Personal and business goals motivate us to continually make decisions and take appropriate actions to achieve them. As anyone who has set a new year’s resolution can attest, setting goals and sticking with the plan to achieve them is not as easy as it looks.
Our culture has conditioned us to celebrate our “milestone” achievements and, ironically, is also one of the many reasons why we may not succeed: we fail to recognize the smaller achievements made towards reaching the greater goal that awaits us.
Setting goals without a plan to achieve them is to keep them as they once were … dreams!
To achieve our goals requires that we develop a plan with appropriate tasks or actions that, when complete, also become a cause for celebration. This very principle is the fuel that keeps players of electronic games engaged for hours: players immediately receive rewards such as bonus points, extended life, or extra time when a specific task is accomplished or performance target is met.
A continually improving positive trend represents a timeline of achievements worth celebrating. As we have learned, long-term goals are seldom achieved by a single action. In my post, Discover Toyota’s Best Practice, I noted that Mike Rother’s book, Toyota Kata – Managing People For Improvement, Adaptiveness, and Superior Results, references one of the significant reasons for Toyota’s continued success.
Throughout the book, it becomes evidently clear that the current practices at Toyota are the product of a collection of improvements, each building on the results of previous steps taken toward a seemingly elusive target.
In the real world, a group or series of actions is required before any tangible results are realized as is the case for any project that requires the successful execution of multiple tasks before it can be considered complete.
Map out a plan with as many steps as may be required. Then, as each task or step is completed, take the time to celebrate being “one step closer” to achieving your goal.