Have you ever heard that incredibly cheesy saying: “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it.” Well, I disagree. You won’t hit “nothing”, you’ll surely hit SOMETHING. Unfortunately it will most likely be something other than what you truly want. If you’re throwing a dart, you probably can’t hit a bulls-eye in one throw even if you tried. But you’d probably hit the dart board. This is the effect of a goal – it’s the ‘aim” part of the phrase “Ready, Aim, Fire.” And while you won’t always hit your target spot-on, you’ll probably get close. And as I frequently say at Go Media: “Crose Enough!” (quote stolen from an old Labatts Blue comercial.)
If you don’t have a goal and just throw the dart, well, you may hit the wall, you may hit the floor, or you may hit your friend. It’s still a result, just not necessarily the best result. Let me give another real-world (practical) example of why goal setting is important for me. It’s very easy for me to spend money that’s in my pocket if I don’t have an intended use for it. But if I set a goal of buying a new TV this year, well, I’ll think twice about dropping $40 drinking beer at the local Bier Markt. Instead, maybe I’ll decide to put $30 in my piggy bank, stay in and drink a six pack of Genny Light instead.
Now multiply these types of little decisions over a lifetime and the results can be huge. Do you want to be a beach bum or a millionaire? Actually, both are MY goals. First, I want to become independently wealthy. Then, I want to go live on a beach somewhere tropical. Seriously! I will have Go Media’s Bahamas satellite office. It will be a small cottage on the beach with 4-6 work stations. Staff can take turns rotating down to the beach house for a change of scenery. It may seem like a crazy dream, but for me it’s just another goal. And I’ve accomplished a ton of those so far, so why not this one too? Ok, I’m rambling a bit here. Let me refocus this blog.
Goals have been extremely important to building Go Media. And they continue to be a constant part of how we run our company. At the beginning of each year the entire company set goals. The company sets business goals and each employee sets goals – both personal and professional. At the end of the year we recap what we accomplished and what we didn’t.
Here are some goal-setting tips I’ve learned over the years:
1. Take the time. Have you ever actually given yourself the time to sit down for a few hours and think seriously about what you want out of your life, probably not. Who has time for that? Well, this is serious business, this is your LIFE! So, it needs to start with you giving yourself the time to do this right.
2. Write it down! Jot it down on a piece of paper and put it in your wallet. Or better yet, have it printed on a ten foot banner and hang it over your bed. At Go Media we print a big poster with all our goals on it. It’s mounted on foam core and hung right next to the front door. We use a red marker to cross things off as we achieve them throughout the year. There is something magical in the process of writing down goals. Don’t ask me how it works, it just does, so write them down!
3. Track your results. This is where goal setting can be a true motivator. If you can see your progress and improvement over time it makes you feel like the hard work and sacrifices are worth it. There are even websites like www.goalster.com to help you keep track of your progress (more on this later.)
4. Set goals both big and small. It’s important to have huge goals that seem hardly attainable (like a Go Media beach house), because these are the things we LIVE for and they won’t all be easy to achieve. But it’s also important to know that it’s little goals that get us there. This month I have a goal of landing 2 new clients. Over time, it’s those new clients that will finance our beach house. Also, small goals are very important because they boost your morale when you accomplish them. So, I always like to sprinkle in a lot of little (extremely easy) goals along with my monstrously large goals.
5. Be specific. I want my beach house to have two floors with a large wooden deck. The second floor will have the office space with a huge bay window that looks out over the ocean. I can imagine sitting at my desk working while a thunderstorm rages a few miles out at sea. And my goal this month is 2 new clients – not “some” new clients. The details of the goals are what make it fun, and also what let us know if we’ve accomplished it. For instance – if I had a goal of “be healthier in 2009,” how would I know I accomplished that? But if I said: “Run a marathon in 2009,” now THAT is a goal that I can put a check mark next to.
6. Give yourself a deadline! This goes hand-in-hand with having details. You need to put a little time pressure on yourself. If you miss your deadline, it’s not the end of the world, but it will motivate you to get moving! At Go Media our goals are set on an annual basis. The plan is to slowly get through your goal list over the course of the year. It should be plenty of time, and if we miss a goal we re-evaluate it at the end of the year and either re-post it or dump it.
Ok, now – back to Goalster.com. My great friend and business partner Michael Greeves from Hyperstrike.com was the one who actually prompted this article. He just launched a new goal tracking website called goalster.com. He knows I’m big into goal setting and he sent me a link. It’s a great simple-to-use tool for keeping track of and tracking the results of your goals. I wanted to tell all our readers about it, but didn’t want to throw a gratuitous ad at everyone without including some quality content; hence the article you just read!
Here is what Mike wanted to add about Goalster:
I wanted to let you know we just released our new goal setting site, goalster.com. The concept is simple, share Goals with friends and have them help you reach your potential.
It’s been my pet project, outside HyperStrike, for the last couple of months and just launched in beta last week. It all started when I realized I wasn’t living the life I wanted. I found myself spending too much time on the computer and running my business was ruining my health. So I decided to make a commitment to my health and my family. I used the site daily to track my weight and exercise time. To date, I’ve lost 24lbs! By sharing my goals with my friends and family I was motivated to keep my commitments and got back in shape.
Since we trust and know you’ll give it a critical eye, we thought we pass it along for you to use
and give us any feedback if you care to share it.
Please take 30 seconds to register, it’s free!
P.S. Please let your friends and employees know about the service. They can use it
to track anything from Starbucks coffees to killer designs and happy clients.
If you have any questions, comments or feedback please feel free to
share it with us at www.goalster.com.
CEO, HyperStrike, Inc.
So, that’s it! Goals, goals the magical tool. The more you set, the more you achieve. The more you achieve, the better you feel. So let’s have goals at every meal! I hope you’ve gained something from this article. SPOILER ALERT: I’m working on a sweet new design tutorial that demonstrates a rapid-fire way to produce a hand-drawn illustration in half the normal time! COMING SOON!