How would you like to make a quantum leap this year when it comes to achieving your goals?
Sounds pretty intriguing, right? Well, interestingly enough, the progress you make in your personal and professional goals might just come down to understanding the fundamental difference between goals and commitments. In my line of work, I see too many people setting goals for things that should be commitments – not goals.
Let’s look at an example of how this plays out…
Say you have a listing appointment scheduled with a prospective client. Is it a goal to show up or a commitment? Obviously, it’s a commitment you’ve made to your prospect – your goal was to get the listing appointment in the first place. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s one that’s critically important if you want to achieve at a higher level.
A commitment is a definable, controllable action that you’re going to do no matter what. You have full control over whether or not the action is taking.
The goals are the “bigger vision” ideals that you want to accomplish and work towards, even if you don’t have full control over the end result. Goals are the results you want to achieve through the actions of your commitments.
When you sit down to right out your business plan, you need to have both goals and commitments. Your goals section should outline a broad vision for your year, as well as all the things you want to accomplish. The second part of your plan – your commitment section – should emphasize the actions you plan to take in order to bring about these results.
The following are two more examples to help differentiate between these two important concepts…
GOAL: I want to have a beach body
COMMITMENT: I will work out five days a week
Plenty of people set things like working out five days a week as their overall goals. This is a mistake. When you relegate an action that should be considered a commitment to the realm of goals, you allow your mind to recognize that it’s something that you might not achieve (since goals are things you don’t have full control over). It’s so much simpler to make a commitment to yourself to work out five days a week and just do it, rather than admitting to your subconscious that doing so might be a stretch for you.
GOAL: I want to sell 100 homes in 2013
COMMITMENT: I will prospect for three hours each day
What’s interesting about this example is that, even if you do follow your defined commitment and prospect for several hours a day, you still might not sell 100 homes this year. You can’t control the result 100% through your actions – just like working out five days a week might not give you a super model body if you’re six inches shorter than the national average.
Really, your goals should be aspirational, as dreaming big helps us to make more progress towards our ideal futures than thinking “more reasonable” thoughts allows. But if you truly want to increase your chances of achieving your dreams, you can’t confuse your regular commitments with your goals. Pair your goals with corresponding action item commitments, and you’ll see your overall level of success skyrocket.