Joplin, And Your Goals

On Wednesday, we had our monthly Clients-Only Coaching Call, and a couple cool things happened.

#1--One of our longtime clients on the call was Jim Erickson, from Joplin, MO. He was the first person I thought of when the tornado struck, and me and my staff immediately reached out to him. I've known Jim for over 7 years and he runs a very successful tax business with five offices in the Joplin area.

Firstly, I'm glad to say that Jim and his family (and his offices and staff) survived the tornado. His son was seriously injured, but was just released from the hospital and is recovering well. Jim reported to everyone that the town is still very much devastated (as you might imagine). Jim and his staff will be hopping over the next months to assist Joplin with all of the forms and procedures which help them receive aid. And he told us that the BEST way that we non-Joplinites can lend a hand is by going to: www.RebuildJoplin.org

Troy, Melissa, myself and the rest of my staff will be making a trip or two there in the next few months to do what we can (though I barely know how to plug in a hammer!), and I wanted to take the chance to remind you that these tragedies are still ongoing, after the spotlight moves on.

#2--Since December, we've been blessed to have Chauncey Hutter, Jr. join us and provide his coaching input to our clients during these monthly calls (they're included with a subscription to any of our services). He's the nation's foremost authority on marketing a tax firm, and has been coaching tax pros since 1996. I worked with him directly for a few years, and he's the clearest thinker I've ever been around.

So, we talked about goals on Wednesday. So much cliche-ridden thinking abounds around them ... and so few business owners use them effectively.

Chauncey exploded some of those myths (including that the MOST important thing is to be able to step back and understand WHY you are setting goals), and I thought I'd add a few additional thoughts:

Here's what I've learned about the proper way to set goals:

1: You must put your goals into writing!

If you keep your goals only in your head they will never be truly set. Your mind is extremely adept at rationalizing and you'll simply convince yourself that this obstacle or that obstacle is going to keep you from achieving what you want.

2: A goal will only be effective if it clearly identifies where you want to be in the future.

The clearer that you make your goal the more effective it will be. For instance; many people make goals about losing weight. If you write down your goal as, "I want to lose weight", I can pretty much guarantee if won't work. If you write down your goal as, "I want to lose 15 pounds by July 1st by going to the gym four times a week and working out for one hour each time, doing both aerobic and weight lifting workouts that I will track in my workout notebook." You have a much better chance for success!

3: Any goal that you set has to be congruent with your values as a person.

This one is pretty self explanatory, if the goal doesn't fit you, you're not going to accomplish it!

4: Always state your goals in a positive way and in the present tense.

When most people state their goals they say things like; "I want to make more money" or "I want to lose weight". Now, there's nothing wrong with those goals but they sound more like wishes than goals to me and we know that your wishes rarely come true. You should always state your goals like this; "I happily earn more than $300,000 a year" or "I work out every day and I weigh 175 pounds".

These sound like goals that you are working toward not wishes you hope will be granted.

5: Make sure that the only person that your goal depends upon is you.

Setting goals that rely upon people or event that you have no control over are goals that are never going to be achieved. You can't give yourself this "out"! It's easy to blame others for our setbacks but that is not the attitude of a winner.

Yes, it's a good idea to have goals designed with your team in mind -- but it starts by getting YOUR house in order.

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