As a business leader, no doubt you’ve more than 101 things to do every day and looking through the complete list massively overwhelms you. Whilst it’s important to have this list, having a narrow focus is essential to achieve results.
There are lots of contributing factors in goal achievement such as ensuring goals are SMART, breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks and evaluating your progress. However, ultimately there are 2 overarching influencers affecting the way you reach your goals. These are (1) the way you think and (2) the way you take action.
That Critical Moment of Decision
How often do you plan to exercise but find the excuses roll in when it comes to actually getting your gym kit on and getting out the door? It’s easy to put off things that move us even slightly out of our comfort zone, like writing that tedious report, having a difficult conversation, or going for a run in the pouring rain. If you focus on the activity itself this is known as Activity Thinking in which you’ll play over the part you find hardest in your mind and often escalate this so it seems much worse than it actually is. When was the last time you felt worse after doing exercise or regretted getting that report written? These things are never as bad as they seem and always leave you feeling good once completed.
Outcome Thinking on the other hand is focusing on how you will feel once you have done the task, in other words, connecting with the outcome rather than the start of a routine. Ask yourself ‘what will happen once I’ve been for a run or written that arduous report?’ Chances are you’ll feel great and look back thinking it wasn’t as bad as you thought. Take a moment to visualise yourself achieving your goals and what that feels like.
What separates these two modes of thinking is initial inertia which once aware of, can be overcome, allowing you to leap straight into outcome thinking and not waste time overthinking the activity itself. Making changes like this is about creating suitable, positive habits that you can embed into your daily life. Now that you are aware of this you can use the power of focus and train your brain to form the positive habit of outcome thinking and jump straight in.
Lights… Camera… Action!
Thinking, planning and mapping out your goals is a great place to start. You’d be surprised how many people don’t actually do this. Consider what actions need to be done each day to progress towards the bigger goals. What decisions will you make to move things forward? I’m not talking macro-decisions here like launching a business or getting married, but more around the micro decisions and smaller actions you take each day to move the dial. These smaller actions really add up and pay off so don’t put them off. We find splitting goals into smaller milestones and then breaking these milestones down into daily VITs (Very Important Tasks) really avoids that overwhelming feeling and helps us take action. Focusing on 2 or 3 VITs per day and always having a weekly outcome will help you move closer to achieving these goals with pace. Find out more from the experts on becoming more proactive and effective here.
It is essential to adopt the correct thinking style to achieve your goals and consider the positive outcomes and actions necessary to move things forward. Training yourself in the habit of outcome thinking instead of activity thinking will motivate you to jump straight in and then enjoy the feeling of gratification and success. By splitting goals into smaller, more manageable tasks, and marking up just 2 or 3 VITs to complete each day, this will help make every day a success. Discover the 6 step process to creating disciplined habits and better results here.
If you’d like to know more about anything mentioned in this blog please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you. Or if you’d like to find out how our amazing OKR system can help you achieve your goals and turbocharge your business results, book a demo today!
Last updated: 1 October 2020
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