In the latest of his on-going series, Steve Hasenmueller offers some vital advice…

There are a lot of great books, articles and information, with varied techniques, on the importance and mechanics of annual Goal Setting:

(Specific/Measurable/Achievable/ Realistic/Time Bound);

(Objectives as measured by Key Results);


(Wish/Outcome/Obstacle/Plan), etc.

In my personal experience, SETTING and WRITING DOWN goals on an annual basis has been a critical aspect for success and achievement – but there is a dark side to the reality of the actual accomplishment and fulfilment of Goals/Resolutions using any technique.

I’ve read that 95% of New Year’s Goals/Resolutions are abandoned by the 2nd week of January – what happened??? The problem isn’t the setting or the technique – the problem isn’t the desire, I’ve never met a Salesperson who didn’t want to be successful at their job, and yet…the problem is that Three Key Principles are missing from the process.

I have observed two reasons for the lack of success in sales, either the Salesperson isn’t Convinced they can do the job (accomplish the goal) or they aren’t Convinced it’s important. Both self-defeating/limiting thoughts that derail us before we even get started.

Thoughts aren’t facts – if anyone in world history has accomplished what you are attempting – then you can too, and as it relates to our personal and professional lives, every thought word and deed is important!

So, changing our dysfunctional mental model and Convincing ourselves long enough to do the work, is how we generate the persistence to push through the obstacles as they occur, and believe me, they will occur.

Achieving anything worthwhile requires Effort. Challenges are how we grow, and any Goal you are pursuing will not happen on its own or miraculously be easy – so we must Embrace the Effort. If a goal is abandoned within two weeks of setting it – that would qualify as No Effort.

We have three other levels of personal Effort to access: Everyday Effort, Strong Effort, and Max Effort. Strong and Max are required at different times (usually at the beginning) – but they are unsustainable over the long run – so the crucial understanding is to work on these goals daily so that Strong or Max Effort requirements eventually become an Everyday Effort, and we always know we have two more serious levels of Effort if we need them.

This is true with any habit or goal – like making your bed (seriously – make your bed if you don’t – there is science and data behind the importance as a signifier of long term success), if you haven’t been doing it (news alert – anything new you are trying to accomplish, you haven’t been doing!) then it’s going to take a Strong or Max Effort to get started and to do it day in and day out, even when you don’t want to, or feel like it (especially then).

Eventually, it becomes part of your Everyday Effort and it is no big deal to accomplish, but you had to use a different level to get there, and it took Effort. No Effort, No Change. Embrace the Effort.

Achieving Goals/Resolutions requires solutions, and there are two kinds: Symptomatic Solutions and Fundamental Solutions (think shortcut and long haul). Let’s say your goal is to sleep better so that you can perform at a higher level in every aspect of your life.

A Symptomatic Solution would be to take a pill, a drink, or a ‘cookie’ (note: not medical advice!). However, a Fundamental Solution would be to potentially adjust your screen time, bedding, darkness, temperature, caffeine or fluid intake, etc., achieving the Goal Fundamentally so that it sticks, not looking for a ‘hack’ or a quick fix.

Focusing on Fundamental Solutions, and thinking deeply about what you are trying to accomplish, is imperative for achieving your Goals. If you will consciously Convince Yourself, Embrace the Effort, and Focus on Fundamental Solutions – there is nothing you cannot accomplish.

Professional Speaker, Sales Trainer & Author has spoken to companies worldwide on all topics regarding effective selling, motivation and leadership.

Effort Today Enterprises