We live in a results-oriented world where people are often only as successful as their last success. As the old saying goes, “What have you done for me lately?” In order to move forward in both your personal and professional lives, you need to get results, period. How can you get the results you are looking for? In this article, we will discuss the art and science of getting results by looking at the Guaranteed Results Formula; Clarity + Focus + Execution + Adjustments = Results.
Getting clarity is the beginning of getting results. Clarity of purpose is an absolute must if you want to get positive results. Clarity means that you should be clear about your reasons for choosing the goals you focus on. You will be much more likely to get results and achieve your goals if you understand why you are focusing on them and why they are important to you.
Take a look at a fairly common goal for businesses: increasing customer satisfaction. Ask yourself the reason for setting that goal. Is it because surveys, customer comments and word of mouth has indicated that a certain percentage of customers are unhappy with their experience? Okay, that is certainly a good reason for setting that particular goal, but in what way does that motivate you? Well, money is certainly a motivating factor.
After all, happy customers are more likely to give you repeat business and spread positive word of mouth about your business. That means more business and more money. A good motivating factor, but is there anything else to it? Are you motivated by the desire to have your business run as smoothly as possible for both your employees and customers? Is there a sense of pride in your business that also drives your goal to increase customer satisfaction? By clarifying the reasons why your goals are important enough to focus on, you increase the likelihood that you will get results with them.
Staying focused on your goals is difficult in a world full of distractions. It is easy to become focused on the wrong things and forget the goals you set for yourself, much like how we make New Year’s resolutions and then let them fall by the wayside by February. The importance of setting goals and sticking to them if you want to get results cannot be overstated.
How can you stay focused on your goals and get results? It begins with taking the time to set your goals. Warren Buffett demonstrated how to do this when had his pilot Steve set goals for himself. Buffett joked that he wasn’t doing his job correctly because Steve had been his pilot for years without growing into something beyond that. He had Steve list twenty-five goals or things that he would like to achieve in the next five years. He then had Steve narrow that down to five goals, the ones that were most important to Steve. This is the kind of focus you need if you are going to get results. You have to set a finite number of clear goals, focus on them and ignore distractions.
Execution is the next key component in getting results. After all, how can you possibly achieve your goals unless you have some idea of what to do as you work on those goals? Once you are focused on a set of important goals and clear on why those goals are important, the next step is an action plan. You need to figure out how you are going to execute those goals and then implement your plan.
A lot of people set themselves the goal of losing weight. Many of them are ultimately not successful losing weight or keeping lost weight off over a period of time. Part of the problem might be execution. Many times people who decide they are going to diet and lose weight simply start eating different foods and eating less without putting much thought into it. Before doing that, it can be helpful to consult with a doctor and a nutritionist.
It can also be helpful to sign up for a program that will help motivate you. Maribel Contreras told Health.com that she signed up for a 12-week body transformation contest at her gym and gave up fast-food meals in order to shed seventy-seven pounds. Planning is key to execution and getting results.
Finally, we come to the need to make adjustments. We don’t live in a static world. Things happen that derail our plans. We need to be flexible and adjust our plans and goals. As important as it is to focus on goals, have clarity about why those goals are important and create a plan for implementation. It is also important to leave room for adjustments when necessary.
The story of the first Gap store is a good example of this. Don and Doris Fischer opened the first Gap with the goal of selling records and Levi’s jeans to a young demographic. Their plan was to use records to get young people in the store and then sell them jeans. That strategy did not work and they came close to bankruptcy. Then Don placed an ad in the local papers offering the jeans for sale at bargain basement prices. The jeans sold out and the Gap expanded using a new strategy of low prices, large selection and ads that targeted a young demographic. Be prepared to change your execution in order to achieve your goals and get results.