There is a difference between “goals” and what I call “disciplines,” something I wrote about in my first book, The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need. The distinction is critical (more about that later). There are also two types of goals you need to set, and most people only set the first type of goal for themselves, cheating themselves of what they really want (if they have even done the work to know what they want in the first place, as most people haven’t been given a model of how to determine that for themselves, and so, they drift).
Since it’s the time of year where people are engaged in this thinking, let’s take a look at what you really need to do to make 2019 different from 2018, starting with goals.
Event-driven goals have a date by which some outcome will be reached. You might set a goal to generate $2,000,000 in annual revenue by December 31. When that date pops up on the calendar, you will have either accomplished your goal or failed to do so. Running a marathon is also an event-driven goal. There is an event, and you run the distance, or you don’t.
Once you reach the date of the event, the goal is now over. The deadline is part of what makes goals powerful.
Identity goals are about who you want to be and what you want your life to be like, a process I call “Achievement Design.” Instead of an event, like $2,000,000 in revenue, your financial goal might be something like “create generational wealth for my children and grandchildren.” That’s a very different financial goal than generating a certain amount of revenue in a business, isn’t it? Not only does it raise the bar, it’s worth pursuing over the course of a lifetime. It also requires a very different set of behavioral changes (of which there is more to say).
You might also decide that you want to be structurally sound, flexible, mobile, with the energy and endurance to keep up with your grandchildren–or great grandchildren. That goal for your physical health is a very different type of marathon. Structurally sound means lifting weights, flexible means stretching and yoga, energy means diet and sleep and hydration, and endurance means cardiovascular exercise. Identity goals don’t have an end date, and there is no “checking the box” that indicates the goal is reached. They require routine maintenance.
This doesn’t mean we have no use for event-driven goals. These goals with end dates are the milestones that roll up underneath your identity goals. The revenue you generate in your business provides you with the money you need to invest for long-term wealth. The marathon is evidence you are fit, and you have the endurance and stamina you want as an identity goal.
Why Resolutions Fail
The primary reason New Year’s Resolutions fail is because the person making the resolution isn’t really resolved. They haven’t broken the goal down into the small, manageable actions they need to take every day, something I call “disciplines,” the things you do consistently, whether or not you want to.
If you don’t have what you want, the most likely reason is that you are not doing the work necessary to have it. If you want something to be different in the new year, try setting identity goals, the event-driven goals that serve as milestones and prove you are making progress, and develop the daily and weekly disciplines that make this year your best ever.
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