I caught up with a personal trainer earlier in the week. She was saying how frustrated she gets with people constantly asking why they’re not making progress at the gym.
Whatever explanation she gives, she’s never right. According to her clients, their training is perfect, diet fantastic and sleep patterns sound. To her, the reasons people don’t make progress (although her customers don’t necessarily agree!!) include:
- Them not having an objective for their fitness and lifestyle
- Them not having a plan to achieve the objective
- Them not following a diet or training regime that follows the plan
- Them not warming up, cooling down and stretching
- Or they’re scared of trying and failing
I walked away realising that making progress in the gym is very similar to making progress on your spending habits—both at home and in business.
I also walked away feeling a little guilty about not making more (any?) progress at the gym…
The importance of objectives
We often see families and businesses who aren’t actively pursuing an objective. They’re successful, and can manage the fires that get thrown at them on a day to day basis. However, they’re just getting by instead of pushing forward. They’re lacking a clear objective.
In contrast, we also working with some exceptionally successful families and businesses. Their success can often be accredited to them working towards a specific objective.
The specific objectives you should work towards can vary considerably. They could include everything from increasing income, to decreasing the hours they work, executing an exit strategy, reducing spending and everything in between.
Planning to succeed
Having an objective is only the beginning. Much like a “get fit” objective, it’s not going to happen without a plan to make it happen.
Obviously, this is something you don’t need to be told—you’ve heard it time and time again. Yet nonetheless, most people still do not have a plan. Or for many that do, their plans come down to simply working hard, earning more, and hoping to win lotto (or their personal equivalent).
It is those who have specific, actionable plan to build their financials who we see succeeding and standing above the crowd.
The trick with a plan
If you’ve got (1) an objective and (2) a plan, you’re on the right path. Great! Now, the trick with following through on your plan is finding someone who can challenge your plan, and hold you accountable to it. Like a personal trainer, financial coach, or an advisory board.
People are often reluctant to have other hold them accountable, or to challenge their thinking—it means they have to be vulnerable, and could be found out if they don’t stick with their plan. This scares most people.
It goes without saying, but everyone fails sometimes. Be it failure to go to the gym (guilty), failure to stick to a budget (guilty), or failure to follow through on a business plain (guilty).
In my personal experience, the implication of not failing my plan is that it wouldn’t have been challenging enough. It would be too easy to just keep the status quo and easily reach mediocre goals. This would have meant stagnation—a failure in its own right.
If you make yourself vulnerable to the right people, they’ll appreciate failure for what it is: a sign of improvement.
So, in short…
- An objective gives you meaning for what you’re doing
- A plan allows you to achieve your objective
- Making yourself accountable to someone helps you execute the plan
- Accountability makes you vulnerable, being vulnerable exposes your failings
- If you’re vulnerable to the right people, them seeing your failings is a good thing
Who should you be vulnerable to?
We’re always going to say it, but a good person to be vulnerable to is your Chartered Accountant.
They already know your financials, they’ve (generally) got a nose for business, and they should want to help you and your family grow, develop, and build.
If you’d like to find out more about objectives, plans, and making them happen then please get in touch.