We all have goals — but we don’t all achieve them.
Let’s take New Year’s resolutions, for example: Many people set resolutions at the end of December right before the new year begins, especially when it comes to getting healthy. We all know that the gym is packed in January — but as the weeks and months pass, the gym becomes less and less busy.
It’s interesting to note that only about 3% of people actually achieve the goals they set, according to a Harvard study. This means that 97% of people do not follow through with their goals.
Why is that?
And more importantly, how can you ensure you’re one of the people who successfully accomplish what they set out to?
If you have a goal, that’s already a step in the right direction, especially if you write them down. Without clearly defining your goal, it’s impossible to make progress or reach new destinations.
Even with goals in mind, however, many make the mistake of setting vague goals without specific targets — and that gets you nowhere. There should always be a quantifiable figure or a clear endgame with all of your goals. Otherwise, the absence of a specific target makes it impossible to determine whether or not you’re actually achieving your goals.
Another reason why people fail to achieve their goals is simple: They don’t care enough about them.
By that I simply mean that the goal is not transformational — not exciting to the person who sets it.
For example, if someone grows their law firm from $1 million to $1.1 million, the $100,000 increase may not bring about any meaningful changes. If the goal does not enable them to do things they couldn’t do before — such as investing more in their marketing, hiring more team members, expanding to a new market, paying off debt, or buying a new home — it lacks significance.
To be truly committed to a goal, it must be transformative and capable of creating a meaningful impact, allowing you to do something you couldn’t do before. Those are the goals you can truly get excited about.
Moral of the story: To be achieved, goals must be worthwhile and personally valuable, partly because it’s difficult to convince others to support a goal if we ourselves are not sold on its importance.
Once you have a specific, measurable goal you are truly excited about, the best way to actionably get there is to break it down into manageable chunks. If your goal is to grow your law firm by X during this year, you must break down the goal further into quarterly or monthly targets, or even by department. Identify the key performance metrics that need to be achieved along the way. Hitting your KPIs leads to accumulated progress, keeping you on track toward your larger goal over time.
I’m a firm believer that setting small goals won’t do you any good. Setting larger goals are always going to motivate you further and excite you to reach it.
Set goals that you care about. Follow through. Don’t stop until you achieve them.
You’ve got this.