By Kathleen E. R. Murphy
Someone once said that success begins at the end of your comfort zone. Do you believe that’s true? Once most people finish something, they generally will take a break from whatever it was they accomplished. This is perfectly understandable and acceptable. However, successful people are always learning new things and challenging themselves.
You do not have to be competitive by nature to want to expand your mind and abilities. Learning should not be parked at the door once we graduate from a program, but many people accept their accomplishment as permission to hit the snooze button on life.
Why do people fall into the trap of becoming too comfortable? Part of it has to do with the fact that they may not be naturally enamored by success. I suppose in some respects, I am fortunate, because I am a goal oriented person. Every company for which I have ever worked, has always had goals associated with the work I was tasked to perform.
Truthfully, I cannot imagine working without having goals, but I am constantly amazed when I learn about people who do not have strategic markers to achieve. Actually, I am not sure how anything gets done, or that the right items are focused on without having targets in place for everyone.
So, what if you are working at a company that does not set goals?
Start by asking your boss to schedule a meeting to develop your goals. Ask how performance is measured.
Yes, there are some positions where it may, in fact, not make sense to have traditional goals, but there are a variety of different types. Goals that measure customer satisfaction, goals to measure the results of the work you have been performing and overall project results. Marketing and sales teams typically have quarterly goals, so people in these roles are accustomed to having to reach milestones, but this does not mean they are still challenging themselves beyond the benchmarks being set for them.
If you are in a position, or at a company that sets goals, consider yourself fortunate. However, the goals being set for you do not have to be the only ones you should be achieve. In fact, you should have your own set of personal goals. They could be career-oriented, or personal (e.g., saving for a vacation, hitting a personal best record at your, volunteering a certain number of hours per month). The point is, you have more time than you think you have to fit in doing things that are part of helping you to reach your goals. You simply need to reprioritize how you allocate your time.
When you are thinking about how you can really challenge yourself, below are five points to ponder. Your responses will help move you out of your comfort zone, and on your way to accomplishing more than you imagined was possible.
- Stop procrastinating. Limit social media interactions and gaming or whatever it is that consumes hours of your time and results in nothing tangible or even intangible.
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish in the next year, then break those goals into the months you plan to complete them.
- Work backwards from the goals you set and list the steps needed to reach them.
- Are the goals you set realistic? Don’t create too many and set yourself up for failure, but do look to push yourself beyond what you think you can achieve. Make sure you keep tabs on how you are doing each month and how close you are to reaching your milestones and eventually your destination.
- Establish a reward system for reaching each step along the path. Most humans are intrinsically driven by rewards, so make sure you build some treats into your system. Once you achieve your goal(s), set new ones, and look forward to achieving them. After going through this process for about three to six months, the process of working on and achieving goals will come naturally.
These are just a few ideas that will serve as a strong foundation to help you to stretch and begin accomplishing more than you ever imagined.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me Too. Market Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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