How Important is Goal Setting?
The new year is well underway and no doubt most of us have set goals for 2016. I recently caught up with the Blokes About Town over a delicious lunch at Hello Harry, Maroochydore to discover their thoughts on the importance of goal setting in both their personal and professional lives.
We all know the importance of goal setting, but just how powerful it can be in setting your focus and motivating you to turn your dreams into reality is mind blowing to say the least. Research suggests the most successful people are those who set goals regularly, write them down and revisit them often. But what are the best goal setting techniques, how does it work and why it is essential for success? Keen to discover more, I posed the question to a lively bunch of local businessmen for their take on the subject. Fortunately my co host, Craig Levitt, marketing executive with Think Money, knows a thing or two about goal setting and is passionate about teaching others how they can achieve great success at home and at work by implementing a few simple techniques. Joining us for lunch was Gerry Morris formerly of Think Speakers and Events; Anthony Gorman, dealer and principal of Gorman and Gray real estate agents; Ob/Gyn and fertility specialist, Dr James Moir; Stewart Forge, creative director at Advanti Advertising; master jeweller, Eckart Schillings and last but not least Darrin Voss, owner of Anytime Fitness Nambour and Bundaberg.
profile: Do you set goals for your business?
gerry: Quite a few of our guest speakers covered goal setting in their presentations so I have learnt a lot. A common sentiment among most of them is, if it’s not written down then it’s just an idea in your head.
darrin: In the fitness industry you are always talking to people about setting goals. This year my goal is to focus on what is trending in exercise, to look at what people really want from their gym and look at different programs we can implement to engage people more in their exercise.
anthony: Yes we set goals annually, quarterly and monthly. If you don’t set goals in business you get distracted and just waft around. It’s easy to be busy in any business, but being productive is another matter.
stewart: I have a favourite old quote from a Woody Allen film – “If you want to see God laugh, tell him your plans”. I think there is always going to be a certain element of that. Having said that, a big part of my advertising background is in strategic marketing. You have to have a goal before you set the strategy of how you are going to get there. Understanding what you really want is important.
eckart: The new year is always a good time to make new plans. I am constantly thinking about what is happening in my industry and what my next move is. I am hoping to try new things next year. My big goal is to streamline my business.
craig: I haven’t always been a goal setter. I had an interesting experience with a coach when I was 45 and he said “what do you want to get out of this Craig?”. I said, “I’m 45 and I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.” I had goals that I had achieved. I went to university and my goal was to be a marketing director and I got there but it wasn’t what I expected it to be. In the last eight years I have devoted a lot of my time to personal and professional development. There is such an enormous amount of evidence that suggests people who set goals are more likely to achieve momentum and direction.
james: My goals are a mix of business and personal. From a personal point of view, my wife died suddenly seven years ago so one of my goals has been to provide a stable base for my four children and make sure they are financially secure. They have all come through that trauma and are healthy, happy, well adjusted kids. It has been one of my main achievements. Business wise, my goal is to make sure I continue to provide a great service for women coming through the door and couples trying to become pregnant.
You have to have a goal before you set the strategy of how you are going to get there. Understanding what you really want is important.”
profile: Craig, how important is it to write your goals down?
craig: Evidence suggests that writing your goals down is critical. I do a lot of work with couples and I can tell you only about 10 per cent of men set goals because they are fearful they may not reach them. If you keep goals to yourself it’s safe. It can be uncomfortable to write them down but that is what men often need to do to give them that push. They need to attach emotion to their goals, which doesn’t come naturally to most men. I teach setting goals in all areas of life and am passionate about it. Everything we want, we write it down and we keep every goal map. My wife Lynn revisited ours from last year recently, she planned a trip to Melbourne and Thailand last year and we did it. Something funny happens when you write it down, things just happen. So many clients give us the same feedback.
profile: What are some of the goal setting techniques you use?
craig: Research suggests the more emotionally you engage with a goal the more likely you are to follow through. Yes, they have to be specific and measurable but the goal mapping we do includes vision boards. You hear of people who want to live in a particular house so they take a photo of them out the front of it or go and test drive their dream car and take a photo. If we believe we are going to achieve it we are more likely to. Our subconscious takes over and helps us get there. Have you noticed when you think about buying a particular model of new car, you see them everywhere all of a sudden? They were always there, the difference is you notice them because you have focused on it. The same thing works if your goal is to grow your business, you are open to what opportunities are out there, again they were always there but you are just focusing on them now.
stewart: I completely agree. The process of doing the planning means you have all that stuff in your brain now and it works on that basis. You see opportunities or connections because of the thoughts you have gone through with the planning.
darrin: It’s like exercise, everyone knows they should exercise three times a week but only 15 per cent of people do it. It’s about shifting from extrinsic to intrinsic thinking.
gerry: One of my favourite speakers Tom O’Toole carries a notebook with him everywhere and is always updating his goals and setting new ones and then revisits and renews them regularly. I have recently started using Trello, it’s a free program where you can set yourself tasks and add checklists etc., it’s fantastic.
craig: If you can, do your own test and be prepared to tell your best mate what goals you have set yourself. It gets uncomfortable down the track when he asks you how you are going with it! Sometimes you need that external driver to keep you focused.
gerry: Craig runs a fantastic course called Beers, Blokes and Goals. At the beginning you can see the lads think it’s going to hurt but once they have a couple of beers and relax they take away so much from it. Some have never ever written down a goal before.
Have you noticed burgers are making a big comeback lately? Not that I’m complaining. There is nothing quite as satisfying as a delicious burger when it comes to comfort food, not to mention when it’s accompanied with a side of juicy chips, yum!
Speaking of burger joints, for those of you who have yet to sample the gourmet burgers at Hello Harry, you don’t know what you’re missing out on.
Hello Harry is the creation of local entrepreneur Tony Kelly, the gamechanger behind the revival of the now thriving Ocean Street precinct in the heart of Maroochydore.
A little bit fancier than your average burger joint, the popular eatery has become a firm favourite among locals and families alike.
Offering a range of delicious options including the grass fed wagyu beef with cheese, house pickles and tomato jam; Louisiana pulled pork, barbecue glaze and red cabbage slaw; confit lamb, minted onions, feta and lemon yoghurt or my favourite the middle eastern chickpea, labna, candied pumpkin and honey mustard, there is something to suit all tastes. The burger size is perfect too, not too big, not too small and packed with fresh flavours. Priced at just $10 per burger and $7 for the kiddies size, Hello Harry offers excellent value for money making it an affordable option for families too.
On the day of our visit, the Blokes About Town were most impressed with their choices and their signature crispy onion rings and chips with special seasoning got the big thumbs up. There is the option of yummy added extras such as bacon, cheese or avocado as well as the choice of a gluten free bun, and there is always a favourite of the day too, so look for the blackboard special.
Hello Harry is fully licensed, making it the perfect spot for a bite to eat after work or a glass of wine over lunch.
Judging by the lively atmosphere and full tables on the day of our visit, Tony has created a restaurant with a winning combination – great food, great price and great atmosphere.