Are you settling for “close enough”?

I was golfing with my husband this weekend and one of my putts landed just short of the hole.  “Close enough,” my husband muttered, “you can take it,” as he walked toward our balls to pick them up.   

For those of you who aren’t golfers, the technical term for this is a “gimme.” When your partner decides you got “close enough,” you tack on one extra swing to your score, pick up your ball from the green and advance to the next hole.

The rest of the round, I couldn’t help but think about how many times in life and business we settle for “close enough.”  Are you setting goals for yourself and settling every month for close enough? If you are, do you know why you aren’t hitting your goals or why you are allowing yourself to settle?  

In business, there is no “gimme.” We must not settle for close enough. However, I suspect many of us have been there at some point.  “Close enough” will never take your business to the next level, never push you out of your comfort zone, nor will it ever allow you to feel the exhilaration of crushing your goals.

Here are 5 things you can do to help you achieve your goals:

    1. Set Achievable Goals – Most of us shoot for the moon. Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you not to think small and aim low, but what I am saying is to make sure your goals are achievable.  Break down your big goal into smaller, more manageable goals.  When you reach one, you can move and build on to the other one.
    2. Stay Consistent – Reaching goals requires consistent action and daily activity.  Entrepreneurship has a lot of ups and downs, but consistency is key. Just like breaking down your goals into smaller ones, break down your action steps into smaller objectives and only focus on 2 to 3 things per day.  Create schedules and routines that keep you on task and focused.
    3. Stay Accountable – If you suffer from shiny object syndrome, and you are constantly switching and changing your focus, reaching any goal will be much harder.  Find an accountability partner, a mentor, a program or something that will hold you accountable to your goals and one that will help you achieve them.
    4. Celebrate Small Wins – Yes!  Celebrate small wins, congratulate yourself and embrace small wins.  You don’t have to wait until you hit a HUGE goal to celebrate and in fact waiting can be discouraging.  Give yourself credit for all the hard work you are putting into your business. Celebrate small milestones!  This can be as simple as a public shout out to yourself on social media. Be proud of yourself and let others celebrate with you.
    5. Always be learning – Don’t make your life harder than it needs to be.  If there is someone else out there that has reached a similar goal, that means you can do it too.  Learn from others who have been where you are; read books, hire a coach, find a mentor, take a class.  There are ways to work smarter and not harder. The more information you have, the better off you will be.  When you are setting your goals, take a minute to look at your goal and ask yourself, “What skill or person could help me achieve this goal?”

All of the above tips will help you to achieve your goals, but the #1 thing you must do is never settle for “close enough.”  You have to stay the course and be in it for the long haul. Entrepreneurship and business ownership are not quick wins and there is no shortcut to success.  If you want to achieve your goals you must take consistent, productive action every day to move your business forward. If you are finding yourself settling or missing out on your goals consistently month after month, take some time to reflect on them and figure out why. Don’t get used to being satisfied with “close-enough,’ you are selling yourself, your customers and your dreams short.  On the flip side, if you miss one of your goals, don’t let that defeat you either. Reflect on it, look at why you may have missed it, what you can do differently next time, and get back on track and start again.

I will leave you with some wise words from one of the best golfers to ever play the game, Mr. Arnold Palmer gives. When questioned on how to win at life, golf and business, Palmer focuses on 4 things– “Concentration, Confidence, Competitive Urge, {and} Capacity for Enjoyment.”  

Make sure you have all of the above and there is no way you can’t win!