Welcome to the Sixth Step in achieving your business goals in 2015.
Links to our previous steps can be found at the end of this post.
In this post, I’m going to be showing you some ways you can make 2015 a banner year.
Business Goals and One Raw Quality
Achieving your business goals can be tough.
You have to overcome the power of procrastination, lots of temptation along the way and continue to take action in the direction of your goals.
You may feel – often or sometimes – as if it is just too much to conquer.
You may feel your goal is just too big to achieve. Or you may feel that others who are smarter or brighter could achieve your goal, but it is more than you can muster.
The truth is that you don’t need a bigger brain. All you need is good, old-fashioned GRIT.
According to Angela Lee Duckworth, an American psychologist who studies the qualities that define success:
GRIT is the substance that allows you to work hard.
It is that extra something special that gives you the energy, the dogged stubbornness to hold onto your business goals, until you achieve them.
Think Edison and his 3000 attempts to discover the light bulb.
Think Einstein, Darwin, Newton.
Think Elon Musk who is transforming transportation on Earth and in our galaxy.
All of these inventors, creators, discoverers, had a level of GRIT that allowed them to power through any barriers, any obstacles and past all of the naysayers until they achieved their goals.
In fact, Duckworth believes grit is so critical to ultimate success, she says:
“I’d bet that there isn’t a single highly successful person who hasn’t depended on grit. Nobody is talented enough to not have to work hard, and that’s what grit allows you to do.”
Duckworth has identified two important qualities that seem to define gritty people.
- The tendency to not abandon tasks from mere changeability (not seeking something else because its novel)
- The tendency to not abandon tasks in the face of obstacles (perseverance, willpower, tenacity)
If you’re wondering if you have enough grit, find out. You can take Duckworth’s Grit Test here on the right side of the page.
Regardless of your Grit score, know that you can change your behavior. You can become grittier.
On to the One Low-Tech Tool
There is one tool that can help spur you on and feed your grit.
What is it?
It is totally low-tech, often ignored and not at all sexy.
It is the calendar.
It is surprising how packed with power this simple, non-tech device can be in getting you to accomplish your business goals.
Don’t believe me?
Then you might believe Jerry Seinfeld of Seinfeld fame.
Jerry Seinfeld has achieved critical industry acclaim, awards, wealth beyond what most of us can imagine and he continues to grow. How can that be?
He consistently works at it.
And so must you.
Many moons ago, I heard this story. In a chance meeting with Jerry, an up-and-coming comedian asked Jerry to share some tips on becoming a great comic.
Jerry told the young comic that the way to becoming a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write each and every day.
Jerry also shared the way he spurs himself to write every day using an old fashioned wall calendar that shows the entire year.
Using a big red magic marker, Jerry would “X” over the day whenever he spent part of the day writing.
According to Jerry, the sneaky trick to overcoming procrastination was in seeing the red X’s grow forming a chain. Jerry’s tip was to stay focused on ‘not breaking the chain’.
The chain grows longer every day and you get hooked to the idea that you want to keep the chain going.
You’ll notice Seinfeld wasn’t focused on the results for that day or the quality of the jokes. His focus – the way he tricked himself into consistently practicing his craft – was by focusing on keeping the chain going.
Face it. We all need tricks, hacks, and workarounds to keep us moving forward. We’re human.
Your objective is to take action each and every day on one of the three business goals you identified in Step 5.
If you don’t like Seinfeld’s big red X approach, then create your own system.
Personally, I don’t use a big wall calendar as I don’t have the space. My solution is to use the Google Calendar Agenda feature where all of my specific objectives for each and every day are listed. You can set up the Agenda feature under “Notifications” in your gmail account.
At 5:00 a.m. Google sends me my daily agenda items. That way, before my day gets rolling, I know specifically what I want and need to get accomplished for the day.
I don’t use a big red X, but I do get a thrill when I can check off the tasks for that particular day. I know I’m making progress.
To achieve your business goals, you need to take action every day.
All you need is the grit and determination to take that action.
Use whatever low-tech or high-tech tool that will keep you on track and moving forward.
What was your Grit score?
How do you keep yourself on track?
What tools do you use?
You should keep the conversation going in the comments section and share whatever tips you have.
Links to the previous five steps are below.
photo source: James Clear