Who do you think of when you think of someone who has been successful in their goals? Most imagine a person who is highly disciplined, smart. creative and tireless. We also tend to think of someone attractive in some way, and engaging. These are the images our minds tend to go to and, to some degree, they ring true. Yet, there are millions of nice, intelligent and winsome individuals who are not “successful” by their own definition, let alone by the sometimes cruel definitions of others. Deep down, they feel they are capable of much more, or that they have “plateaued” in their goal achievement long ago. Could this be you as well?
In fact, most of us can point to several areas of our lives that seem to be holding us back, struggles we have vowed to overcome for years, even decades without any sustained success. This is frustrating and costly on many levels. The question is why? Before we address the answer, let’s take a brief look at the latest research surrounding who succeeds and who doesn’t, by the numbers.
Top 5 goals for 2015
Research released by the University of Scranton (January, 2015) indicated the following goals were the most common for 2015:
|Spend Less, Save More|
|Enjoy Life to the Fullest|
|Staying Fit and Healthy|
What is the key to successful goal-setting?
Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University randomly assigned study participants into five groups:
• Group 1 was asked to simply think about the business-related goals they hoped to achieve and to rate each goal by several measures including perceived difficulty and past experience with similar goals.
• Groups 2-5 were asked to write their goals and then rate them in same way as Group 1.
• Group 3 was also asked to write action commitments for each goal.
• Group 4 had to both write goals and action commitments and also share these commitments with a friend.
• Group 5 did all of the above plus sent a weekly progress report to a friend.
How did they do?
Group 1 Accomplished 43% of their goals.
Group 4 accomplished 64% of goals,
Group 5 were the most successful, accomplishing 76% of their goals.
What can we immediately apply from the above findings to double our chances of success in 2015?
Is there a good reason to believe you will achieve your 2015 goals in the nine months remaining? The answer is clearly, “it depends.”
- Writing down your goals will help, sharing your goals with a friend will help you even more. But, partnering to be accountable with someone on an ongoing basis will give you 33% more likelihood of success.
- If you haven’t written down your goals formally, we can guess from the above data, that you have a far less than 43% chance of success. One study put this figure as low as 4%.
- If you have an accountability partner to review your goals with you frequently throughout the year, your chances swell to 75%.
- Those of us who are older may need even more accountability to counteract the mood dip we may experience in mid-life and the far lower rates of goal success (around 14%.)
Key Fire Your Excuses principles to help you set better goals
Let’s return to our opening discussion–who are those who do the best at achieving their goals? What we know now is those who are connected and accountable to others enjoy the best odds of success.
For this reason, we continually urge our audiences and coaching clients, “Don’t try harder in 2015, get more connected.” If you have had the same goal for 10 years, say to lose that 10-15 pounds, sorry to say, there is a near zero chance you will achieve it this year based on willpower alone. The same goes for finally finding that dream job. You will need to reach out to others who are living the life you seek or who are actively holding themselves accountable to others weekly to consistently perform at a higher level. What we have noted over the years is that willpower will sustain you for three months, six months if you are extraordinary, but rarely longer. Studies show that within two years, nearly all who rely on willpower alone will have returned to their baseline weight or lifestyle.
We also challenge our readers and audience members to “Walk the last mile of denial!” It is so easy to go 90% of the way on your own but, due to your blind spots or well-worn excuses, leave that last 10% wide open. Result– self-sabotage, failure and discouragement.
Lest we be too hard on ourselves, our lifestyle “set points” can become very entrenched and often protect us to a degree. Powerful emotions, often unconscious to us, are at play, not just our resolve. Each of us have skills and practice disciplined behaviors we routinely perform that others struggle to accomplish or avoid all together. And, we have some areas that others do not struggle with but have been our challenge for as long as we can remember.
Give yourself a hearty “high five” for your strengths and disciplines, but be completely honest about those areas that have little chance of changing without finding support. Everything changes when you admit, despite knowledge, degrees, position, income or talents, there are several big areas that you just can’t yet “muscle through.”
Stop trying to be a will power achiever–reach out for help. Buckminster Fuller said it best: “Environment is stronger than will power.” Bottom line: It is far more effective to change your social support circle than to muster up more will power.
Now that you know the facts, the rest is up to you. Will you “double-down” trying harder or will you reach out and change your environment this year? If we can help you in any way achieve your goals in 2015, let us know.
Dr. Bill & Dr. Marcus
When people hear us say that a life of serving is the ultimate benchmark of having “fired one’s excuses” their thoughts often go to their level of involvement in local charities, international relief organizations and their kid’s sports equipment drive. We support such big serving activities too.
