Those who really know me (family, friends, and clients) know this fact to be deeply true: I take goal setting to a “contact sport” level. I’ll admit that I can be a bit extreme about it because I truly believe in the power of victorious goal setting.
The way I see it, you can achieve any kind of greatness in this life. And it all starts with deciding how you want to set yourself up for success. Whether your goal is business-related (like increasing your income) or more personal (maybe losing 20 pounds), it all starts with a plan. After all, just like Antoine de Saint Exupéry said: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
Victorious Goal Setting with the VICTOR Method
So how can you stop just fantasizing about what you want and start getting it instead? My VICTOR method is a six-step guide to making dreams into realities.
- V – Visualize
- I – Illustrate
- C – Clarify
- T – Track
- O – Own
- R – Review (and Revise)
Let’s break down each step.
Step One: Visualize.
A lot of people struggle with this. You may feel like your dream is too big or unachievable, and this might stop you from even imagining that it could come true. You may be worried what others might think about your dream. But now is not the time for doubt. Dream big! Let your mind wander and let your imagination help you discover what you really want.
Step Two: Illustrate.
Did you know that you are 40% more likely to achieve your goal if you write it down? That fact proves why the illustration step is so critical to the process! You have to paint a picture of what you want. Don’t just keep it in your head. Make a vision board, create a graph, or write it in big letters and stick it to your wall. However you do it, make it real. Make sure that you see it every day, so you can remind yourself of what you’re working towards.
Step Three: Clarify.
Break down your primary goal into smaller checkpoints to better understand how you can achieve it. For example, if you’ve set a new annual sales goal, you’ll need to break it down into quarterly, monthly, and daily goals. Doing this will help you pinpoint exactly what you need to do to reach that long-term goal. But how will you know if you’re getting there? That’s where our next step comes in.
Step Four: Track.
Tracking your activity is so critical to successful goal setting. If you’re not monitoring your progress, you can end up right back where you started; with a goal that is nothing more than a dream.
In order for you to know whether or not you’re on target, you have to track it. Otherwise, you don’t really know if your methods are working, or if you may need to change your approach. I find that having a visual representation of tracking allows you to get your whole team (or family, if it’s a personal goal) involved in tracking your success towards achieving your goal.
Step Five: Own.
This is YOUR goal, this is what YOU want to achieve, so you have to own it! You can do this by announcing it to your team or family and making sure that they have your buy-in (and that they’re going to do everything they can to encourage and support you). This doesn’t mean you talk to them about it once and then let it go. Continue to review and track your goals with them to make sure that you’re doing everything you need to. This creates both a sense of responsibility and accountability.
Step Six: Review (and Revise).
You need to review your goals regularly to keep your efforts focused. If you find that they need tweaking, then tweak them. I recommend you use the first day of each quarter (1/1, 4/1, 7/1 & 10/1) to review your goals. If you’re on track—great! If you’re behind or ahead, do what you need to do to revise. What happens most commonly is that people get to a point in their year and they just ignore the goals they set for themselves because they haven’t made the progress they hoped. Remember that you can always revise and reset your expectations, but don’t quit!
While successful goal setting is an indispensable skill for a salesperson, this method can be applied to all areas of your life. I blogged recently about the importance of achieving balance in your life. Using the VICTOR method—Visualize, Illustrate, Clarify, Track, Own, Review—to set and achieve goals is yet another tool for your kit that can help you keep those pillars evenly balanced. In the end, remember that you’re building not only a successful career but a happy life.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!