The start of the year is always one of my favourite times with the unknown promise of what might be and the achievements I will attain! It’s a great stimulus to reflect on past lessons learned, set clear new goals and improve our overall performance.
However, there are numerous times I’ve failed to achieve these set goals and blamed other reasons (or excuses) for this. However, there is one key reason that particularly stands out for my lack of progress.
Quick side note: let’s just acknowledge that last year, for many of us, our goals were declared null and void by the effects of a global pandemic! When these situations occur, they can completely kill our plans, and we have to rethink them. They are, however, thankfully quite rare.
With goals you need to:
- Be specific about what you want to achieve
- Understand why it’s important
- Describe what everyone needs to do
- Track the metrics that tell you whether you’re making progress
In my experience (personal and professional), when we fail to achieve our goals, there is one key factor that contributes to our lack of success. The goal and our progress towards it need to be visible.
Often when I’ve set a goal, I’ve felt inspired through the process of documenting it, and enthusiastic about doing what’s needed to achieve it. However, unless it’s visible to me every day my motivation disappears.
The visible scoreboard
Our goal and progress towards it – which I collectively call the scoreboard – needs to be effortlessly noticeable every day. If we have to open a draw or specific file on our computers, or navigate to a web page to view our progress, it won’t happen frequently enough to make significant headway. We get busy; it’s too much effort and, eventually, we lose focus. Think of a sports stadium or even the caption on a televised game, the score is visible and continually updated throughout.
For her company Red Balloon, Australian Shark Tank judge and author Naomi Simson set a goal to sell one million gift experiences in ten years. By making the scoreboard visible to everyone on large display monitors around the company, and updating them in real-time, they hit the target two years early!
Electronic displays are not necessary, a simple whiteboard or large piece of paper tacked on the wall, are equally as effective as long as they can be easily seen.
With a visible scoreboard, everyone can better connect to their job, their team and the overall progress of the company. Moreover, leaders become accountable to explain the importance of the goal.
Working from home
But what happens when we’re not all in the same location?
Working from home is probably here to stay, and it leads to less in-person gatherings. However, we do have meetings – albeit via video – and we still circulate documents. With this in mind, we need to find an effective way to create a visible scoreboard that draws everyone into the game.
When setting personal goals, visibility is just as important. The bathroom mirror is a great place to put a simple scoreboard: you’re likely to look there at least twice a day, together with your own reflection!
Visibility brings goals to life, and it connects people to one of the most valuable experiences in life…a journey!
Chalk up your scoreboard today!