What if I told you that one fairly simple step could start you on your path to making more than most of your colleagues? Do I have your interest yet?
3% of Harvard MBA’s make 10 times more than the other 97%.
So what sets them apart? If you guessed that it had something to do with setting goals then you are on the right track. The funny thing is being on the track is half the battle, or more like 84% as you will find out later in this article. Most people wake up each day without goals, with no direction for themselves, these individuals will eventually become complacent. Imagine if you put 10 of the greatest Olympic runners in the middle of a wide open field and just told them to run. They might run they might not, but with no idea why or where they are running they would eventually all stop. Okay, back to the Harvard graduates.
In 1979 recent graduates of Harvard’s Master of Business Administration program were surveyed. They found out that an astonishing 84% had no specific goals set what so ever, 13% had goals they had thought of but never wrote them down, and the remaining 3% had clearly spelled out their goals and had also written down a plan of action to accomplish them. Ten years later the same group of graduates was surveyed. They found out that the 13% who had set goals were making twice as much as the 84% who had not set goals at all, and (drum roll please) the 3% who had written down clear specific goals and a plan of action to accomplish them were making 10 times more than the other 97% combined!
What they forgot to mention is all the hard work and effort they put into following through on the plan of action they had created, but that is besides the point of this article.The point is about setting your goals to begin with. So lets take those same ten Olympic runners, lets put them on a track, give them each a specific lane they must stay in, let them start at the sound of a gun with a finish line signified by a large black and white checkered ribbon, heck we will even hand out medals to the top three finishers. Now guess what will happen, they are going to run like crazy and give every last ounce of energy they have, until they reach the finish line.
So which runner you would you rather be? The one in the middle of the field running for no reason, not even sure of where he is running? Or do you want to be the runner who is on the track at the starting line, chasing down the finish line for a chance to be named one of the worlds greatest?
Now think about this in terms of goals. If you do not have any goals written down for yourself for the immediate future and the distant future then you will eventually “stop running” its human nature. Goals will give you a reason to get out of bed each morning, something to strive for, and when you accomplish them you will feel like that runner standing at the top of the podium, while his country’s national anthem plays.
So if you are looking for one way to improve yourself in the next year ahead, get out a pen and start writing. The key is to write down your goals clearly. Instead of saying “make more money” write down “I will make $50,000 more per year by January 1st 2016”, and don’t be afraid to add a zero on to that number if it is feasible. Further more its critical that you write down a plan of action for each goal on how you will get that goal accomplished, again be specific. So in the goal example above you would not just write down “sell more” be specific! If your goal requires you to sell $1,000,000 more in sales than you have sold this year, break things down to how many more proposals you will have to send, how many more cold calls you will have to make, etc. Lastly review your goals often,let them stare you in the face (put them somewhere that you will have to view them each day), aim for the stars and remember nothing is out of reach when it comes to setting your goals.
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