What a high number for something, and it must be positive, right? So, what is it?

…It’s the estimate for the number of goals abandoned within 30 days of being set. Yikes! People put so much effort into setting the goals to have them go away that quickly.

I believe the problem isn’t in the actual goal that’s set; it’s the plan around it for the goal to be achieved that’s at fault. We should be more focused on achieving our goals versus just setting them.

To actually ACHIEVE goals, you need a more complete plan.

A Goal Is Simply a Stated Outcome

Setting the goal is pretty simple. A goal is simply a stated outcome with a date or timeframe associated with it. As we talk about business development or business, the goal is typically a certain revenue or amount of income by the end of a reporting period – whether that’s a week, a month, a quarter, or the year.

That’s all a goal really is. But that’s not the end of the story.

When you’re setting the goal, you must include all of the ingredients for planning to achieve that goal.

There are three key “missing ingredients,” I call them, in most goal plans.

Missing Ingredient 1: Stakeholders

The first missing ingredient in many goal plans is identifying the stakeholders. That is knowing who cares about the outcome of this goal as much as you or maybe even more.

  • Who has something at stake for the goal being achieved?
  • Who has something at stake about their care for you?
  • Who is in a position that if that outcome and goal is important for you, then it’s important to them?

Your stakeholders can be great accountability people or support people depending on what you need along the journey to achieving that goal.

Missing Ingredient 2: Resources

The second missing ingredient in most goal plans is identifying the resources needed to achieve that goal in that timeframe. Identify resources such as:

  • Time
  • Money
  • Human Support
  • Technology Support
  • Mindset
  • Effort

Identifying these resources when you’re putting together your plan helps you do a reality check on the goal. You might find that the timeframe is not realistic, or that the resources need to be adjusted one way or another to achieve the goal in whatever timeframe or at the level that it needs to be.

Remember that when the necessary resources are missing, then the goal is likely to get abandoned as soon as it’s no longer on track or when someone feels it’s unachievable.

Missing Ingredient 3: A Compelling Motivator:

The third missing ingredient for actually achieving your goals is to identify the compelling motivator or reward for achieving that goal.

So for example, when we’re talking about business or business development, most people will be like, “Well when I achieve that goal that means I have this much income.” Or, “The business has this much revenue.” And they associate a dollar kind of reward with it.

That’s a good start, but then we have to apply the three “So What?” activity to it to get to the motivating motivator.

“I want ____ (amount) of income.”

So what? What does that mean for me? What is in it for me when I achieve that?

“Well, that means that I can have this experience, or I can purchase something.”

Okay. So what? What does taking your family on this trip do for you? Or what does buying that car or that kayak do for you?

“Well, when I get to take that trip that is going to fulfill a lifelong dream of mine.”

Great. So What?

You’ve got to ask it the third time. The answer that comes with that third, “So what?” is typically the one that really matters. A good check on whether it is the one that really matters, or if you should ask a fourth “So What,” is “Does it give you the feels?” Does the response, as my kids say, “Give you the feels”?

I’ve seen adults get teary-eyed when they got to that third response, or get goosebumps as they thought about pride, or they thought about a relationship impact, or they thought about the impact on another human being for what their efforts have done.

That is when you get to the compelling motivator. Now you have to keep it visible so that along the way of achieving that goal, when you’re not feeling the motivation, when you don’t want to take the action for whatever reason, you remind yourself why your goal is important.

Now Take Action

So if you want to be in the 8% of people that actually have a goal that is achieved versus the 92% who set a goal only to abandon it within 30 days, include those three missing ingredients:

  • Identify stakeholders,
  • Identify the resources required
  • Identify the real “So what?” for achieving your goal

And now you’re ready to be a goal achiever rather than a goal setter.