OK. I confess. I don’t always do what I say I am going to do or follow through on my goals. For that matter, I don’t always write my goals, work from a prioritized task list, or work my plan either, despite the fact that I have proven time and again that these practices lead to and ensure my business success.
I know that’s shocking, because as an executive coach, I preach these things and am supposed to be above reproach. RIGHT? But the truth is that from time to time, I stop doing what has been working so well and fall into self-defeating behaviors like indecision, procrastination, and avoidance.
Why? Honestly, I’m not sure why, except to offer that perhaps it’s due to the cycles of life and business we all go through, or as a friend once put it, a tendency to gravitate back to the familiar. Notice I did not say the comfortable. Indecision, procrastination, and avoidance are not comfortable (and typically, the consequences are quite painful), but they are familiar, at least to this executive coach.
Just like you, I’m great at serving my clients, finding them great candidates or encouraging them to set and achieve their goals while holding them accountable for doing so. But, as I just disclosed, I am not always so great at doing that for myself. That’s why I have a coach (and yes, he has a coach) and that is why coaching works! My coach not only works with me to set and achieve my goals, determine my priorities, and make plans to achieve my objectives, but he holds me accountable for doing what I said I was going to do. And when I’m in a slump and struggling to get started, he provides the encouragement and guidance to get un-slumped.
How about you? Whom do you answer to? Who’s holding you accountable? Whether you are the owner of a recruiting firm who is striving to better manage your time, build a better team, or achieve an aggressive sales goal, or you are an individual striving to achieve a personal or career goal, you are more likely to succeed in accomplishing your goals by having regular discussions with someone who holds you accountable for DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO!
Resetting the Clock
So, why am I telling you all of this? I figure some of you might be feeling a little beat up after so much of this year, and perhaps you are allowing indecision, procrastination, and avoidance to get the best of you. So, I wanted to offer some ideas to get you back on track and on to your winning ways. Now, the best time to plan for a slump is when you are not in one, so if you are currently on a high, then take some time to decide how you will know when you are in a slump (what will the signs be), and what you will do to get out of the slump as quickly as possible.
If however, you find you are already in a slump, then call a time out and reset the clock. Stop beating up on yourself for what you haven’t done this year and feeling overwhelmed by how far you may have fallen behind, set some new goals, and start taking steps to achieve them.
I started participating in triathlons in the mid 1990’s. In 2009, after not having raced for several years, I decided to get back into racing shape and complete a half-ironman triathlon (a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run) that September; specifically the Ironman 70.3 Augusta. In April of that year, though I was slowly losing weight, I was still on the fence about committing to the race, and I was not training consistently.
Action Follows Decision
So, how did I get past the indecision, out of the slump and back on track to achieving my goal? I made a decision and then I got into action! It is vitally important that action immediately follow a decision, because the more time between your decision and your action on that decision, the less likely you are to follow through.
In my case, I set a short-term goal to ride 50 miles and run 9 miles by July 1 of that year, and made a decision that if I achieved that short-term goal, then I would fully commit to the race. Then, I got into action by committing (to myself and my coach) to bike twice each week and run twice each week between the first part of May and the end of June.
Now, I’ll tell you, I did not complete that short-term goal entirely. I easily rode 50 miles, but only ran 6. But because of my action to that point, and re-igniting my passion for triathlon, I was already committed to making the start line in September.
Perhaps you’re asking why I was working through a health/fitness goal with my business coach. Though balance in all areas of life is vitally important to overall business success, in this particular case, it was more about committing to my decisions and following through on my goals in general. I have found this to be a key foundation of success.
If you are not following through on your goals in one area of your life, it is likely to affect other areas.
Say It Then Do It!
So, how are you? Are you following through on your goals this year? Or are you letting indecision, procrastination, and avoidance get the best of you?
Want to get back on track and increase your success and rate of goal achievement? Then reestablish some short-term goals and get into action achieving them. Better yet, find someone you trust who has goals of their own to be your confidant, coach, or mentor and ask them to hold you accountable for accomplishing the goals you have set for yourself.
You are more likely to succeed in accomplishing your goals by having regular discussions with someone who holds you accountable for DOING WHAT YOU SAY YOU ARE GOING TO DO!
Because if you’re anything like me or most people I know (at least the honest ones), from time to time you WILL find yourself in a slump. The trick is not allowing yourself to stay there for long.