By Chris Naylor
The statistics are clear: People who have clearly defined, measurable, written goals outperform most other people. Hands down.
Just think about this. Brain research tells us that the average person has 64,000 thoughts per day. It’s easy to see that with all these random puzzle pieces floating around in the brain, it’s critical to create a clear vision, goals and an action plan – so we can proactively pursue our dreams for business and life.
In fact, Yale University researchers found that only 3% of males in a graduating class had written goals and an action plan to achieve the goals. After tracking those students over the next 20 years, the same 3% out-earned the other 97% of the class COMBINED.
Need more motivation?
A Harvard Business School study found that 84% of a class had no goals at all, and 13% had goals and plans, but did not write them down. Like the Yale study, only 3% of the class had written goals and a written plan of action.
The results? The 3% of students who had clearly defined written goals and a plan of action were earning 10 times as much as the other 97% COMBINED.
The point is clear: Having clearly defined, written goals will make us more successful.
So, why do so few people have them?
Most often, people have never been taught how to set goals and action plans that work. People can also get comfortable with their routines or they lack discipline. Sometimes they fear failure – or even success! Other people believe the myth that a company’s vision has to be 100 pages long. Whatever the reason, there’s undeniable evidence that people who have clearly defined, measurable, written goals outperform most other people.
Write them down
More research indicates that writing down your goals, sharing them with friends, and sending your friends regular updates about your progress can boost your chances of succeeding. In order for goals to be meaningful, they should be S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and in a Timeframe). The study showed that people who merely thought about their goals and how to reach them succeeded less than 50% of the time, while people who wrote specific (S.M.A.R.T.) goals down, and enlisted friends to help them by sending regular progress reports succeeded closer to 75% of the time. Which group do you belong to?
Access the power of simplicity in goal-setting
We really have two choices: Either we can leave our business up to chance and react to life as it happens, or we can take action toward creating a business and life that will help others. The more successful we become, the more we can benefit our company, and the more we can contribute to making the world a better place!