5 Simple Steps to Achieve Any Goal

by Dec 12, 2019Personal Finance, Practice Finance, Success

Joe had always dreamed of going on a safari in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Sadly, after 7 years, he still had not left the country — probably because he made the same mistakes many people make.

We imagine goals. We write to-do lists. We make New Year’s resolutions. Yet research shared by the Association for Talent Development shows that simply having an idea or imagining a goal only gives you a 10% chance of reaching it. That’s pretty pathetic.

How do you improve your chances?
The first step missing is a deadline. Napoleon Hill, famous author of “Think and Grow Rich,” said, “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” The study confirms that if you attach a date to a goal, there is a 40% chance you will reach your goal. That’s an improvement, but 40% is still a low success rate.

How do you improve your chances of success?
The study suggests coming up with a plan that details how you are planning on reaching your goal. That simple step can get you closer to success: you now have a 50/50 chance of achieving your goal. Can we do better than 50%?

How do you improve your chances of success even more?
The biggest secret is accountability. If you share a goal with someone, you make a commitment. That gives you a 65% chance of reaching your goal. That’s much better, but can we do even better?

How can we get closer to 100% certainty?
Nothing in life is guaranteed, but the study shows that if you set up a regular accountability appointment with someone, you have a 95% chance of reaching your goal.

So the next logical question is: where do you find an accountability partner?

There are many options: a family member, a friend, a colleague, a mentor, a coach, or a peer. The important point is to find someone who will truly hold you accountable, gently but without accepting excuses.The same principles can be used in practice. As a veterinarian or manager, you may have quarterly or yearly goals. How do you make sure you are staying on track? Help each other remain accountable by discussing your progress during management meetings. Discussion points could include:

  • What is our deadline for this project?
  • What have we accomplished since our last meeting?
  • Are you on track to reach your goal on or before your deadline?
  • Do you need any help or resources to reach your goal?

Remember Joe, who spent 5 years dreaming about a safari in Kenya? Once he discovered the above secrets, he chose a deadline for his trip. Then he came up with a plan to prepare and save for the trip. He opened a separate checking account, where a certain amount of money would be automatically deposited from each paycheck. Then he spent one hour every weekend organizing the trip. He asked his best friend Mike to keep him accountable. On the third Sunday of every month, Mike called Joe and asked about his progress — both financially and logistically.

And exactly 2 years later, Joe achieved his dream. He finally went on an amazing safari through Kenya’s Masai Mara.

So to recap, in order to achieve your goals, whether financial, professional, or personal, you need 5 simple steps:

  • A goal
  • A deadline
  • A clear plan of action
  • An accountability buddy
  • A regular accountability appointment.

When you leave our upcoming Veterinary Financial Summit, you will have an accountability buddy. The two of you will help each other to dramatically increase your chances of achieving your goals.

This is the kind of experience that can change your life.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS
Meredith Jones, DVM
Co-Founders of Veterinary Financial Summit