Goal Setting

With the New Year soon approaching, you’ll soon be thinking of setting some goals or New Year’s resolutions. Why not spend a few minutes thinking about this now so you’re confident and ready to take on 2014 prior to January 1st?

Every goal-setting book will tell you that if you have a vision or a goal you are much more likely to achieve it, but here are a few things that you may not have thought of that can dramatically help you to achieve your goals:

1.    The most successful people throughout history have set clear, written goals for their future and made plans to accomplish them.

In his book, What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack wrote about a study done with the Harvard MBA program. It was found that the three percent of students who had clear, written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97 percent put together.

As Pilates instructors, we may find it challenging to set goals for our business, because we spend so much time learning, teaching and getting caught up in our day-to-day business.

If you don’t have a goal setting process that’s been working for you, commit to spending at least 30 minutes to think about your Pilates business and what you’d like to do with it this year.

Read on.

2.    It’s important for you to find the right goals to focus on.

Here’s a great exercise to help you.

Start by pulling out a blank sheet of paper and just write anything you want to achieve, become, or do. What training’s do you want to attend? What kind of business do you want to have? How much do you want to work? What equipment do you want to purchase? How much income would I like to make?

Write anything you can think of for at least five minutes without stopping. Try to get at least 50 things on your page, more if you can. Some things may be big and some may be small. Don’t judge at this point.

Then beside each goal, write the time frame you’d like to achieve each one: one year, three year, five year, 10+ year.

Look at your one-year goals and choose three that you would like to focus on for the year. There is nothing preventing you from doing more, but if you have three as your main priority, you will be more likely to achieve them and less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed.

3.    Any goal just won’t do.

When listing your goals, make sure they are “SMART” goals – specific, measurable, actionable (you have a plan), realistic and time-bound.

For example: “I want to feel confident teaching” is fantastic, but there’s no real way to measure the progress.

Reframing it to something like “Teach 150 hours of Pilates group classes & private sessions by March 31, 2014” or “Attend 10 private mentorship sessions to focus on improving my teaching and class design skills by June 30, 2014” are “SMART” goals.

4.    A goal without a plan will not get done.

It’s great to have goals, but if you don’t think of the steps you may need to do in order to achieve them, they will not get done. Even if you end up taking a completely different path to achieve the goals you have set for yourself, the mental exercise of walking through some action steps will help you get there in your subconscious mind. That is why this step is so vital.

If your goal was to teach 150 hours between January 1 & March 31, that would work out to 50 hours/month and 12.5 hours/week. Since people do cancel and you may need a week off somewhere in that time frame, if you commit to 15 – 17 hours/week, you’ll be on the right path to achieving your goal.

If you do not have these clients lined up yet, you must also think of how you would find them. Searching for job postings online, putting out an advertisement offering classes or sessions, going to a community centre or condo to see if they might be interested in hosting sessions, etc. are all possibilities.

5.    Scheduling often gets overlooked.

With the power of technology these days, everyone has access to a calendar either on their Smartphone or computer. I love to use Google Calendar, which is online and automatically syncs to my phone. If my phone gets lost, I still have all of my information from my online account.

Whatever type of calendar you have access to, it’s important that you use it and make sure to schedule your action steps so they’re on autopilot to get done.

6.    Reviewing your goals and progress can make it or break it.

Keep a copy of your goals near you and take a quick peek at them every day.

Every now and then, think about how the progress for each goal is going and feel free to change your action steps if what you’re doing isn’t working. Ultimately, you want to achieve the results of your goal, not just follow the action steps you initially set out for yourself.

If you’re not sure what to do, google sometimes has great ideas as does talking to a colleague or mentor about your challenges.

Question for you:

Do you actively set goals and write them down? Why or why not?

or

What are your three main goals for 2014?

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