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Write down, manage personal outcomes to ensure success

Saturday, July 1, 2017 - 07:00
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As we rolled into 2017, the usual emphasis on New Year’s resolutions were introduced. Now that we are coming out of Q2, how are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions?

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It is my belief and research has proven that New Year’s resolutions do not work; however, setting and writing down your outcomes will produce much greater success for you.

Check this out:

  • 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.
  • 60 percent of people abandon them within six months. (The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution 10 separate times without success.)
  • Only 5 percent of those who “focus on” losing weight keep it off; 95 percent regain it. A significant percentage gains back more than they originally lost.

What I have learned and research supports is that when you focus on what you want (as opposed to what you don’t want), and actually write it down, your chances of being successful is increased by more than 50 percent.

My wife, Susan, and I reviewed our 2016 Outcomes and realized that we accomplished over 90 percent of them. We wrote them down and reviewed them often to determine if we were trending in the right direction.

Our outcomes included things like:

  • Take Discover Leadership Training to a new level
  • Get more physically fit
  • Hire a new sales associate
  • Strengthen our relationship
  • Move in to our new house
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Increase our buffalo herd
  • Make an appearance in every Discover Leadership Training’s Master Graduate Leadership Program
  • Start writing my newest book

During most of my 1:1 coaching sessions, I have learned that most people do not write down their outcomes. Instead they allow life to happen to them as they drift through life waiting for purpose, good health, financial security, a great marriage, incredible children and significance to “just happen.”

Let’s be clear, writing down your outcomes is not the end game, however, I have found that what gets measured, gets managed.

The secret to accomplishing more of your outcomes and being more successful will be to commit your outcomes to written form. I believe this is critically important for six reasons:

  1. Writing down your outcomes will force you to clarify what you want. Imagine setting out on a trip with no particular destination in mind. How do you pack? What roads do you take? How do you know when you have arrived? Instead, you start by picking a destination. The same is true with the outcomes in your life. Writing down your outcomes forces you to select something specific and decide what you want.
  2. Writing down your outcomes will motivate you to TAN (Take Action Now). Writing your outcomes down is only the beginning. Articulating your intention is important, however, it is not enough. You must execute on your outcomes; you must deliberately take the first step to overcome the inertia. I have found that writing down my outcomes and reviewing them regularly provokes me to take the next appropriate step to make my outcome a reality.

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    Writing down your outcomes will provide a filter for other opportunities. The more successful you become, the more you will see additional unintended opportunities. In fact, these new opportunities can quickly become distractions that pull you off course. The antidote in this situation that has worked for me is to maintain a list of the unintended opportunities that emerge from my written outcomes.

  3. Writing down your outcomes will help you overcome resistance. Every meaningful intention, dream or outcome will encounter resistance from “Murphy’s Law.” From the moment you set an outcome, you will begin to feel this resistance. If you focus on the resistance, it will only get stronger, because what you focus on will expand. The way to overcome the resistance is to focus on your outcome, so what you focus on will then expand.
  4. Writing down your outcomes will enable you to see — and celebrate — your progress. People often say, “Life is hard.” If you have set an outcome and are not seeing progress, it appears to be very difficult. You feel like you are working yourself to death, going nowhere. However, written outcomes are like mile markers on a highway. They enable you to see how far you have come and how far you need to go. They also provide an opportunity for celebration along your journey.
  5. Writing down your outcomes will enable you to celebrate every success. I highly recommend that you do not wait until the end to celebrate. When you celebrate every success along the way, you are energizing yourself to take the next step in an even more powerful, positive, deliberate, confident manner.

If you are committed to being more successful, I want you to know that setting outcomes and writing them down is incredibly important, whether it is in the beginning of the year or right in the middle. Below is the process that will help you be successful.

  • Set a specific outcome for 2017 (professional, personal, physical relational or financial).
  • Make sure that the outcome is focused on a positive picture (Focus on what you want to gain).
  • Write the outcome down (I recommend you read the outcome daily until you reach it).
  • Write down a minimum of 5 positive benefits you will gain when you successfully reach the outcome (I recommend you read the benefits daily until you receive them).
  • Identify what your first step will be to get you to the outcome (the best way to determine the first step is to ask yourself what am I committed to do today to get to my outcome).
  • Take the first step based on the resources you have today no matter how small the step is, there is NO need to wait for anything (do something every day that moves you closer to your outcome).
  • Evaluate the first step; ensure it moved you in the right direction. If it didn’t, change the approach NOW.  If it did move you in the right direction, celebrate and ask the question again.
  • Continue the above process until you reach your outcome

Remember, what gets measured, gets managed. When you follow this process you will have greater success. Game on!

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