HOW FOCUSING ON ONE GOAL CAN INCREASE YOUR SUCCESS
Drum roll please … the big announcement this week is ….. I am walking the 800km Camino de Santiago from France across the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela in Spain in April. Have you ever done it? Considered doing it?
For those wonderful coaching clients who will be working with me at that time, don’t worry I’ve scheduled time to do our coaching sessions.
Doing this walk requires a level of fitness far beyond any I’ve ever attained.
Frankly, I can’t even imagine being fit enough to cross the Pyrenees in 2 days with 8 hours of gradients equivalent to that of Awaba St in Sydney. But, it must be so, or I’ll end up being one of those extracted from the mountains by ambulance.
I love making a plan. I can do a mean spreadsheet. What I struggle with is keeping to the plan when on day 2 (1?) I decide I want to do something else instead. I’m also REALLY good at procrastinating on the plan.
As for fitness generally, it’s something I tend to fit in when I have time (and you know what that means). I walk the dog, I go to pilates weekly. That’s it.
But when I tried to include more exercise, I found it just didn’t fit. I just didn’t have any more time than I had before to walk for longer, on steeper hills more frequently.
I told myself how important it was, scared myself with potential scenarios. Still no time appeared for me. Until one night I woke up in a panic – there was less than 3 months to go and I was as unfit as ever. But I had a solution. The only way I was going to do this (and flights are booked, it must be done), is to work everything else around the fitness. Fitness First you might say! (sorry).
Of course, I know this. Focussing on one thing is something I coach to get results.
I follow the advice of Verne Harnish, world expert in business growth and author of Scaling Up.
Each quarter, one goal. Just one. Identify your processes, assign responsibilities, measure progress against process, check in daily and get it done. It’s simple but brilliant. Companies such as Atlassian have benefited from this. It works.
But choosing that one thing is difficult.
DECIDING IS KILLING OTHER OPTIONS
Often I ask clients for their goals and they’ll naturally have a number of them. Then I’ll ask which they want to reach first and while they may be able to choose they still want to hang on to substantial progress on the others at the same time. Not possible.
Wanting something to work doesn’t make it so. I absolutely guarantee that if you have 3 goals in a quarter, none of them will be achieved, in fact it’s more than likely little progress will be made on any.
When we prioritise many things we prioritise nothing.
So, ONE thing this quarter. Celebrate success. Then ONE thing next quarter.
The word ‘Decide’ has its roots in the act of killing (‘-cide’). One option is chosen, the others, for the meantime, die.
When Frodo took the ring to the mountain, he didn’t decide to also knit a cardigan or write a cookbook on local cuisine. One focus. Ring – Mountain.
TRACK PROGRESS ON THE PROCESS
And so back to my quest. For me the Camino has already begun. The training is the first stage of the journey – it is part of the hardship of the whole challenge because it’s something I have tried to do many times and failed (or failed to keep it up).
In case you’re interested in keeping up with my progress thus far, here are the metrics against process. I am increasing the gradients too of course.
I’ll keep you updated but try not to bore you with it.
SARA’S TOP TIPS TO HELP YOU DELIVER ONE GOAL QUARTERLY (taken from experience + Verne Harnish)
1) Have a Goal You obviously can’t get anywhere if you don’t decide where you’re going. So where are you going this quarter? Kill all other ideas – just try it for one quarter and see if it works.
2) Decide Process and People What are the processes you need to put in place, what are any milestones along the way. Plan it out. Who’s responsible for each process or sub-goal?
3) Daily Huddles A huddle is non-negotiable – every single morning. No client meetings or calls take precedence. It’s very short. No project work discussed. 3 questions. What are you doing today (to move towards the goal), where are you stuck (and can anyone help?), do you have time to help anyone else? That’s it. Should be no more than 10 mins. Stand Up. No chatting!