Partial failure leads to…
At the dentist last week, I got some great advice for my business and the way I set goals.
I was tipped back in the chair, and the dentist was up to his elbows in my wide open mouth. As all dentists do, mine was chatting with me even though I couldn’t respond.
He said, “Laura, you only need to do three things to have a healthy mouth.”
“First, see me twice a year.” (Great pitch for continuing income for him)
“Second, use an electric toothbrush.” (Excellent upsell since he sells those toothbrushes in his reception area)
“Third, floss four times a week.”
I thought I was supposed to floss every day. I did my best to communicate that to him even though it sounded more like, “Huub? Wooo noo ebrdy duh?”
He explained that flossing four times a week was enough for most people. And it was an achievable goal. Most patients, he said, failed to floss every day. And when they failed, the usually stopped flossing altogether.
They stopped identifying as “flossers” if they didn’t do it daily. And because they didn’t feel like “flossers” they considered themselves slackers who didn’t have to floss at all.
Partial failure ultimately led to total failure.
Wow, that really struck me.
Think about how many times in your business you set huge, inflexible goals and then fail to realize them right away.
When you do, you are subconsciously labeling yourself as a failure and setting yourself up to either 1) stop setting goals or 2) failing on future efforts.
As you move into this month and plan your next year, check to make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
Rather than setting a goal to “lose 20lbs” start with a goal of “go to the gym 3x per week”. Once you have that habit down, you can focus on the goal of losing 20lbs.
Rather than setting a goal to “double your income” start with a goal of “get one new client that is twice my average client size.” Once you do that, you can focus on getting more big clients and doubling your income.
Set yourself up for success this year. Set smaller goals that you can achieve quickly. Focus on activities of success that will lead to your bigger goals.
And don’t forget to floss four times a week.