As the New Year begins, there is never a shortage of newly developed business plans and individual resolutions that are built and created.  Each time I go online, a new social media post or article will pop up addressing the importance of goal setting, offering motivating tips and techniques on setting goals for your business, career or personal life.  In a recent google search I conducted for the term ‘goal setting’, the search produced 15.9 million results!  There is definitely not a shortage of information on how to set goals and build plans.  What there is a shortage of, is people and enterprises that actually reach their goals.

It’s not setting goals, building business plans or creating New Year’s resolutions that are the problem, it’s knowing what the real obstacles are that you are going to have to overcome that keeps people from achieving the results they desire.  Whether you are setting S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Based) or B.H.A.G. (Big Hairy Audacious Goals), if you do not know what hurdles you will be encountering you won’t know the proper steps  to take to leap over them. You can do a lot of things right with regards to staying positive, taking care of your health, visualizing your success, having an accountability partner and still end up short of reaching your goals. Without conducting the proper research of the obstacles you will encounter during your journey, you will become either discouraged or unprepared to reach your desired outcome or win against your competition when you reach the difficult part of executing your plan.

It’s not only important to know what to do to reach your goals, it is equally important to know what the real obstacles will be to reach your goals that far too often are overlooked.  Not understanding the difficulties of achieving a worthwhile goal leads people to underestimate what actions are required to accomplish their goals. Most people have no challenges with dreaming big, they are challenged with understanding how much work is needed to overcome the unidentified obstacles they will encounter along their journey. However, you can overcome this universal goal setting deficiency with proper research that identifies the obstacles ahead of you and gives you insight on actions to take to overcome those challenges.

Through research you find out who and what you are competing against. What is the result that matters and what relevant skills will you need to develop to achieve the goal. It does not matter whether it is for advancing your career, launching a new business, or losing weight; proper research is the first step to get you on the right path to success to reach your goal. Research also helps you identify the pitfalls to avoid. It allows you to know what has been done before, and what the needs, rewards, trends, and new developments are. You can also discern what to learn and what to avoid. Good planning is a component of research. Sounds simple enough, but how much time do we spend researching and planning versus just having a plan. A plan and planning are two distinctly different items. Research is a part of planning that educates and provides you an organized format for both the goals you want to achieve and identifies the obstacles you will encounter along the way.

Napoleon Hill, in his bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich, wrote, “Anybody can wish for riches, and most people do, but only a few know that a definite plan, plus a burning desire for wealth, are the only dependable means of accumulating wealth.” It is human nature to want better, but why do so many people get off track? Just because you wish it, just because you want it, just because you think it doesn’t mean you will get it. You need to have a definitive process to follow that allows you to get to where you want to go.  That process includes setting goals, developing action plans and properly identifying the real obstacles you will have to overcome during the course of the year.

It’s a new year, and instead of just following the advice and expert opinions on how to set goals, positon yourself for a breakthrough year and also take the time to learn what key obstacles you will have to overcome to reach your annual goal.  In order for you to accomplish something significant in 2017, it will require a lot of work.  In fact, it will most likely take more effort than you realize.

What strategies, resources, time commitment and skills will be required for you to have the transformational year you have outlined in your annual plan?

Peter