Goal achievement…what successful business professional doesn’t want to achieve their goals?  None that I know of, yet things get in the way – barriers/obstacles that we call “life” sometimes do make it more difficult.

The reality is, that sometimes the biggest barrier is us – our commitment falters and our follow through fails!  (In fact, I was going to title this post Commitment and Follow-through, but felt that most of you wouldn’t want to read it!)

A recent story:  Two months ago I re-affirmed my commitment to eating better and exercising regularly.  I have been dealing with a separated AC joint in my shoulder since a bad fall in 2007 and have easily found one excuse after another to do NOTHING instead of adjusting the type of exercise I could be doing.  Guess what?  Weight has crept on and my stamina was down.  With a trip to NYC this weekend, I am afraid I will be embarrassed by not finishing the climb to the top of the crown of the Statue of Liberty!

So two month’s ago I took charge:  First, I made the commitment, then wrote it down as a realistic goal (I exercise 4 x a week for at least 30 minutes.) and next I moved to the follow-through by tracking my activity and progress.

In the first two weeks I focused on power walking…and within days felt the shin splints, so barrier one.  I figured that I could avoid that by using my pool – and that has worked VERY well.  I have been  diligent about making sure I was in that pool with my modified swim routine. My 13 year old daughter has taken it upon herself to check on my progress, and sometimes is at the edge of the pool keeping count for me!

I have found that I have built my stamina and increased my laps over the weeks.  Not bad!  Six weeks into it and I thought…”Okay, I’ve built the habit, mission accomplished.”

Wrong!  It is really easy to be knocked off this path.  And this past weekend reminded me that new habits can become old habits quickly!  With lots of work and personal commitments, I hadn’t had time to get in my swim these last days.  Saturday night I was feeling the lack of my follow through and promised that I would get in for a last outdoor swim on Sunday (fall is on its’ way to Wisconsin).

It looked like a beautiful day and my husband turned on the heater.  But after a very LONG Brewer’s game (we were invited to the Suites with a friend), I made excuses. When I got home and the temps had dropped into the 60s, the threat of rain was in the air, and my daughter backed out of a last-season swim, I walked away from the pool instead of getting in, it was so cold outside!

Suddenly, I thought “What am I doing? I feel terrible that I haven’t done this and if I leave, I am another day behind”  I quickly turned and ran and jumped in…the water was 20 degrees warmer than the air and it felt wonderful!

But the obstacle wasn’t over yet…As I swam my laps, my mind was constantly “negotiating” with how many laps I should really do because the mosquitoes were out, it was rather dark and I could see lightning in the distance…but I just kept at it…and after a brief stop when my daughter yelled out the door to make sure I was really in the water and alive, I finished.  Then I did TWO more laps!

I felt great!!!!  I slept great.  Follow through and commitment to our goals will do that.  The energy wasted on excuses, guilt, avoidance are usually more than the energy spent getting what needs to be done, done!

My tips for reaching your goals?

  1. Set a realistic goal – include the what, when, where and NOW (write it as if you were already “there”.)
  2. Commit to it – verbally and in writing.
  3. Identify your real reward for achieving the goal (climbing the stairs in NYC without passing out is mine.)
  4. Share with a stakeholder – who knew my 13 year old would be so supportive?
  5. Take action!
  6. Don’t ignore the barriers that pop up, acknowledge them and work through them!
  7. Celebrate your progress – don’t just wait for thee final end result. Many people need encouragement along the way.
  8. Find yourself off track?  Review your goal. Renew your commitment. Revise the goal if necessary.


My reward, climbing to the crown!

How’s that sound?  It’s Monday and the perfect day to look at what you have to do this week.  Not just the “To Dos’ – the REAL actions that are tied into your goals.  Pull out your goals, renew your commitment and identify at least ONE action you can take to progress toward achieving that goal.  Then follow through and DO it!

What do you think?  Does this work?  What ideas would you add to the list?


If one of your To Dos, is becoming more proficient at prospecting, I have an easy action for you this week!

Over at Top Sales Experts, the most significant sales related online community in the world, five of the world’s top sales gurus gather together every month to present timely, relevant, and specific advice, all in one 60-minute highly interactive online-show.

Each TSE Roundtable addresses issues being faced by sales professionals everywhere, as we come out of the severest economic downturn ever.  This month:

What Top Producers Know about Prospecting that You Don’t  is on Tuesday September 29th 2009 1:00 PM EASTERN

  • What are some of the typical barriers that keep sellers from prospecting? (The topic I will address 🙂
  • Do most people give up too easily when it comes to following up with prospects?
  • What are some of the biggest mistakes that sales people make when prospecting?
  • What are key differentiators of a top performer versus an average performer?

The reality is that prospecting is an essential sales task: Identifying and winning new business is at the heart of every successful company’s strategy.

Over the past twelve months, it has never been tougher. So as we begin to see the first shoots of an economic recovery, what can you do to ensure that you get your fair share of the opportunities that will become available to you?

You can get a discount because I am a Top Sales Expert, you pay just $49.50.  If this doesn’t fit into your budget, send me an email – I believe so strongly in your future, that I’ll pay your fee!     Register Here

OR Why not consider becoming a TSE VIP Member? Via me, membership costs just $25 per year and you get to listen to this and every other Roundtable for FREE – plus so much more Take the VIP Tour Today