If you’ve been in the insurance business, or in sales in general, you know all about the importance of goal-setting. It has been preached, taught, pounded, and reiterated again and again.
Someone recently told me that sales people are not interested in learning about setting goals any longer. I simply nodded, but walked away with unanswered questions. If people are so knowledgeable in setting goals, why aren’t they achieving them? Why are Agents not achieving all the things they desire?
The first and most simple answer to my question is that even though people know about goal-setting, and the importance of it, they simply are not doing it!
The second reason people are not achieving what they want to out of life is because setting goals is not enough. Actually setting the goal is just looking ahead to where you want to be. That is not taking into account all three of the aspects of goal-setting.
Let’s start with a truth: You are where you are today because of the choices, experiences, associations, inputs, ideas, beliefs, opportunities, and habits in your life up until this moment.
The underlying point of a goal is to create something different for our future than we currently have or have experienced. So in order to reach a desired destination we must do something (or perhaps many things) differently.
This means that in order to reach your goals you must make new or different choices, experiences, associations, inputs, ideas, beliefs, opportunities, and habits for yourself.
Goal achievement requires consideration of three components: where you’ve been, where you are, and where you want to be.
Most goals focus solely on where you want to be, but the best ones take where you are into account. To expand your horizons beyond the goals themselves, you have to have perspective.
Where You’ve Been: You are where you are today because of the experiences and life choices you have made up to this point. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote said by Einstein, “The definition of insanity is repeating the same steps and expecting a different result.”
In order to achieve the sales success we expect in our careers, we must first take a look back at the decisions we have made prior.
A conversation that I regularly have with Agents and Managers following a day of activities will always include three questions:
- “What went well today?” (because our mind remembers the worst or negatives first)
- “What did you learn?” (we can learn from mistakes, failures and positives)
- “What can I do to help you?” (ask if you think you need to)
If you complete the day and take away nothing, the day was a failure, in my opinion.
Where You Are: The starting point for any goal is right now. Complacency is the enemy of progress and a healthy amount of discontent can provide the impetus for your greater success. In order to successfully move toward your desired future, you must acknowledge the present.
Where You Want To Be: Goals, especially when they are clear and specific, help create a focus on your future. You must leverage this focus to create the action that is required to reach your goals. While your goals are about your desired future state, the goal alone isn’t enough. You must take action. Like the Japanese proverb said, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
You must make changes to your habits, associations, ideas, and approaches in order to achieve success.
Now, with your limitations in mind and understanding the changes you need to make, set clear and specific goals for where you want to be. Envision the future you desire, and prioritize the goals you need to accomplish to get there.
Liberty National Agents don’t stop at visualization. Achieving your goals takes action. Now is the time to put the Law of Attraction into effect. According to author Kevin Eikenberry, “the Law of Attraction states that we are continually attracting things into our life that are consistent with the energy we are putting into the world.”
An even older adage might say that we reap what we sow.
Again, according to Eikenberry, many people fail to apply the Law of Attraction because they stop at visualization. Having a clear mental picture of where you want to be and having a strong belief in that vision is only part of the equation. To reach your goals you must act.
Don’t wait until you know what the next perfect step might be. Even confident small steps get you that much closer to the future you envision. Momentum is the key. Set your goals, create your plan of action, and then follow through.
It takes more than goal setting to achieve greatness in any endeavor. The truly successful look to their past for clues, acknowledge their present as a launching pad, and focus on and take massive action towards their desired future.
“There are two primary choices in life. They are to either accept conditions as they exist, or to accept responsibility for changing them.” – Dr. Denis Waitley
Have vision, have faith, and have patience. Any goal is attainable. What are some of the goals you can strive for with Liberty National? What active steps will you have to take to get there?