Goal Setting is something which comes naturally to Sales professionals. Sales quota targets are the lifeline of every sales person, and one cannot succeed, if you don't follow the process of GOAL SETTING, and track your progress on a regular basis. Achieving and sometimes over-achieving your quota provides you the kick, which only the Sales Community can well understand.  

The year 2020 was tough for everyone. Work from home became the new norm which initially seemed exciting but soon turned into one non-ending story.   Many of us became couch potatoes while working from home. So as soon as things started to reopen, I thought of extending the benefit of GOAL SETTING in other spheres of my life.  

One of the things which had been on my mind for a very long time was to adopt a more healthier lifestyle. However, I had been procrastinating because of the crazy #salescycles that we are all immersed in (or should I say they were just excuses). I decided to finally tame the mind and started running and cycling. But being a creature of Habit and sales and targets as part of my DNA, by September 2020, I  set up goals (the way we do in Sales) to drive me towards my desired outcome. I followed the same process which is as follows:

1. Pick up a #goal - I wanted to run a half #marathon by Dec 2021.

When I picked up the goal, it was initially difficult to visualize how in the next 15 months, I could relentlessly remain dedicated to my goal and achieve it. Hence I followed the SMART framework to define and refine it, so that I could focus on it.

Clearly Defined Goal 

S - Specific - Half marathon

M - Measurable - Define smaller milestones for every month and   evaluate progress

A - Attainable  - Reasonably challenging which pushes me to accomplish my goal 

R -Relevant – Align it to my philosophy of adopting healthier lifestyle

T - Time bound - Achieve it within 15 months (Start : Oct ‘20)

GOAL Refined and Defined : Run Half Marathon by Dec 2021, by working on my endurance, adopting healthier eating habits, measuring progress every month and sharing the goals and accomplishment with like-minded inner circle, who keep me motivated.

2. Apprise others in your “inner circle” of this goal - It was very important for me to identify and be part of a community of like-minded people-cycling group and running group. Being part of the community which was driven by the same goal gave motivation and inspiration to work towards the goal. Gradually, the ‘inner circle’ was formed and we  shared our progress and success milestones. The following benefits were  derived from this process: 

A. Remain Committed - As I saw my inner circle achieving defined milestones on a daily basis, it helped me to enforce my affirmations and keep pushing me to tie my shoes in the morning to run towards my goal.

B. Challenging – Some days were challenging as the goal felt like a mammoth. On those bad days, when I felt like quitting, the inner circle motivated me to take a halt or pause but quitting was not an option. 

C. Task Complexity - I broke the final goal into various smaller milestones and they became my targets which I had to achieve on a monthly basis. Target defined for every Quarter OND - 5KM, JFM - 10KM, AMJ - 15 KM, JAS -15KM, OND : 21.1 KM. (I am sure Sales folks will understand these acronyms

3. Collect Specific Ideas from Inner circle on how to improve - Self-development is key. Once I had run consistently for 1 quarter (OND) for 5km, it was important to get ideas from the inner circle on how to prepare and improve for the next quarter goal. Ideas for improvement included:

  • How to develop core strength?, 

  • What will be the best shoes to run long distances?

  • What apps or  watch should be purchased to measures vital parameters while running?, 

  • how to consistently work on a growth mindset which makes your belief system stronger to achieve your goals and much more...

4. Elicit feedback from your inner circle - This is a feedback loop to know how you are doing against the set goals. One part of the process is to do your own analysis, but equally important is to take that feedback from the inner circle and even people outside your inner circle. Be patient and persistent with yourself as these improvements happen over multiple months of effort and not in days and weeks. Apply the feedback for continuous improvement.

The above process of goal setting is applicable across the board, whether one is setting health goals, family goals, financial goals, or professional goals. So take a step ahead and set your goals because it helps you to set your direction, increases your potential to achieve more, helps to prioritize your tasks, gives relentless focus and sets direction for our future.

Remember ATTITUDE IS AGNOSTIC and once you show it in one sphere of life, it will permeate into other sphere of your life.