We’re two weeks into the 60-Day SET Goals Challenge. How are you doing so far?
Me, personally? I have a confession to make. I went backwards during the first few days of the Challenge. My SET Goal was to: Reduce my weight from 180.5 to 175 pounds by December 31. That seemed like a pretty achievable goal.
Unfortunately, in the first few days on the Challenge, my weight went UP…to over 183 pounds. Some of you are thinking, maybe even saying, “That’s Karma, Holmes! Mr. Goal-setting Guy set a goal and then went backwards…that’s exactly why I don’t set goals!”
So, you may have had a good laugh at my expense. Now, let’s talk about “Why” my weight went up. Simple…achieving your goals requires that you identify and then execute on the “Performance Drivers” – the critical decisions, actions and behaviors – that enable you to hit the goals. They are what you actually DO to hit your goals. Understanding and executing the Performance Drivers are the key to hitting the goals you set. Further, we’ve found time and again that tracking those behaviors helps ensure you diligently execute them.
For my goal to lose weight, the Performance Drivers are pretty well known:
- Manage what I eat (as represented by consuming less than 30 points per day from a popular weight-loss program)
- Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week
Now, I’ve got all the excuses in the world for my failure to either execute or track my performance drivers those first few days: I was traveling, busy, having big dinners with family and at a charity event. But, those are just excuses. My weight went up because I didn’t execute on the “Manage what I eat” performance driver. The reality: like many of us, I just didn’t take the time – maybe 5 minutes a day to track what I was doing. Tracking it on a daily basis would have allowed me to take appropriate action in time to keep my weight moving in the right direction.
Once I started tracking, my weight began to fall even though it’s taken 10 days to make up for those first 4 days headed in the wrong direction. See the graphic below:
Identify the Performance Drivers
So, let’s get to your Performance Drivers. Here’s an exercise we use in our Strategy-Execution-Results programs to help the participants identify the Performance Drivers that will allow them to hit their goals:
- For each goal, brainstorm as many actions or tasks as possible that you could do to achieve that goal. Try to get as many ideas out on paper as you possibly can.
- Identify someone you know, or other experts, who are really good at the goal you are trying to accomplish (whether that’s Increase Sales, Lose Weight, Produce better quality, etc.). Talk to them about what they do, or even observe them. Write down what you learn from them.
- Now, take your lists and pick the two or three decisions, actions or behaviors that would seem most likely to lead to success.
Write those down in the form, “I will….” Mine are:
I will consume less than 30 food points per day.
I will exercise at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.
A salesperson who wants to boost sales might write:
I will identify and contact three additional target customers per week who we have opportunity to grow sales.
I will identify and contact three customers per week who have reduced their business with to understand why and what we can do to earn their business back.
Track the Performance Drivers
Once you’ve identified the Performance Drivers, you need to figure out how to track execution of them. Tracking is important because it helps build a discipline for execution. And, it allows you to change the outcomes of the game while it’s still being played. In my case, tracking food points at each meal or snack allows me to make adjustments in what I eat later in the day to ensure I stay on track for the day.
Tracking needs to be as simple as possible. Tracking exercise could be as easy as putting tic marks on piece of paper for every day in the week you work out. A simple system like that might also work for tracking the number of sales calls per week to target or lost customers.
Of course, you can also track much more than that…exercises performed, weight lifted, number of sets, number of reps, minutes of cardio, etc., if that’s helpful to you.
In a lot of cases, apps on your phone can help you easily and quickly track the execution of your performance drivers. There are dozens of exercise and food management apps available. Just do what is necessary to track the execution of your Performance Drivers as simply as possible while giving you the information you need to stay on track with your goals.
Learn from your Results
Finally, spend time at the end of each day or week reviewing both what you’ve tracked and your performance versus your goals. If you’re staying on track with the goals you set in the 60-day challenge, keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working!
If you’re falling off track – like I was in those first few days – it’s time to change something.
- Check the execution of your Performance Drivers using your tracking system. Have you been as diligent as you need to be in the execution of your Performance Drivers? Are distractions getting in the way? If so, improving your results is a matter of avoiding the distractions.
- Re-visit the Performance Drivers…maybe you’ve picked the wrong ones. If you’ve been diligently executing and tracking your Performance Drivers, but not getting the results you want, it’s a pretty good guess that you’ve identified the wrong activities and behaviors. If you didn’t do it before, now might be the time to find people who are really good at what you’re trying to accomplish to see what you can learn from them.
- Finally, check your tracking system. Is it giving you the timely information you need to change your behavior while you can still alter the outcomes?
Chime in below. We’d love to hear how you’re doing versus the goals you SET in the 60-day Goal Challenge.