The other day a friend told me some of her goals. She planned to buy a new house, travel to Europe, and study marine biology. She seemed confident and clear. When I asked her how she would do this, however, that all disappeared.
She had no money put back, no formal education, and spent almost all her time working and taking care of her 2-year-old daughter. She focused on a distant “someday” when money and time didn’t matter.
How many times do you, as a network marketer, focus on that same distant “someday?” Don’t get me wrong; long term goals are important. If they’re too long term, however, they can cause more problems than they can help.
Humans crave instant gratification. We want it now. Think of how many of us try diet and exercise routines, only to give up after a few weeks or even days. The pain of hunger and sore muscles outweighs that of being fat and out of shape.
Of course, if we had a pill that caused us to lose weight immediately without side effects, most of us would jump on it. We want the pleasure without the pain. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t work that way.
Long term goals don’t provide instant gratification. Far from it. In fact, if all you have are long term goals, you’re probably finding it difficult to commit to follow through. Also, you may not be able to maintain focus on a goal that’s 5 years away.
Too often, our long term goals can feel like pipe dreams. Like they exist in some distant, idyllic, Neverland. No matter how far we reach, we never seem to touch them.
A lot can happen in 5 years.
Breaking your long term goals into smaller steps solves this problem. This also makes it easier to follow through on your commitments. Making up your mind to call 3 prospects every day challenges you far less than say, earning $ 5,000 a month by April, 2009.
These small steps also benefit you much more. For one, they motivate. No, it’s not instant gratification, but it’s far closer to it than focusing on the long term. You can pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
One nice thing about taking small steps is that you can start out incredibly small. Then, as you gain confidence and experience you can progress comfortably to larger steps. Maybe you’re not comfortable on the phone just yet. Start out committing to just 1 dial per day. Then make it 3, then 5, and so on.
This kind of progress keeps you moving forward. By taking deliberate, consistent steps you build a foundation for all that is to come. This makes it easier to stay motivated without becoming overwhelmed.
Focusing on the short term also keeps things realistic. By focusing on smaller chunks of the whole, we make a habit out of daily actions that can change our life in the long term. In addition to bringing our long term goals to fruition, there’s another benefit to this.
By committing to these smaller, mor doable steps, we not only achieve our goals, but we improve ourselves as well. By creating habits of discipline and focus, all areas of our lives benefit. This includes relationships, self-esteem, and credibility.
With short term goals, you take action. Taking small, steady steps and paying attention to details accomplishes more than the most well thought-out plan ever could. The momentum these steps create eventually becomes unstoppable.
In network marketing, this means leading by example. You can talk all you want. You can have the greatest vision in all of network marketing, but until your downline sees you taking action, your credibility can be questioned.
By action, please understand that I’m not talking about busy work. Tweaking your web site and organizing your briefcase might feel like action, but it’s not going to bring you any closer to the results you’re looking for.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by loft goals that seem light years away, ask yourself, “What one thing can I do that will bring me even a tiny bit closer to achieving my goal?” Then do it. Do it even if it means calling one prospect, ordering an e-book, or writing an article.
Without action, nothing happens.
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