Goals are most powerful when they are S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
- Specific — A specific goal is more likely to be accomplished than a general goal. Answer the tough questions about your goal: who, what, when, where, how, why? Write them down and keep track of them.
- Measurable — Define what being successful is and how you’ll know you’ve accomplished your goal. WGMGD stands for What Gets Measured Gets Done. When you measure your progress it helps you stay on track and motivates you to continue putting in the effort.
- Attainable — The reason that many goals aren’t reached is because they weren’t achievable from the start. But while you don’t want to make this mistake, goals should push you out of your comfort zone. Low goals produce low motivation and therefore are often missed, so find a good balance.
- Relevant — Don’t set meaningless goals. Each one should be important to you and make a difference in your personal and/or business life. Relevant goals drive you, your family and your business forward.
- Timely — Goals must have a deadline. No target date means there will be no sense of urgency. For instance, if you want to lose 15 lbs., setting a target date of when you want to lose it by will increase your chances of success.
If you have a difficult time coming up with goals, here is an excellent exercise that has really made a difference with me. I’ll base this on setting business goals, but this is equally productive for personal and family reasons.
Sit down and spend a few minutes thinking about how your business would be in an ideal world 10 years from now. By ideal I mean really good, but still realistic. Think about how your store would look inside and outside. How does your staff dress? How do they treat customers? What is your sales process? How many units do you sell? What is your profit per unit sold? How much money do you make, etc.?
When you visualize and write down how your life would be in an ideal world 10 years from now, it provides a clear definition of what your short-term goals are. It also begins building your self-image. You see the goals as achievable, and begin to mentally develop the traits and personality that allows you to possess them.
Set your goals, make them clear and write them down. Look at them often and track your progress so you can make your way to earning 10 times more than the dealers who don’t. And remember, whether you like Obama or not, he’s not going to add one dollar to your bank account this week — but you can.
Tory Hornsby is executive vice president of Dealership University and Powersports Marketing. This column originally appeared in the January 2013 issue of Dealernews.