Mistakes, Personal Experience, and Strategies

Model for hitting goals, do you have one? Many people approach the process of setting and pursuing goals with the trial-and-errorPicture of a dart board with bullseye hit method.

This is not the best practice for hitting your target. They mistakenly believe that if they throw enough resources and energy at the few steps that they recognize are needed then they will achieve their goal. They handle the pursuit of goals with a hit-or-miss approach with the hope that everything will work out and they will meet their goal.

This strategy may work for short-term or smaller goals. It will not work for huge long-term goals. Reaching and maintaining long-term, big, hairy goals requires that a proper strategy be used.

Context and the Basics

When we see someone who has set, pursued, and met their goals we only have the outsider’s view of the outcome of the goal being met. We don’t have the context of how the goal was decided upon. We don’t know how the organization of the steps required to meet the goal were put into place. The processes that ensure the goal aligns with the business’s mission statement and other pursuits are also not known from the outside. All that we see is the final positive outcome.

So, taking a step back, consider Olympic athletes. Olympic athletes are some of the most finely tuned machines on the planet. They spend hours upon hours every day training to hone their skills to be the best in the world. What we may not realize from justOlympic logo in hands observing them is that there is a specific and focused plan that they follow religiously. These athletes are coached by the most effective coaches. Their diets are tuned for their particular needs. They practice maintaining a positive and correct mindset. They study the correct techniques for their sport and the list goes on. Olympic athletes have a specific and focused model for hitting goals.

Similarly, Microsoft didn’t just get lucky and make it big. Their success can be directly related to conscious strategy plans and preparation that allowed the company to carve its particular niche in the market.

More than Will Power

Along the way, I have set and chased various goals in my life. My approach toward all goal accomplishments was to focus intently on the goal doing everything possible to achieve it. My planning and preparation for pursuing any goal was to write the goal in my planner. I write that I was going to begin to pursue the goal and then write in an arbitrary date for me to have met the goal. That’s it! The rest of the story is that I would try just about anything to get to the goal.

For the most part, this was not a successful strategy for hitting my target.graphing of progress and woman making marks

What I didn’t realize was that successfully reaching a big hairy goal takes much more than just willpower and perseverance. Some short-term goals can be reached using this method but those are generally goals that I had a fair amount of control over. Grades in school for instance. The process for maintaining good grades was to show up, study, turn in assignments and do well on tests. I could pretty well manage all of that as long as there wasn’t a surprise assignment given at the last minute or a pop quiz given. This type of goal had very little outside influence to cause the plan to deviate from a successful outcome.

Other goals such as increasing my business’ revenue and scaling my business are certainly goals that I can accomplish but these goals will have a considerable amount of influence from outside sources. I am not as able to control all of the variables that are inherent in doing business and being successful.

Failure to Plan to Hit My Target

Then there are the goals that defy explanation as to why I fail time after time after time. As a person who has always had to keep a close watch on my weight, I have spent enormous time and energy in the pursuit of reaching and maintaining my goal weight. Then Weight scale and measuring tapeno positive results! Talk about discouraging. I had tried all sorts of diets, counted calories, cut down on carbs and fat, you name it I’ve probably tried it at some point.

Along with the dieting were the hours of working out in various iterations. The first couple of weeks were terrific, pounds would come off and all would be rosy. Then in just a few more weeks, bam – hit the wall and no more pounds coming off discouragement set in. Then the cookies and cream ice cream from the freezer found its way to the couch with me to binge-watch a trending show on Netflix.

This constant round and round with the weight was so disappointing as well as puzzling to me. I could reach other goals in my life but this one alluded me consistently. I can confidently say that it was not because I didn’t desire the goal enough. My passion goal for this goal is very high. The mere fact that I continue to jump back on the weight-loss train demonstrates that I am dedicated to this goal. So, what else could it be that was keeping from success at this goal?

Strategy was Missing

Something has to be wrong with the way I was attempting to reach the goal. I sat down and listed out everything important to me about this goal and everything that I had tried. So, I began to pursue finding out what I was missing and how I could overcome this roadblock in this area of my life. Then the “aha” moment hit. I was missing a proper strategy to accomplish my goal.Chess Strategy checkmate


Most successful big companies focus heavily on strategy. So, to apply strategy to my failings in the area of weight loss should bring me to the place of achieving my goal. I needed a model for hitting my goal.

As I began to apply what I had learned I formed my vision, identified my roadblocks, created a tracking sheet, etc. Within the first week, I had the gut feeling that I would finally be successful at reaching this goal. One year later I had proven that strategy was the key for me to be able to reach my goal and left me shaking my head wondering why it took me so long to figure this out.

What it all boils down to is that practicing the same strategic format that I had used to reach other goals had shown me that investing time on the front end to clearly identify the vision and make a plan for each step of the way, including troubleshooting ideas pays off tremendously. Pursuing and reaching a goal has become an almost predictable science.

Being consistent and using the same methods to tackle a goal can be supremely rewarding as the goals become reality. All the hard work, planning, and consistency definitely pay off.

Here are the basic elements to follow to create your own success.

Goal Getting Model to Hit Your Target

There are five steps that I have been using successfully. Following these steps in order are crucial to successful goal achievement.

Businessman pointing to the word goalThese five steps are:

  1. Truly and clearly visualize your goal.
  2. Identify techniques to achieve your goal.
  3. Prepare a plan based on the techniques to achieve your goal.
  4. Implement the techniques to reach your goal.
  5. Review the outcome of your goal then establish future steps.

