > Habits
Working this way for the last 3-years of my life has helped me accomplish many things. I have been gluten free (almost grain free) for almost two years. I am off the high blood pressure meds and have cut down the cholesterol meds. I am keeping the weight off and have a healthier lifestyle.
In the other parts of my life some of the Goals I have accomplished are. . . written a book, connected to Influencers in my industry, been interviewed on Podcasts, and have taken vacations (FUN is one of the Goal areas).
Each day is easier when you create Habits for your Actions. Little reminders and routines have BIG payoffs when you just do it. By DECONSTRUCTING all the Goals into small Actions that can be turned into Habits is the MAGIC.