Football, goalposts, ambition

Setting achievable business goals is not a new concept for any of us, reaching them however can sometimes be another matter entirely. But when we seize the opportunity to make progress and take action in the here and now, the results can be extraordinary.

Achieving our business goals requires clarity, focus and deliberate action and a little sprinkling of neuroscience too.

When doggedly pursuing our goals and ambitions, it is essential to get our brain on side. I have seen this first hand, in the CEOs of some of the largest corporations on the planet to the ‘founder, coffee maker and chief bottle washers’ of some of the smallest cutting edge businesses too.

One of the most important things that you need to do, is to get comfortable with discomfort. It is usually feeling uncomfortable (out of our comfort zone), that makes us metaphorically go back to a place where we feel ‘safe’, but while it may feel ‘safe’, it won’t be productive or cutting edge provocative, or whichever it needs to be for you to progress to reaching your business goals. Reaching your potential is about being in a constant state of discomfort. The only reason that we feel uncomfortable is because it is new – nothing more, nothing less.

Generally when we feel uncomfortable, it is the brain alerting us that it needs new information in order that we can make a decision or judgement about something, or indeed just ‘feel’ okay about whatever it is.

The driving force to achieving your goals should be a conscious move away from your old, well-worn and very likely uninspiring habits – inevitably producing the same results. As Einstein aptly put it; ‘ insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’ . The world of the unexplored and of course your own untapped potential awaits!

Not only are successful people brave enough to get so comfortable with discomfort that they allow new possibilities into their life, but they are also very disciplined and determined in their approach to reaching goals.

When setting your goals, start by asking your brain the right question. i.e if your business goal is to uplift sales by 20% in the next year, the question you have to ask your brain must be in the here and now. It can’t process the future ‘what if’s’. So, if the question you pose is ‘what can I do today in order to uplift sales by 20% in the next year?’ you are much more likely to get an interesting thought or inspiration. Now, if you also give your brain something new to consider as well (the brain thrives on the new and different), you will likely get an even better idea. Take yourself to a different environment to think, go to a different coffee shop, eat something for lunch that you wouldn’t ordinarily –if you’re a Times reader, read the Guardian. You get my drift, it will power your ability to inspire your thinking, and hence the actions that will enable you to reach your goals, because your brain will have to work harder.

Answer the following;

Write down, draw or doodle on a piece of paper, your tablet or even in the sand on a beach, what are your goals ?

Make it as vibrant and vivid as possible, who is there, what is going on, how is it going on, where is it, who knows about it...

If you truly believed that you has the potential to do anything (if anything were possible) what would you do? These thoughts will signpost your goals.

What uncomfortable-making thing (for you), would you like to become more comfortable with? What can you do about that right now?

Who will you contact?

What is the bold move that some-one else might make but not you? What about if you did it? How could you start?

Is there anything that you have instantly dismissed as impossible? Is it really impossible? Really? Think again?

Now ask yourself, can I do that? (yes, you!).

How would you do it?

What would you do first?

Setting and reaching your business goals and potential, is about being in a constant state of discomfort. The only reason that we feel uncomfortable is because it is new – nothing more, nothing less. When we see glimpses of what might be possible through discipline, action, and embracing the new, it is a very exciting place to be! Enjoy and remember; everything was impossible until someone made it possible. That someone might just be you!

By Kate Tojeiro, founder of leadership development firm, X fusion