Putting these steps to work for you will give you the ability to work through the most difficult goals and break them down into basic actionable steps. Goals that you truly thought were too big and hairy to reach will become reachable. Using this framework can be the tool in your toolbox that you wish you had known about from the beginning.

Although these steps seem simple individually, when put together they create a powerhouse of a goal-crushing machine. Now, let me be clear, these steps are not a magic elixir that will turn the big hairy goal into a shiny new accomplishment without lifting a finger.  This model requires you to invest your time and energy into each step to accomplish your goals. You are responsible for the actions needed to realize the benefits of these five steps. By putting these steps into action, you will find that reaching your goals is substantially simpler. Your success in consistent goal-crushing will become more predictable and profitable. No more random hit-or-miss events.

The Holistic Approach

The key to success is the holistic approach that is taken. No matter how hard you work toward a goal, without a plan you are still taking a haphazard approach that may or may not get you to the result you desire.

These steps make up a complete holistic model that helps work through what is needed to accomplish reaching your goal. Beginning with the visualization of your goal through the review of the process and any lessons learned will help you map out everything you need to guide you through reaching any goal you set out to reach.

Five Steps and Factors to Consider

1. Good for any goal.

What goals are you pursuing? Increasing revenue, more speaking engagements, recognition as an expert in your field, creating new networks for collaborations, better healthy habits, taking a vacation without missing a beat in your business?

Regardless of the goals you have set for your business or yourself, this method is completely relevant and applicable to your situation. It is suitable to use for any goal that you are interested in pursuing with positive outcomes.

Let’s say that you want to build a bridge, here is how it would break down using these five steps.

  1. Clearly visualize the project. Picture the bridge in your mind down to the smallest detail.Building a bridge construction site
  2. Identify the requirements for the project. Beginning with an architect’s rendering, identify the project’s requirements such as building materials, labor required, time frame, etc.
  3. Prepare a plan by securing the location of the bridge for construction, securing bonds, insurance, equipment, and identify a project manager, etc.
  4. Implement the plan by purchasing materials, hiring crews, beginning construction.
  5. Review the project after the completion of construction and passing inspections. Review the project with the project manager and client for final approval. Note all possible changes that could be made for future goal setting and put into a file for future use in goal/project planning.

2. For the achievement of your goal, all steps must be put into practice.

Each step is an integral part of this model. Each step is necessary for a successful outcome. Leaving out or shortchanging any step will jeopardize the successful reaching of your goal.

3. The steps are sequential; building upon each other.

Completing the steps in order is essential to completing the goal with the desired outcome. People walking up steps step-by-stepThe more specific information included in each step the better. This will save time and frustration by preventing the disruption of work or having to redo the work completely. Being clear and specific at the beginning of the project will provide a stable base for the work toward the goal to be accurate and exact for achieving the goal.

4. Moving through the steps puts a physical shape to your vision of the goal.

In step one, your goal is basically a thought, an image in your mind. Moving through each step takes the thought or image from your mind and creates a physical product that can be seen and measured.

5. Big Hairy Goals are most likely to be met with this model.

While it is true these steps can be used for any goal regardless of size they may not be as beneficial for smaller goals. Smaller goals can sometimes be accomplished by just forging ahead with the work. The time required to work through each of the plans and creating a strategy may not be cost-effective for small goals. However, for medium to large difficult goals that you may have attempted before but not been successful, this model essential. Taking the time to work through each step and create your strategy will pay off well for the medium to big hairy goals. The bigger and hairier the goal, the more essential this model for hitting goals is to create your strategy.

6. Following these steps allow for pivoting and reassessment.

By following each of these steps you create a consistent and methodical plan for your strategy. By having the strategy written out step by step you will be able to quickly identify issues that may arise and correct them before going too far down the wrong path. You can review progress regularly and have the nimble agility to pivot should you need to. A comprehensive environment for your strategy helps to ensure that all possible scenarios have been evaluated and the most beneficial plan for your business has been defined.

About Your Goals

In step one, you are to visualize the goal you are going to pursue. You most likely have a goal in mind that you would like to test this method on. That is fine, but it is most important that you actually take the time to go through the visualization process completely.Person looking through binoculars Many people do not give enough credence to this step and skip over it or only give it a passing thought. Visualizing your goal is so much more than just putting a name to the thought of the goal you’ve had in mind.

Making sure that your vision of your goal is fully thought through, precise, and clear, and will truly serve the needs of your business. If you choose to speed through or skip the visualization step you may find yourself backtracking and wasting time and resources redoing pieces and parts of your strategy because you didn’t set up clear and precise information about your goal. You can reach the goal only to determine that you really didn’t want that goal after all. You will have spent time and resources pursuing something that wasn’t genuinely the thing you needed or even wanted.

What’s Next?

The next steps would be to put in to practice this model for hitting goals that we have discussed here. To recap, this model involves the following steps:

  1. Truly and clearly visualize your goal.
  2. Identify techniques to achieve your goal.
  3. Prepare a plan based on the techniques to achieve your goal.
  4. Implement the techniques to reach your goal.
  5. Finally, review the outcome of your goal then establish future steps.

Identify a goal for your business, apply the steps above to plan your approach to the goal, and pursue it for all you are worth with this plan to guide you!