Are You Too Ambitious for Success? Be “Whelmed” Instead

It’s the new year.  A time when everyone makes resolutions to lose weight, save money, be a better spouse, or run a marathon.  In business, it’s when we set new goals for the coming year.  We’re going to open a new market, double our sales calls, hire a new admin, and document our procedures.  And let’s aim for the sky when we set goals.  After all, if you aim super high and fall short, it’s still a big success.  Right?  Well, sort of.  If aiming high means setting individual goals that are very ambitious, then there is truth to the concept.  Setting a big goal helps you to think above and beyond your current reality and think about what could be.  If aiming high means setting a whole lot of different goals for the year, however, I’m not so sure.

Juggling in Business

In my college years, I took up juggling.  It wasn’t exactly the “chick magnet” I expected it to be, but it was fun.  Here’s what I learned.  Juggling 3 balls or pins was easy.  I got pretty good at doing all kinds of fancy moves, and could pass pins with another juggler quite proficiently.  Juggling 4 balls was harder but pretty attainable with just a little practice.  Juggling 5 balls, however, was a whole different thing.  It’s just really hard to shift your focus so quickly from one ball to the next.  As a result, they all came tumbling down around me and my progress as a juggler stopped.  And my dreams of running off to join the circus died, too.

I think that this concept applies perfectly when setting goals.  If you set too many, you’re likely to accomplish very little.  If you set just a couple really big ones, however, you can make a lot of progress (learn to juggle them really well) on them and have a big impact on your business.

Git ‘Er Done!

Setting a few big goals is great.  But execution is king.    Without an execution plan, goals are only dreams.  Break those goals into tiny, bite-sized tasks, set deadlines for each one, and set time blocks on your calendar to execute on them.  Use that task list as a driver of your focus every time you have a spare half hour during the day.  Only then are you showing how serious you are about your goals.

Focus on the Few

If you set 10 big goals for 2017, you’re almost a dead lock to become overwhelmed.  Don’t be overwhelmed.  Be “whelmed” instead.  Set 2 or 3 Goals for the entire year.  We can juggle those, give them appropriate focus, and move our businesses forward.

Have a great 2017!

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