Remember when you were in school and there was this dreaded thing called GPA that was used to measure your success as a student? GPA stood for Grade Point Average. Teachers used it to motivate and colleges used it to qualify applicants. My GPA wasn’t stellar, but I understood its importance.
I want to introduce you to another GPA. In this case it stands for Goals, Plan, and Action. This GPA is a proactive tool to help you be successful. Let’s get right into it.
Goals. Goals are the set point of what you want to accomplish. I want to reach $70,000 in income this year, I want to complete 5 sales today, I want to make it to everyone of my child’s games this year.
In a broader sense, goals define what is important to you. They are either enablers for other goals, step goals, or they are the end game of what you want to accomplish. Either way they should pass the RUMBA test and be highly visible to you when you are in the heat of battle.
RUMBA stands for reasonable, understandable, measurable, believable, and achievable. Goals that do not pass this test will leave you set up for failure. If I set my goal too high, like high jumping 30 feet, I will not take it serious and will not be motivated by it. The same is true if I set my goal too low, like high jumping 6 inches. I will get the same result.
Setting goals that are beyond your reach is not a problem if you have more reasonable step goals in place along the way. Just remember that improvement and achieving goals is a journey. There are typically many steps and obstacles along the way.
Plan: Next you need to have a plan to achieve your goals. A goal with no plan is like a car with no gas. It looks pretty, but will not take you anywhere. Your plan needs to be detailed enough to guide you in decision making and nimble enough to help you when circumstances become less than predictable.
A detailed discussion on planning is beyond the scope of this article. Even so, there are generally three questions that a plan will answer for you.
What am I going to do?
How am I going to do it?
How will I know I am being successful?
Action: Even with a goal and a plan, you still have to take action to carry out the plan. Building on the car with no gas example above, even if you have a goal and a plan, you still have to get in the car and start the engine to go somewhere. Action on your plan is needed.
Sometimes action is an activity and sometimes it is a sacrifice. Either way, there is no room for coasting. You are moving forward are your aren’t. One thing for sure is that if you are costing and your competition is isn’t, you are losing ground.