Continuing with the question why sports or athletic goals are sometimes easier to maintain a commitment to and achieve than business goals.
7) Easier to Monitor Progress
Using our running comparison, it is quite easy to record each training run and race either as a spreadsheet or on paper. Improvements in speed and distances run are immediately obvious. Progress can be monitored daily.
As long as distances are increasing and times, expressed as minutes per mile or kilometre are decreasing, our runner is improving his performance.
Most sports performances could be tracked like this. Weightlifters could track weights and repetitions.
Most people set business goals for longer periods, monthly, quarterly or for a year. Some activity or achievement goals can be monitored daily, number of customers contacted for example.
However, generally all the attention and focus is on those longer term goals.
8) Quicker Feedback
Closely tied to #7 above is the quicker feedback with sports goals. Our runner example will know from one day to the next whether he is improving or not. It is also much more difficult to fool ourselves, either we ran x miles in y minutes or we didn’t. We either completed lifting x sets of y lbs or we didn’t.
“I didn’t talk to a new contact today but I will tomorrow” type behaviour just does not work with sports goals.
9) Easier to set Mini Goals or Milestones
Setting mini goals or milestones seems easier for physical goals. To set a mini goal of running under 5 minutes a km for 10 km. by a date , say in two weeks time is quite simple and straightforward. Setting mini goals or milestones for business goals is a bit more complicated, it requires more thought and is often a casualty of the daily pressures of the business and life.
The result is that we set longer term goals, do not monitor our progress carefully enough and then find that we are falling too far behind to achieve the original goal by the set time.
Next post will be about the last four areas where there are distinct differences between these types of goals and then an analysis of how we can use these differences to improve our goal setting ability and strengthen our commitment to achieving our goals.
We want to be like the guy on the right, not the older wannabee weightlifter at the top of the page.
Wishing you success in all your endeavours.
p.s. Having trouble setting and achieving goals?
Click here to check out The Goals on Track program.