Doing The Do-able

Lesson number: 

In this week's lesson, we will discuss executing our goals, by utilizing a simple strategy. With January 2005 fast approaching, we must all surely be thinking about setting some goals for the New Year. Too often individuals have a tendency to set goals for a new year that are far beyond their reach. It's wonderful to be able to stretch yourself a bit, by thinking BIG. However, if your plans seem impossible, and you do not have the right strategy to achieve them, you might very well be discouraged by February 1st.

When I was planning the sales budget for our business during the 80's and 90's, I tried to be as realistic as possible. Because I was dependent on a very large team performing their individual portion of our total plan, I always tried to engage those that had to perform - in the planning process. Too often employees try to impress their employer with hefty increases that are almost impossible to achieve, without a clue as to how they will achieve them. This never impressed me much. I was more interested in realistic goals with a fundamental strategy to achieve them.

When goal planning, it's not enough to just believe you can do something. You need to have compelling reasons to do it. The more reasons the better. Crystal clear reasons with as many benefits as possible for as many people you care about as possible. This compulsion to achieve is what will create the energy needed to keep you in action for as many hours as possible, focused every single day.

Your goal must then be broken down into objectives that must be accomplished, in the order that they need to be accomplished. Crystal clear objectives with deadlines attached to them so that you can stay on course. Then, each objective needs to be broken down into small DO-ABLE tasks that are a no-brainer to achieve. This is the critical step in the process. Always keep DOING the DO-ABLE!

As simple as this concept of consistently doing the do-able sounds, it appears somewhat mystical to so many people that I have known and coached over the years. Too often individuals insist on attempting the impossible without a strategy, instead of planning to do the do-able. And too often these individuals become discouraged and quit on their goal after a short period of time.

Most major breakthroughs in science came from years of consistently doing the do-able. By doing so, individuals stayed motivated by the tiny successes they achieved en-route to their objectives and major goal. The same holds true in sports, show business, medicine, or just about any skill or profession one engages in.

One long term goal I set over ten years ago was to walk around the world (24,901 miles). I had several compelling reasons to accomplish this goal that revolved around my health and fitness, education (I've listened to 4000 hours of educational audio tapes and CD's while walking) and the well being and happiness of my favorite pet dog. It seems logical that by staying healthy and fit; and educating myself daily - I was more desirable to my family, clients and friends than being unhealthy, unfit and uninformed. To many, the thought of walking all those miles may seem impossible. But when broken down over a 25 year period, the goal became very do-able. My daily goal is to walk 4 miles a day (divided into two or more walks daily). That's about 1.25 miles more than I have to walk daily, which easily compensates for the few days a month I may miss walking, due to poor weather or some other prior commitment. Thus, 24,901 miles = SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE. However, 4 miles a day = VERY DO-ABLE.

Keeping score and staying in the game can be lots of fun as well. After ten years of staying on target, there is no doubt in my mind that I will achieve this goal. Just like Thomas Edison knew that he would finally invent the light bulb one day. Each day, month and year that passes – completing small do-able tasks, brings me closer to the goal of 24,901 miles.

I have lots of similar goals that I engage in every day. All of my goals are achieved by consistently engaging in very do-able tasks which in turn are part of larger objectives; which in turn are part of major goals. I have methodically achieved lots of worthy goals this way and make this simple philosophy a major part of my consulting strategy. Once I turn someone on to this philosophy and they taste success – their lives are never the same. So get your planner out and break down those goals and objectives into the smallest common denominator of do-able tasks. Then keep doing the do-able and before long your goals and dreams will come true!