At their best, these campaigns and causes can have a tremendous impact on the classroom, the community and the world. They can teach citizenship, make a difference for those suffering with debilitating diseases and mountainous challenges, and help to rescue those suffering gross social injustices and poverty. But, at their worst, these big, public, serving activities can devolve into mandatory social obligations, feel far removed from real life, and even become “trendy.” Most of us have attended charity events that felt more like a place “to see and be seen.” Or, we have received correspondence from a company whose charitable or ecofriendly campaign appeared to be nothing more than a thinly-veiled marketing attempt to be seen as caring.
We’d like to encourage you to expand your view of service by going “small,” by thinking with us about creative, highly impactful and, in many cases, anonymous ways of “serving small.” This type of serving is one-to-one, impacting those you know well and those you don’t but with whom your lives intersect daily.
Here are 10 easy but powerful ways you can start serving small:
- Reach out to three of your LinkedIn connections each week and ask: “What are you working on (more formal) or “what are you up to these days? (less formal, for a closer colleague or friend.) Anything I can do to help?”
- Text three people and simply say: “I am thinking about you today, how are you doing with ______[insert challenge, big project, or blessing here.] If you are spiritually-minded you might say, “I know you are [dealing with a big challenge/decision, etc.] Just wanted to let you know I am think about you and praying for you today.”
You’re Invited to Join Dr. Bill Dyment in the Launch and Monetize Your Business
in 7 Days TeleSummit!!!
I am excited to share with you that I have been invited to take part in the Launch and Monetize Your Business Telesummit along with six other amazing speakers! This Telesummit is different from the others – there will be no fluff success stories here! This is the real stuff, the secrets I use to coach my clients to their business success!
I invite you to join me on March 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm EST for
Fire Your Excuses!
I will provide training on:
- Business Blind Spots: The three reasons most entrepreneurs fail and how you can side step them before you begin. (What you don’t know can kill your business.)
- Critical Connections: How to get the right “people on the bus” at the very first stop. (Your team is more important than your passion, will power and knowledge.)
- Perceived Value and Paying Your Bills: Three essential techniques to “keep the lights on” during the early phases of your business–The magic of beta rollouts, product packaging, and protective contracting.
- Strategic Serving: The Win-win-win. Impact your “community,” experience the “helper’s high,” and grow your business more rapidly than you ever thought possible.
– phone lines limited for this FREE event, grab your web/phone line here!
The Telesummit will focus on the areas you need to get you and your business moving and profitable! During this 7 day information packed summit starting March 19th to 25th, an exciting interview will be unveiled every day to share new ideas, marketing trends, tips, the latest strategies, and inspiration to launch your business to the next level.
Think of it like “continuing education” for the entrepreneur, coach, and online business professional, there is something for everyone! And the best part is it’s free and you can attend from your laptop! For practical information, trend setting strategies and inspiration you can use NOW, grab your spot at the Launch and Monetize Your Business TeleSummit here:
“See” you there!
Dr. Bill Dyment
Are You Missing Out?
In May, 2013, I formed a mastermind group of six with the help of my colleague and friend, Trent Adams. It is not an exaggeration to say it was the best business decision made all year. Not only have we dissected each of our businesses in a grueling but highly-rewarding fashion that would make the Shark Tank venture capitalists proud, we have laughed together, challenged, and been there for each other through personal and business changes, crises, and triumphs.
Our rules were fairly simple: Each person committed for three months to meeting for 90 minutes every Wednesday before work and 80% attendance was required, no exceptions. To our delight, it worked and all agreed to continue for at least a year. Today, we routinely turn down requests to join our group as word has got around that we have a good thing going. Truly, we all feel as if our investment of time has become an almost unfair business advantage. What’s more, it has been a commitment to myself and my business development, I wish I had implemented years ago. This post is designed to explain a bit more about mastermind groups, in general, to help you decide if joining or starting one is right for you too.
If you haven’t heard much about mastermind groups yet, you will. Thanks, in part, to the praise they have been receiving from some of the top business podcasters, they are springing up everywhere these days. Mastermind groups are usually limited to a maximum of 8-10 people. While not a new phenomenon—Ben Franklin was in a Philadelphia group he called the “junto” (latin for “meeting”) for 37 years, they are experiencing a fresh, 21st century resurgence. Some take place in-person, others are made possible by fast web-based video and cheap phone connections. All are fueled by a growing understanding that collaboration with others is the primary way of succeeding in today’s interdependent marketplace.
Welcome Read to Lead Podcast listeners!
This week, Dr. Bill Dyment was Jeff Brown’s featured guest for Episode #024.
To hear more of Jeff’s Podcast just click on the icon below:
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