by Carole Hodges

Some goal setters make it all seem easy: just know what you want, keep it in your mind, keep moving toward it and…VOILA! You have an amazing life!
Is it really this easy? Well, yes and no.

Yes – if you follow these directions, it REALLY IS this easy. You have examples before you all the time, but they may feel so commonplace, so simple, that you don’t recognize the process as setting and achieving a goal. Let’s say you feel like having spaghetti for dinner. So you purchase any ingredients you need at the store, you go home, you cook the pasta and the sauce and VOILA! You have a spaghetti dinner on the table. And you’ve both set a goal – dinner – and taken the steps necessary to make it a reality.

However, something else happens when you decide you’d like a million-dollar business or a strong, healthy body or a great relationship. It isn’t nearly as simple as spaghetti. You might be tempted to ask yourself, “Why isn’t it easy?” But a better question, one that creates results, is, “HOW can it be easy to ?”

Yesterday, while I was driving, I was pondering my goals for 2009. Like you, I have health goals, relationship goals and business goals. While I have created a plan for the year, it is still in a state of flux.

As I drove down the street in the right lane, the car ahead of me slowed to a stop and signaled right. I stopped as well, understanding from the evidence that the driver of the car was planning to park.

But the car started moving again, then suddenly darted to the left lane – while still signaling right! I was confused. The drivers around me were confused. Some were even annoyed and honked. How silly, I thought. How can anyone expect others to honor their intentions if they don’t know what they are?

And then the realization hit! We could be doing the same thing in our lives! Where might we be signaling right but turning left? Because if you aren’t clear where you are going, you lose your way – as well as the business of those who might have followed you.
If you want to have great results, then take a moment to find out how you measure up. This month, I’ll give you part one of a three-step process – Promise, Delivery, and Results – designed to help you determine your goals and actually achieve them. Have pen and paper nearby so you can make notes.

The first step, PROMISE, is who you say you are and what you say you do. It is spoken and unspoken. It is your brand, your appearance, your language and, of course, your marketing message. If you want to bring in clients and projects that thrill you, and friends who really “get” you, then pay attention to the “promise” you are communicating.

What problems do you solve? (“What’s In It for Me?”)
Where do you market and network?
Does your personal image exude confidence in your abilities?
Do you have a brand? Can people identify you and your offering easily?
What do you call yourself?
What are the primary benefits of working with you?

Knowing what promises you make, whether by your words or your actions, will enable you to create a more effective message, one that truly explains who you are and how others will benefit from your services (or, for personal relationships, from your presence in their lives). Use these points to clarify your Promise – and make sure it’s one you can keep.

Broken promises, after all, lead to a lack of trust, which will make it that much harder to get what you want.

Did you look at any of the questions above and answer “I don’t know”? If so, you aren’t alone. You may need to work with a specialist who can help you refine your promise. Be honest. The results don’t lie. It’s up to you to create the Promise that excites you!

Next installment we’ll finish the exercise by focusing on Delivery and Results.

Carole is totally delightful, and a fabulous coach. 

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