How Goal Setting Breeds Clarity
It happens every year. After weeks of holiday partying and over-indulging, folks jump enthusiastically into strictly regimented diet plans and head to the gym to right their personal ship and get themselves back into shape. By the end of January, those same gyms are empty, and the diet regimens are out the window.
In any self-improvement effort, the initial feeling is one of exhilaration. You’re putting in the work, keeping that promise to yourself, and making those positive changes. Those newly released endorphins have you feeling great. It’s not long, however, before resistance kicks in. The routine is no longer fresh and new. In fact, it’s just plain hard, and the effort required to keep going becomes too much. Most people quickly revert to their old habits.
This also applies to the goals you set for your business. One of the most powerful and less talked about benefits of goal setting and stick-to-it-iveness is the clarity it can bring to every aspect of your organization. At Cronin Creative, we call it “Clarity by Design.”
With well thought out, clearly stated and written-down goals in place, your team is moving in the same direction toward a set reward. When inevitable conflicts and differing opinions threaten to derail progress, the team can regroup around those established goals and move forward with clarity and unity of purpose.
Resistance is sure to arise over time, and accepting and embracing it as a natural side effect of change is the key to breaking through to where taking the necessary steps to achieve your goal becomes embedded in your subconscious, what sports psychologist Todd Herman calls the “habit mind.” The effort begins to feel more natural and far less painful.
“Instead of shutting down the new habits when they start to feel unpleasant, we need to shift our attitude toward loving the resistance when it arises,” Herman says.
While setting long-term goals is a good idea, revisiting and tweaking those goals along the way will keep your team engaged and on track. To that end, Herman recommends resetting your calendar to a “90-day year” in order to anticipate and react to inevitable changes on a more timely basis. Revisiting your yearly plan in shorter, three-month chunks realigns your team, keeps things focused and manageable, and helps you overcome resistance to hit those annual benchmarks.
“If we can push through the awkward growth spurt…we gain prodigious momentum,” Herman says. “Keep on keeping on.”