It’s often said that goal setting is the easiest tool used by entrepreneurs to turn ideas into reality. Having worked with many successful entrepreneurs, it is not unusual to believe that entrepreneurs are experts at generating lots of ideas.
The downside is that a great number of them do not have the capacity to turn ideas into reality and create the next big thing they wish for. The reason is obvious; they do not write their ideas down on paper.
If you want to turn ideas into reality, write them down first as goals. Goal setting is simple; so simple in fact that everyone knows how to do it. The problem as you would imagine is that many entrepreneurs will not bother to set goals because it is a boring, mundane activity. But the few who
set goals and take action on them achieve better results.
Goal setting is great for creating compelling clear vision of the future you want to reach. It is a powerful activity that allows you to see your future results today. Goal setting is magical; once set, the universe rearranges itself to create series of events that work in your favour to achieve them. But none of those events would happen unless you first set a goal.
Over the past years, different experts have taught different approaches to goal setting. Some approaches are complex while some are not so complex. But there are four simple steps that can help you turn dreams into reality and achieve your goals if you apply them consistently. Anyone who has made any significant progress in business or life has either consciously or unconsciously implemented these four goal setting action steps.
4 Powerful Goal Setting Steps to Turn Ideas into Reality
The 4 powerful steps you can adopt to effectively turn ideas into reality are:
1. Write your goal down, make it specific, and assign deadline
2. Look at it everyday
3. Create a simple definite plan
4. Prepare to pay the price
1. Write it down, make it specific and assign deadline
The most powerful creative force you can tap in to achieve anything you want in business or life is envisioning. Envisioning is the process that allows you to create simple clear picture of the results you seek before they become real. You can create them by simply writing your idea on paper, or sketching it on a vision board and assigning deadline to it. Whatever approach you choose will take your idea off your mind to somewhere that makes it vivid and compelling for you to develop the idea and take action on it.
You may think that keeping an idea in mind is the same as writing it down, but no; they are two different kettles of fish. An idea in your mind is just wishful thinking. You can forget it or abandon it at any time without thinking. But to turn ideas into reality, you need to write the idea on paper, or draw it on a vision board (plain card or cardboard), and paste it where you can see it every day. Think of three important ideas in your mind that you’d like to turn into reality in your business? It might be acquiring more customers, monetizing your service, or increasing your revenue. Whatever it is, take a break now and write them down.
Make it specific
Next, make your goal specific. Let’s say you want to increase your revenue, you need to add a few more description to make it more specific. It is not always clear to just say: “I want to increase my revenue.” The question is: “increase your revenue from what to what?” Supposing your current annual turnover is $500,000, are you aiming to increase your revenue by $1, $100, or $1000? Any of these additions is an increase, but is that what you are truly seeking? Being specific means saying it exactly as you want it. For example, “I want to increase annual my revenue from $500,000 to $1,000,000.” Now, go ahead and make your goal specific by adding exactly how much money or number of customers you want to achieve.
Assigning deadline to your goals makes it concrete and definite. While you cannot pursue your goals indefinitely, it is crucial to add a definite date, when you want to achieve it. It is often said that goals are ideas with deadlines. It is okay to set your goals without a definite deadline, problem is that it is impossible to turn ideas into reality without deadline. Deadline adds accountability to goal and increases your responsibility to achieve it. To not assign deadline to goal means openning the door for procrastination. So go ahead now and assign deadline to your goals. When do you want to achieve your dream by?
2. Look at your goal everyday
Looking at your goals everyday will keep you focused and energized to achieve them. One way you can overcome the distraction that pulls entrepreneurs in different directions is by taking a look at your dreams at least once daily. It’s like surrounding yourself with your best friends or at most, being in company of the people who are going in the same direction as you. Doing so re-enforces your commitment and inspires you to take the right actions.
Some entrepreneurs look at their goals first thing in the morning before settling for the day’s business.Others do so last before going to bed at night. Whatever approach you choose, know that looking at your goals daily will energize your performance. So decide now on the number of times you would look at your dream everyday, and at what time of the day. Is it in the morning, night or both? Write your answer down on paper.
3. Create a simple definite Plan
The moment your goals are clearly written out, made specific and has a deadline, you just need to create a plan to go do it. From my business coaching experience, this is the point where many entrepreneurs fall down flat; talk is cheap after all. No matter how big and audacious your goal may be, the plan that produces the most business results is usually simple and less complex. Problem is; many entrepreneurs will not take action to turn dreams into reality unless the plan is complex.
A good goal setting plan describes the actions you must take to achieve your goals. They are the simple baby steps that takes you to your desired results when implemented. But the plan has to be consistent with your desired result otherwise it won’t work. For example, it would be counter-productive if you embark on creating new products or services when your goal is to increase your customer base from 20 to 50. Instead, attending business networking meetings, blogging or speaking at events would be more like it.
4. Prepare to pay the price
Do you know why the most incredible goal setting plans fail? I’ll tell you. It’s because many entrepreneurs are too busy, they don’t have time to pay the price they should, in order to get the results they want. The price you will pay to achieve your dream is usually the daily disciplines you must observe – the simple action steps you must take everyday. Lack of discipline is the number one reason why plans fail. No matter how gigantic your goals may seem, you only need to take baby steps to get them off the ground. That is the essence of your action plan; aby steps.
You don’t need to give up your television set, stop hanging out with your best friends, or abandon your favourite football club to execute your action plan. But if any of those would distract you from taking action on your daily dose of baby steps, then you could as well consider paying the price. Remember, you are the average of your five best friends. If the things you spend you time in are not moving you one step towards your important goals everyday, you need to consider cutting down the number of hours or attention you give them, so you can have enough time to take action on your baby steps and achieve your goals. Is that a big price to pay, you know the answer.
As usual, feel free to share your goal setting thoughts or comments on the comment box below.