Network and Internet Marketers, entrepreneurs and small business owners are frequently advised to set goals. Have them written out and refer to them frequently.
Lots of us do just that, but very few actually do achieve their goals. There are many reasons for this failure, yet many who fail to achieve goals for their business have much more success achieving sports or athletic goals.
Why should this be?
Continuing with a comparison of why it is often easier to stay committed to achieving physical goals – in sports or athletics – than business or “mental” goals.
The last post ended with the 9th major difference, it is somewhat easier to set mini goals or milestones for physical goals.
The next difference is closely related to setting mini goals, but also deserves further attention.
10) Improvement is generally incremental & regular
Performance often “plateaus” in sports, moving performance levels up in increments from one plateau to the next can be frustrating. Despite the frustration, each movement to a new level or increment is measurable and becomes the achievement of a mini goal.
My experience with sailboarding is a good example. When I first started, I kept falling off the board even in a gentle breeze on a calm lake. By the end of my first day, I could sail in a straight line in a slight wind. That was the first level of competence, a mini goal had been achieved.
With more practice and perseverance, I developed enough skill to sail in a 10 knot wind and to tack and change course without constantly falling in the water. A new plateau had been reached, I was feeling that I had accomplished a goal.
Attempting to do the same in a 2o knot wind was at first a disaster, but again by persevering I was able to sail reasonably well in those stronger winds.
The next incremental improvement came when I left the calm waters of the lake and set out in the much rougher waters of the Indian Ocean. A new learning experience, but after more practice, I could eventually sail offshore in strong winds.
Sailing beyond the protection of the shark nets was a very effective incentive to staying on the board.
The knowledge that there were sharks in those waters and that there had been attacks on swimmers and surfers before the nets were installed helped overcome any lack of commitment to achieve the goal of sailing in the ocean.
Whether the sport requires speed, endurance or distance, progress can generally be seen to be made in easily identifiable increments.
11) Rest of Lifestyle is not Threatened
Unless we are professional sportsmen /women or athletes, and excepting the consequences of injury, the pursuit of our physical goals does not usually affect our lifestyle negatively. It does not normally affect our career, business or income.
It may involve some extra costs but we have a choice on how much extra cost to incur in the pursuit of our goals. Yes, there are people who will risk their families finances on the pursuit of their sports type goals and those that push themselves so hard that injuries start to affect their lives.
But the point here is that because the cost of failure to achieve a physical goal does not normally result in a financial catastrophe, one of the main “fear of failure” factors so prevalent in business goal achievement is removed.
Similarly, we are only moving out of our area of familiarity or “comfort zone” in one part of our lives. With a business goal, we are often putting our family’s financial future on the line and we may need to move completely out of our familiar environment.
12) Easier to Tolerate Physical Pain and Stress
Cramped muscles screaming for relief after pounding a hard road for 50 miles is an exquisitely excruciating pain. So is getting out of bed the next morning.
But it is somehow easier to handle knowing that it will lessen each day. During a long race, it is possible to tolerate the pain for just 1 more step and then another, and another until the finish line.
The mental stress experienced when striving for business goals is quite different and felt on many levels:
- How will I pay my Bills?
- How will I feed my kids?
- What if my car breaks down?
- What if I cannot find customers?
It is more difficult to compartmentalise these fears , deal with them and concentrate on achieving business goals.
When we stop our physical activity, pain may persist, but stress stops too. The stress we experienced, was directly related to activity and goal, not to our whole lives. Physical activity is a great stress reliever.
With our business goals, the stress of not achieving them, doubt in our ability to achieve them or fear of the consequences of failure can be extremely stressful.
So there are the 12 areas of major differences between achieving sports or athletic type goals and business goals.
Next post will explore some ideas on how we can use these differences to improve our goal setting ability and increase our commitment to achieving our goals.
Wishing you success in all your endeavours.
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