The night before my daughter’s first day of Grade 10, she proudly rattled off her goals for the year ahead. While I was suitably impressed that a 15-year-old was so pro-active and self-motivated to give this important topic due consideration, I was not popular for pointing out that her goals were just ideas, wishes and statements with built-in excuses.

My daughter made the same mistake that so many of my business clients make when they set their goals for the year. They are too vague, irrelevant, unrealistic and the phrasing is devoid of action, responsibility and measurability.

Without realising it, she was using negative language for something that is supposed to have positive connotations and outcomes.

If your business goals for the year start with “We ‘want’ to ‘try’ and achieve xyz… “, you have already excused yourself and your team for not achieving the goal. “Want” is a wish or a desire. “I want to land more deals per month” is on the same level as “I want to retire at 40” or ”I want to only work 3 hours a day”. It’s not really likely or feasible, and it’s a bit of a pipe dream. Similarly, the word “try” is merely giving lip service to the goal! It implies you may or may not… and if you don’t, at least you can say you tried. But will your goal be achieved? Not unless your goal was to try!

Negative language is weak, leaves room for doubt and provides an excuse for things going wrong. When setting goals, make sure you use positive language that is strong, bold and affirms the statement being made. Truly meaningful goals should scare you!

It is not only important to define your goal with positive language, but also crucial to reinforce this positive language in your daily internal dialogue. Your choice of words is often an indication of your mindset. Conversely, when you become consciously aware of your choice of words, it can reprogramme your mindset. It is up to you to rewire your brain for positivity.

Before the year starts running away from you, take some time to review the goals you have set for the year and ensure that they are firstly SMART goals (Specific – Measureable – Achievable – Relevant – Time based) and secondly, that your language is positive, enabling and guiding a successful mindset.

If you are already having doubts that you will achieve your goals this year, give me a call and let’s get your mind right and your business on track!

Wishing you all a successful and profitable 2019!

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