Dec 14, 2020 • Podcast

How do I set goals for 2021?

On this episode, Paul discusses goal setting and how it looks different for 2021.

Show Notes

Realize that 2020 is only a small window of time in your career.

“Don’t let 2020—the doom and gloom of it—influence how you set your goals.”

“If that goal you’re setting doesn’t make your bones itch, then you’re not ….”

Don’t give up on your 2020 goals.

“Rather than getting rid of your goal, why don’t you just extend the timeline?” (Tom Reilly, founder, Tom Reilly Training)

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How do I set goals for 2021?

(Transcribed from podcast)

On today’s episode, we’re going to talk about how we should set our goals for 2021. I was talking to a group of sales leaders the other day, and that was the topic: “Hey, how do we set goals for this upcoming year? Still, it seems a little uncertain. How do we do this? What are we going to do,” and all that good stuff. So, I’m going to talk about goal setting for next year and how it’s a little bit different this time around.

Before we get into that, though, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. Podcasting doesn’t have to be as difficult as we might think it is. It doesn’t have to be as difficult as we make it. So, if you’re thinking about starting a podcast, if you want to build one, grow one, whatever it might be, Andrea and her team at The Creative Impostor Studios are here to help you. Make sure that you reach out to her. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage.

Also, Value-Added Selling is your go-to guide. If you want 2021 to be your best sales year ever, then pick up your copy. It is your playbook to success. The message is an evergreen message. As long as customers want value, they’re going to need salespeople to provide value. In this book, you’ll learn how to do it. So, pick up your copy. Again, Value-Added Selling. It’s available on Amazon or wherever you get your books.

Let’s talk about goal setting for 2021. Now, the other day I read something, and I wanted to share it with you. When elephants are born in captivity, it’s common to restrain the animal using rope attached to a small stake driven into the ground. The newly born calf (which I didn’t know you called baby elephants calves), the newly born calf does not yet have the strength to break free from the rope. As the elephant calf grows to a bull or a cow—now, a bull or a cow, that’s a full-grown elephant (I didn’t know that either)—but as they grow to a full bull or cow, the same rope and stake are used to restrain that mighty elephant. Now what’s interesting? The full-grown elephant could easily break free, but it does not. That stake is only driven a couple inches into the ground, but the problem is, the elephant has been conditioned to believe that they can never break free from that rope. Now, elephants are one of the largest and strongest land mammals. Yet, they can be held captive by a simple rope attached to a stake only driven a few inches down.

Now, how many of you feel like 2020 is your rope and stake? You think about what has happened over the past year and it’s the equivalent of that rope and stake driven only a few inches in. The stake was driven into the ground last spring, and it stayed there ever since. So, as painful as this year has been, realize that it is only a small window of time. It’s only a small window of time throughout your entire career. That steak is only a few inches deep. As you set your targets this year, it’s important to realize that you might have a little bit of a bias. You’re going to look at 2020 and say, “Man, that was a lousy year. What’s a realistic goal for 2021?” [Don’t let] 2020—the doom and gloom of it—influence how you set your goals.

Here are a couple of thoughts when it comes to setting goals:

Number one. Look at the trajectory from 2019, not 2020. Go back to 2019. Remember that year? 2019, what a great year. Take a look at your trajectory going into 2020. Think about how you can grow on top of that number, not the number you’re going to post from 2020. You want to keep going at that same trajectory. You don’t want 2020 to ruin the trajectory that you had. So, look at 2019 and how you can build on that. If 2019 was your best year yet, use that as your benchmark, not 2020. Using that benchmark is going to help you raise your performance expectation which is going to be critical.

Also, tip number two. We’ve got a few weeks until the year begins. Let your goals marinate. Let your goals marinate. Think about them. When you’re talking about your targets or number of new accounts, or even some of your personal goals, take some time to really think about it. If the goal that you’re setting doesn’t make your bones itch, then you’re not dreaming big enough. You want to challenge yourself. Don’t let that stake that has been driven into the ground constrain your ability to dream, to think about your goals. Make sure that whatever goals you were setting, they may even make you a little nervous, and that’s a good thing. That means you are dreaming big.

One thing I’d also recommend, don’t give up on your 2020 goals. I remember, several, several years ago when I was first getting started in the business, I was talking to my dad and, it was getting towards the end of the year. And my dad who was the founder of our company (is the founder of the company). We were talking, and he asked me how my year was going, you know, if I was going to hit my goals. And he could tell that I was a little frustrated. I said, “You know, I just I don’t know if it’s going to happen. I mean, I really need a miracle to make the goal happen this year.” I was talking about, you know, the number of engagements, clients, things like that, just a typical type of metrics that will indicate what kind of year it was. I was on track not to hit it. I was frustrated and it was getting towards the last few weeks of the year.

Here’s what he told me; it was a great tip. He goes, “Rather than getting rid of your goal, why don’t you just extend the timeline?” I was like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “You have a certain number that you wanted to hit this year. Just give yourself another month to hit that goal.” And I thought about that for a moment, and I thought, ‘That’s a great idea. Who says that I have to use 12 months for my goal? Why couldn’t I use 13 or 14 months?’ What I noticed is that I felt more motivated to go out there and hit that number. I didn’t feel defeated; I didn’t feel like giving up. I felt like turning it on. And I remember going out there, I picked up my activity level. I felt more motivation; I felt more confidence. And, by extending my timeline, I was able to hit that goal.

So, when you’re thinking about 2021 and setting the right goals, remember don’t let the doom and gloom of this previous year set a low benchmark, set a low expectation. Look back to 2019—a better year—and make sure you’re on that same trajectory.

Make it a big day.

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