Elite AgentProductivity & Best Practice

Negative Goal Setting

Not all goal setting has to be positive for there to be a positive outcome. Glenn Twiddle takes us through a revolutionary way to set your goals and targets for a successful 2012, suggesting that a negative attitude is equally as powerful as a positive one.

You’ve heard all the clichés before. ‘Set your goals high’, ‘Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars’. Shoot for the stars and even if you get half way there you’ll be over the moon.’ ‘ Have a positive attitude and everything will be alright.’

The New Year is a trainer’s, coaches, or speaker’s dreamtime to churn out cliché after cliché along these lines. We’ve heard them all before – and yet three quarters of us are still looking for answers because traditional goal setting is a half-truth at best. Your success doesn’t come through the setting of goals; your success comes through the achieving of goals.

There is definitely way too much emphasis on the setting and way too little on the achieving. And you’ve heard for years, if not decades, to set your goals, now let me ask, ‘How’s that working for you?’.

There is definitely way too much emphasis on the setting and way too little on the achieving. And you’ve heard for years, if not decades, to set your goals, now let me ask, ‘How’s that working for you?’

If it’s working well, great, leave the technique unchanged and stop reading this article, but if you’re in the silent majority, who hear these words year in and year out, but nothing works for you, then this could be the article to change your life. But what I am about to suggest is scary as hell, and I’m warning you to move forward at your peril. This ‘self help’ will be way more about the ‘self’ and way less about the ‘help.’

I was speaking at a recent event, and the speaker before me was brilliantly coaching the team to set their targets, make them realistic, and I was at the back of the room doing the same, in my mind and on my note paper, setting my targets (in my case weight loss) and making them realistic. Then, after making sure we were on board with making our goals happen, and our targets were realistic, he dropped the bombshell. ‘Write me a cheque for $5000. Hit your goals I tear it up, fall short, I bank it!’

‘Write me a cheque for $5000. Hit your goals I tear it up, fall short, I bank it!’

Well, all of a sudden, the room full of enthusiastic goal setters was reduced to one man, who was still in the game, and he started the exercise. (He hit his goal three months ahead of target and is the #1 performer for his brand in Queensland.)

The only other person in that room who took action, was myself. I was scared to death though, as I had been saying for about 10 years I wanted to drop a few kilos, and for about five years I had been saying I’d be 100kgs by Christmas. And year in year out, I’d drop a few kilos, and then gain them back.

Well, a $5000 penalty to ‘live as good a game as I talked’ was the solution for me. Suffice to say, three months ahead of Christmas, I tipped the scales at 98.8kg, so in my case, all the positive talk, and positive motivation, got me really no where. But as soon as that cheque was made, my ‘goals’ became absolute ‘musts’, and anything other than the achievement of that goal was absolutely out of the question.

But as soon as that cheque was made, my ‘goals’ became absolute ‘musts’, and anything other than the achievement of that goal was absolutely out of the question.

The hardest thing about the technique was actually mailing of the cheque. But as soon as it was mailed, it’s like the job was done.

‘Does it have to be $5000?’ Of course not, just a penalty that is unacceptable, completely and 100% unacceptable. Willpower can’t be relied upon, but this can. So here’s the process….

1 – Set your goal. Ok, fess up, figure out what you want, maybe even something you’ve been telling yourself for years you want to achieve.
2 – Do you really want it? You know what’s coming so you better want this enough to risk it all!!
3 – Is it realistic and 100% within your control to achieve? If not, make it so. For example, if your goal was to write $500,000 in commissions this year, and that thought was just too scary because it is only partially in your control, then maybe make the target to appraise 500 houses. That is definitely 100% in your control, so work out your target, make it better than you are achieving right now, but realistic that it is humanly possible to achieve.
4 – Set a penalty. I chose a cheque for $5000 written to a competitor of mine (I consider him a mate, but still, we’re both speakers and coaches, so really he is a competitor of mine) but it could be any penalty you just won’t let happen. Period!!! For example, a naked picture to be posted on Facebookmight be enough of a deterrent. But don’t wuss out here, make it so painful, that you will stop at nothing, and I mean nothing, to achieve it.
5 – Give someone you absolutely trust. Who is should ‘hold the penalty’?That should be someone you trust to a) tear up the penalty when you achieve the goal, or b) not listen to any excuses if you are struggling. So it should not be your ‘significant other’ because they will cut you slack if you’re behind. Pick a strong mentor who you trust enough to hold you accountable, but will honour the ‘tearing up of the cheque’ so to speak.

Psychologists have said for years we will do way more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. We’ll move our hand back from a hot plate ten times faster than we’ll reach for something pleasurable. So, if this is you, this technique may be right for you, and I applaud your courage if you choose to take this challenge on.

It’s the most scary thing you’ve done in your career ever, I promise, so follow the steps, set the targets, make them realistic and controllable, and then get amongst it…. the clock is ticking!!!

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