RAB Insights

RAB Research Archive

Your Goals Are Not the Problem

Ever set a goal and not achieve it? We all have. Whether it be losing weight, getting in better shape, achieving a certain level financially or of course, meeting our monthly and yearly sales goals. RAB shares lots of information about setting goals using the S.M.A.R.T process:

S - Specific

M - Measurable

A - Achievable

R - Relevant/important

T - Time Bound

Prevailing logic is that if you set better goals, you’ll achieve better results. While goal setting and monitoring progress is important for setting the direction you would like to go, it’s not the only – and arguably – not the most important part of the process. Some new research from James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, reveals that if you’re not hitting your goals, it’s rarely the goal that is the problem. Clear writes: Prevailing wisdom claims that the best way to achieve what we want in life—getting into better shape, building a successful business, relaxing more and worrying less, spending more time with friends and family—is to set specific, actionable goals. Goals are about the results you want to achieve. Systems are about the processes that lead to those results. Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress.

If you’re not achieving the results you intend, it’s likely not your goals that are the problem, but your system for achieving them. If you have a goal of increasing your new business development by 20% this year but spend little to no time on the activities required (prospecting, seeding and researching people most likely to benefit from your services), you won’t have much hope of achieving your goal.

Everything we do – every routine – is a system of sorts. The question to ask yourself constantly is: “Are my systems, activities and behaviors working towards achieving my goals?”

Creating better systems will create better outcomes. Tomorrow, we’ll share the four problems with goals as it relates to achieving results.

Jeff Schmidt is the SVP of Professional Development. You can reach him at Jeff.Schmidt@RAB.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Source: Jeff Schmidt, RAB