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Growth Strategies / Goals

How to Avoid BS Goals and Actually Achieve Results in the New Year

There is no real way to magically achieve your goals, but that doesn't mean you should give up.
How to Avoid BS Goals and Actually Achieve Results in the New Year
Image credit: PeopleImages | Getty Images
- Guest Writer
Head of Marketing at Weekdone
5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With every New Year comes the same old, same old: a large mass of people proclaiming their super awesome, amazing, life-changing goals on social media. Debbie is going to finally start that "great business idea" she is always talking about. Frank is going to start going to the gym and lose 20 pounds, and your struggling sales and marketing team is having a kick-off for the "Greatest Year Ever."

Related: 6 Apps That Help You Stick to Your Goals

Lets face it, Debbie won't even start with the business plan (her inflatable cat bed idea was terrible anyway). Frank will most likely go to the gym for three days and then gain 20 pounds. And the sales and marketing team will probably end up not changing anything from last quarter. With all these exciting goals abruptly ending in failure, it can make you feel like there is no point in setting these New Year's goals at all.

But wait! I'm here to introduce to you the magic of the Business Stimulator plan!

Just read these quotes from our satisfied customers who turned their businesses and lives around in just three days.

"I used to be ugly and unproductive. Now I'm just ugly. Thanks, BS!" -- Bryan from California

"My goal has always been to be on an infomercial, and now I am!" -- Lucy from Arkansas

"How did you people get into my house?!" -- Edna from Wisconsin

Related: The 4 People Who Will Help You Achieve Your Goals

So ... there is no real way to magically achieve your goals, and anything promising that is actual BS. But, that doesn't mean you should give up on goals. This article will look at how to spot a BS goal, and how you can set your business goals to avoid them.

Lack of accountability

After setting a goal and drafting a timeline, many people simply just stop in their tracks and never actually make any progress toward their goal. That is quite often what happens to our New Year's gym go-ers like Frank. Only about half of the Planet Fitness members ever attend the gym, and those missing numbers are largely made up of failed New Year's sign-ups. One trick to get to the gym more, is by creating a sense of accountability. People who hire a personal trainer or even just make an agreement with a friend are more likely to achieve their fitness goals.

When it comes to the work place, this lack of activity toward goals often comes down to a lack of structure and methodology or a lack of accountability. In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni explains accountability is "the willingness of team members to remind one another when they are not living up to the performance standards of the group."

Using a weekly reporting software is one way to increase transparency and accountability within teams as they work on their goals. No matter what type of goal, a sense of accountability will help give the push needed to get things started.

Related: 3 Steps to Create Powerful Results in Any Area of Your Life

No clear action steps

The biggest problem most people have with achieving goals is getting started. They basically say a goal and then have nothing to back it up and no clue on how to achieve their goal. I mean, come on Debbie, inflatable cat beds don't just grow on trees!

Having a method to accomplish a goal is just as important as having a goal itself. Many people are familiar to using things like SMART goals or KPIs. Other companies like Google, Sears, LinkedIn and Twitter have turned to the Objectives and Key Result methodology (OKR) to set their team and company goals. OKR is a framework of defining and tracking objectives and their outcomes. No matter what goal setting methodology you use, having a method and plan behind your goals is critical.

Expecting instant results

We all get force-fed the metaphor of the caterpillar becoming a beautiful butterfly almost overnight. But, even caterpillars don't just change overnight. Monarch butterflies spend 8-10 days in their chrysalis before emerging. 

So, if your sales and marketing teams expects to transform its result miraculously overnight, something is up. Psychologists suggest that after deciding on a goal or change you would like to achieve you then need to go through a three- to six-month period of will power and action, and then another six-month period to maintain that behavior.

Related: Why Achieving Your Goal Should Not Be the Most Important Thing

This is called the transtheoretical model (TTM) and is used to explain or predict a person's success or failure in achieving a proposed behavior change. The model has proven successful and is used in treating behaviors such as quitting smoking, weight control and even academic and business performance.

Acknowledging the time and phases that it takes to make a serious change or goal happen is critical to the success of that goal. It also helps relieve some of that cognitive load of not seeing results fast enough if you have a better idea of how long the process will take.

Just follow these three tips and you will be making small steps in the direction of setting better goals, and identifying goals that are unsustainable. So, as the barrage of New Year's goals make their inevitable appearance you can stay aware of which are good goals and which are total BS.

Related Video: The 3 Steps of Achieving Your Goals

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