Want to Be a Top Achiever?
Stop Setting Goals!
By Douglas Vermeeren
most people make a goal, they state something they want to do or
achieve, set a completion date, create some checkpoints for the
goal, and then cross items off their list as they get done.
Unfortunately, such an approach rarely leads to long-term success.
Because the traditional goal-setting formula most people follow was
developed in the early 1900s in manufacturing to enable company
executives to monitor the number of units coming out of a factory by
a certain date. It’s a great measuring stick if you’re manufacturing
products, but if you’re trying to improve yourself or achieve
something non-tangible, it’s a woefully ineffective and out-of-date
example, if your goal is to have a better relationship with your
spouse, the traditional goal-setting formula simply won’t work. Can
you realistically set a completion date for the “better
relationship” to occur? Can you define specific action steps that
will enable you to create a better relationship with your spouse?
Sure, you can decide to do things such as a weekly date night or
spend an hour each day talking with your spouse, but are those items
you can cross off a list once you do them, never to think of them
again? Probably not. That’s why the current goal-setting formula
that people use is incomplete.
goals fall into one of two categories: “Be” goals and “Do” goals.
Just as the names imply, “Be” goals encompass anything you want to
be (a better spouse, a more productive employee, a more successful
business owner, a more compassionate friend), and “Do” goals
describe anything you want to do (close 20 sales, attend a child’s
softball game, wash the dishes, hire a new employee). The
traditional formula of goal setting only takes into account “Do”
goals. Yet for most top achievers, 80 percent of their goals are
“Be’ goals and only 20 percent are “Do” goals. They’re more
concerned with character attributes than arriving at a final
destination point. They know that character attributes often enable
them to attain successful levels.
not that top achievers don’t set goals; rather, they set goals
differently. Rather than use the word “goal,” top achievers use
words like “destination” or “performance” or “habits.” They don’t
cross items off a list and forget about them, they build upon their
accomplishments to reach even greater levels of success.
want to be like the top achievers and attain new heights of success,
then you need to use the proven “4 P” formula top performers use. By
doing so, you’ll be able to achieve amazing results.
Amazing Potential: Every single person has an incredible
amount of potential. Unfortunately, most people have no idea how
significant their potential is. The fact is that you can do anything
and you are worthy of anything. You simply need to believe that.
achievers have no doubts about their potential. They believe they
can accomplish anything they want, no matter how lofty the desire.
If they want to close 20 sales by the end of the month, they know
they can do it. They believe in themselves unconditionally.
Therefore, to be like a top achiever, you too need to believe that
you can accomplish anything you dream. The sky’s the limit, so think
Amazing Possibility: While you have the potential to do
anything you can conceive, you don’t truly understand what’s
possible unless you see someone else doing it or something similar.
For example, for decades no one believed it was possible to run a
mile in under four minutes, but since Roger
Bannister broke the “four minute barrier” in 1954, many athletes
have improved upon his record. Once athletes saw what was possible,
they pushed themselves to do better and accomplish more.
The same holds true in the business world. When we
see other people close contracts, invent new products and offer new
services, we see what’s possible and we make our own vision for our
future. We recognize our possibilities by what we see and
believe. Once we believe it, that vision turns into a desire. As we
believe and desire those things we see more possibilities around us.
Going back to our example of closing 20 sales by the end of the
month, as long as we see other people in our company or industry
closing sales, then we see the possibility that exists and we can
build upon that. We may even be able to get specific, such as seeing
what specific product sells best, what price point sells most, etc.
Amazing Probability: To make something probable, you need to
surround yourself with people and events that increase your chance
of success. Think of it this way: If you were at one end of a long
room, and at the other end was a dart board, people would say it
wasn’t probable that you could put a dart in the bull’s eye. But
with every step closer to the dart board you took, you’d increase
your probability of getting a bull’s eye.
steps you take forward are what you learn, the relationships you
have, the things you surround yourself with, and the preparation you
put in. In our sales example, we could surround ourselves with
customers who could fulfill our objective, other salespeople who
could teach us the techniques we need to know, circumstances where
we would have the ability to pitch and sell, and self-improvement
venues that would enable us to think and act like a top producer.
Awesome Performance: Most people have heard the phrase “Give
a man to fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and he eats
for a lifetime.” But the truth is that if you teach a man to fish he
doesn’t eat for a lifetime; he’s just a man in a classroom.
In order to eat forever he has to get out to the lake with a fishing
rod and start fishing. So the last step to achieving great things is
to get out there and actually do something. That’s what top
achievers do. So if you were trying to close 20 sales by month’s
end, you would now need to put everything you’ve learned and
observed into action. Action, not knowledge alone, is what creates
Your Life Amazing: All top achievers go through this four-step
process. They recognize their potential, they see the possibilities,
and they turn those possibilities into probabilities by learning and
putting themselves into positions where they can gain more
information and surround themselves with the right people. As they
accumulate this information they turn it into performance by
actually doing something with it. That’s really the secret to
achieving all your life’s goals.
Remember, success is not an event. It’s a journey. That’s why
performance is so important, and consistent performance is nothing
more than a habit. So if you want to be successful, you need to
identify the successful attributes you want to display and make them
habits. It’s not sufficient to do something great once and then
expect your life to be brilliant. You need to continually strive to
do bigger and better things. Rather than cross accomplishments off a
list, you need to build upon them so you can achieve even more. Only
then can you truly accomplish everything you want in life—all
without ever setting a single goal.
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