When you set a goal, the difference between success and failure often comes down to one simple factor. It’s simply how motivated you are to complete the task.
When we look at motivation, I like to use a Football analogy. Take your average pro football team and your average player. What will motivate that player to success? In the graph above you can see the relative levels of motivation. They are in link step with how transparent and accountable you are.
There are five levels listed
- Coach: This person knows you inside out. They also hold you accountable. A good coach will make or break a player and a team.
- Team: Having good teammates and working as a team will help you succeed. Accountability and transparency are high.
- Crowd: The roar of the crowd can help motivate you to success. However, crowds can be unpredictable. They can easy turn on you.
- Television or other Media: Doing well on TV can be a motivator, but when you are on the field, you are far removed from the screen.
- Subconscious: You would think that your own mind would be your greatest motivator, but for most people this just isn’t true. You are far more likely to let yourself off the hook than any of the others.
Let’s look at how these line up on our Goal Chart from yesterday’s post.
Our expertise makes our tasks easier over time. The more we know, the more likely we are to move to success. As we can see the danger level is in the focused area in middle. I’ve been here so many times in my life. I get started, dead focused on the task, but I’m unable to finish the project because the level of complexity made it much harder to do than I expected. Motivation waned, and I usually gave up. For success, I really needed to bring in others and use their expertise and motivation. When I’ve been part of a team, or hired a coach, the project usually gets completed.
The low end of the graph is where simple habit change comes in. The simpler the change of routine is, the more likely we are to see success. When I have made simple changes to existing habits, they work almost like magic.
Let me give you an example of both ends of this graph and how they affected me.
Back in 2008, I set a goal to write my first fiction book. I had never written fiction before, so to complete the writing and get a finished book would take a lot of motivation and expertise. Here is how it worked out for me.
The first round went like this…
- Ingrained habit: I currently wrote non-fiction blog posts for two hours, first thing in the morning
- Habit Change: I changed to writing fiction instead of non fiction in the morning.
- Results: A first attempt at fiction. 80,000 words in four months.
The first round went rather well. I had an ingrained habit already created of writing from 4am to 6am. I just changed the habit from writing blog posts, to writing fiction. At first it was a little clumsy, but I learned quickly along the way. My first draft was OK, but certainly not where I wanted it. This is where the project would have stopped had I not brought in a writing coach.
The second round went this way
- My writing coach took five chapters at a time, made corrections and offered suggestions.
- She took my clunky sentences and worked magic. The edited prose was very motivational.
- I learned from her at each step and made her suggested corrections, motivated to get better as I went.
- I compiled the final edit, and had beta readers comment. It actually sounded good.
My takeaways for developing a successful goal setting strategy.
- Changing an ingrained morning habit made the initial writing easy. I just wrote fictional stories, instead of blog posts.
- My goal would have ended at the first draft had I not brought in a writing coach. I didn’t have the expertise or the motivation to finish without her.
- The more I learned about writing fiction, the easier it became to write well and the more motivated I was to edit and finish the book.
- I need to use this graph to figure out when I need to bring in a team, hire a coach, or go out to social media for help.
- So many of my goal failures have been the result of trying to do everything myself.
Bottom line. If you have a difficult goal you want to accomplish, make sure you bring in others to help. It may be a coach, small group, mastermind, or leadership organization.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the bottom end of the graph and see some amazing ways we can change existing habits to do amazing things we never thought possible. We’ll compose some Blended SMARTER Goals. Stay tuned.
SMARTER Goals Can Help You Find Success
Episode 1: Goals Vs. Habits
Episode 2: Fight Training
Episode 3: SMARTER Goals
Episode 4: Testing & Fine Tuning Your Goals
Episode 5: SMARTER Goals for Life
Episode 6: This Simple Graph Made Goal Setting Stick