I'm calling an audible to my original plan. We started this now 5-part series with Goal Setting I "What is Your Why" and talked about the most important aspect of goal-setting. It's your reason for getting up and doing what you do. The "5 Why's" exercise is an effective way to peel back the layers of your reasons to get to the core of what makes you tick. We are not robots, but emotional creatures. Mike Michalowicz, in his epic book "Profit First", shares why rational accounting doesn't work. He uses an example of plate sizes. Do you know that the average size has grown from 9" to 13" in diameter. That's DOUBLE! Over the same time period, the average American male's weight increased from 160 lbs to 190 lbs! Why? Mike goes to say that humans consume everything they are given. It's human behavior. They also use every available amount of time to finish a project and every dollar to fill their budgets. This is why Americans don't have 'extra' savings on hand or 'spare' time or 'uneaten' calories. There is a name for this. It's called Parkinson's Law.
Parkinson's Law states that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." We have to fight against this human behavior to win and learn how to Kill Parkinson!
Our SMART goals are subject to Parkinson's Law too. If you set a SMART goal with a 'T' of 3 months, you will either miss the goal or make it just in time even if you could have done it faster. This is human behavior. I want to encourage you to set goals so that you can complete them in the beginning and get the wins. However, you need to get more aggressive as you progress. I'm going to use this example. I interviewed my friend Courtney Wisely of Rescue My Maid Service on a FB Live to help her set a SMART goal. She wanted to complete a technology course for cleaning service owners to help them be more productive and automated. I asked her if she could get it done by December (12 months away). Her answer was "Heck, yeah!" Then I asked if she could have it done this month. She said, "Heck, no!" I asked about June, which was 6 months away. "Um... yes." She wasn't as confident, but knew she could. Then I said April or 4 months away. She was very uncomfortable, but believed it was possible. I encouraged her to set her SMART goal for April. Here's the psychology behind this and it looks at the 'A' in SMART or 'Attainable'. I pressed Courtney and discovered she could achieve this massive goal in 4 months. However if she set the goal like most people for 12 months, Parkinson's Law would kick in and she'd allow the work to expand to fit the time. That would waste 8 months of potential goals or create a huge Opportunity Cost. Courtney won't do this. She will set the goal for 4 months and kill it this year. Just keep in mind that Courtney is a hyper-focused goal-achiever. We're not all there. So start where you are. The 'A' in the SMART goal has to be defined by YOU depending on where you are in your goal-setting journey. What's barely attainable now will be a joke in a year, so you cannot continue to set the same goals.
The reason I added a 5th part to this Goal-Setting series was to show that human behavior drives your completion of goals. You need to have an emotional 'Why' which determines the 'R' in your SMART goal. You need behavioral 'A' in your SMART goal to kill Parkinson. And you need an accountability partner to ride with you along the journey to point out when you are veering off the path or taking too long to get something done. Face it. Goal-setting is 80% emotional and 20% rational.
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.