How to Achieve Goal After Goal
Ever heard of the execution gap? Well, I hadn’t until today. In fact, it sounds like a scary term to me. I picture an executioner at the gallows… Not a happy thought.
But actually, it has nothing to do with that kind of execution, unless of course, you failed at your goal of being a hardened criminal. Hehe.
Because The Execution Gap turns out to be the answer to the age-old question…
Why do we fail to achieve our goals?
When people set up goals and fail to achieve them, there remains a known gap between what the strategy says should be done and what actually gets done.
Let’s simplify that answer. Here’s a Definition of the Execution Gap:
We set our goals and plan our strategy but we fail to TAKE ACTION.
- We know what we want.
- We know what’s required.
- We just don’t follow through.
So how do we close the Execution gap and get our goals accomplished? Every time?
WARNING: This is going to involve a MINDSHIFT.
Here are a few powerful questions you can ask yourself right now to start seeing your goals magically unfold.
1. Are you making excuses or taking action?
Excuses paralyze you and stop you from executing anything at all.
Any of these sound familiar?
- I just don’t have enough time
- The economy is too bad
- The competition is too high
Have you noticed that most excuses come up when you feel fearful, anxious or uncertain?
At these times it seems easier and safer not doing anything at all than tackling the goal you have set up for yourself. It makes you abandon your goal before you even start pursuing it.
Excuses also make you stop working for your goal.
You may well keep saying that you want to achieve a goal but if you’re not doing anything about it, then how can you hope to achieve anything?
If you want results, you must take action first.
So before you even think of procrastinating, practice this little mantra:
Action precedes results. Action Creates Results. I Will Act Now.
2. What does your goal mean to you?
To bridge the execution gap, it is very important that your goal means something to you.
What will it mean to you when you finally achieve your goal?
To make any goal motivating, be it:
- Losing weight
- Overcoming addiction
- Completing a course
- Writing a book
- Expanding your friendship circle
- Setting a new business
- Growing your client base
You need to have compelling reasons to achieve your goal.These reasons will then become the driving force that fuels your motivation.
Setting the wrong goal takes motivation out of the execution equation.
If you set a goal for the wrong reasons and chase after something you don’t really need, you will not be driven to achieve it and the execution gap will never be bridged.
So set yourself up for something that’ll mean something for you.
Let’s take the first example on our list: Losing Weight.
List all the reasons why you want to shed a few pounds. They may be:
- To get in shape
- To feel healthier
- To feel more comfortable in your clothes
- To avoid having to buy a whole new wardrobe
- For more energy and vibrancy
- To feel more attractive to your partner once again
- To feel happier in yourself
But do any of these reasons compel you to lose weight?
Usually, people only really get in touch with the meaning of their goal when they associate:
- Massive pain in not achieving their goal
- Immense pleasure in achieving their goal
So get in touch with what would really help you shed those pounds once and for all.
Get in touch with the worst thing that could happen to you if you continue to pack on weight.
For example, massive pain caused by overweight could be a heart attack or your spouse leaving you for someone slimmer. Imagine the end result in vivid detail.
But don’t leave it there.
Now get in touch with the best thing that could happen to you once you’ve lost the weight.
How would you feel? What could you wear? Would your spouse fall in love with you all over again? Would you fall in love with yourself all over again? With life? How would it feel to be 10 pounds, 20 pounds, 50 pounds lighter? Would you have a whole new lease on life? Would you be able to do things you haven’t done in years? Would you have more energy to play with your children?
What, in your heart of hearts, are you really really really doing this for?
3. Have you taken on too much?
Moms are notorious for taking on too much. Whether you are a working Mom or a work-from-home Mom, you’re juggling a million things on any given day.
If you’re going to have any chance of achieving your goals, you’re going to have to:
- LEARN TO SAY NO
- Set your priorities straight
- Focus on one goal at a time
When you divide your attention, energy and focus into too many parts, you fail to hone your expertise and skills where they could flourish the most.
When was the last time you considered any of the following questions?
- What are your strengths?
- What do you excel at?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are you most driven to do?
As Moms we’re often so busy that we’re on autopilot, doing what needs to be done, right?
So take a moment to take a deep breath. Stop. Look.
Consider whether the very next action you’re going to take is going to help you reach your goals. Or steer you further away from them.
Investing in the wrong goal will only stop you mid-way without ever being able to bridge the execution gap.
Think of examples of highly successful individuals who excel at what they do. Take your pick from your favorite athlete, celebrity, scientist, inventor or just about any other category and you will see that these people succeeded because they focused on their strengths and mastered their crafts.
4. What’s Your Plan?
This could also be asked this way: Whose plan are you following?
Because not having a plan generally means you’re on everyone else’s plan. Or at least someone else’s plan.
Have you ever started a diet on Monday and then given it up the very next day just because your best friend arrived with some delicious nibbles for tea? You didn’t want to offend her so you thought that you would just start again the next day. The next day becomes next Monday… or maybe New Year… before you know it, your dieting idea has slipped your mind completely. Oops!
We’ve all heard the saying: When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
So what’s YOUR plan?
Have you broken down your goal into actionable steps?
A good plan is integral to achieving goals and bridging the execution gap as it gives you direction and helps you stay on track. Not having a plan will have you running amok.
And without a plan, there can be no commitment.
Commitment is key to execution and without any, you will keep getting derailed from pursuing your goals.
5. Do You Have a Deadline?
Do you remember back in school what it felt like just before exam time? How much knowledge did you manage to cram into your head those final hours before your exam? Having an exam deadline looming is a certain way to get you to spring into action, right?
So set yourself a deadline and make sure it’s not too far in the future. The sooner you have to deliver the work, the more you’re going to get done. In the shortest space of time.
Because working within a timeframe establishes a sense of urgency and focus.
This alone should be enough to get anyone going towards their goal.
If you do not give yourself a deadline and keep things open-ended, then you are setting yourself up for failure. Open-ended scenarios are an easy road to procrastination and pushing things to the back burner.
6. How Can You See Your Plan Through?
How can you go the distance?
Because if you give up when the going gets tough, you won’t be reaching that goal.
We all live in a world that seeks out instant gratification and when perseverance doesn’t deliver, quitting is viewed as an acceptable option.
Now… let’s cast our minds back to Question 2 for a second. If your goal really means something to you, you’re going to see your plan through, come hell or high water.
Does that mean you’re never going to fail?
No. It’s quite possible you’ll experience small failures or setbacks along the way to reaching your goal. Who am I kidding? Sometimes you’ll experience humungous failures and setbacks.
The trick is not to see these as a sign to give up. This is when you have to develop grit. Tenacity. Determination.
This is where the rubber meets the road.
Often people may fail to reach their goals because they do not know how to handle failure. They either choose to give up or change their goals when they face problems or do not get quick results.
Or you may get distracted as other things come along making you neglect or even forget about your initial goal. That’s why it’s important to commit your goals to paper.
To avoid getting distracted and veering from your path.
- Write Your Goals Down
- Add Your Most Compelling Reason(s) for Achieving Your Goals
- Add Your Deadline Date
- Place Them Where You Can See Them Every day
Are you ready for this? Go go go. What are you waiting for? It’s now or never.
I will Act Now. I will Act Now. I will Act Now…